Sample Scored Essays

Two to three ECC faculty/staff read and score each essay giving it a single, holistic score. In holistic scoring, essays are not given low scores just because they contain many mechanical errors, nor are they given high scores just because they are well organized. While those factors are important, the reader also considers the overall impression created by the student's writing sample and assigns a score consistent with that overall impression.

Your essay will be assigned one of the following holistic scores based on the criteria listed. We have included here a set of three actual (anonymous) student papers using discontinued topics, along with an analysis of their strengths and weaknesses. There are many ways of obtaining a particular score, so these should not be taken as templates or models to follow. Yet, they provide some concrete examples of the ways that the scoring criteria are applied in practice.

Score AssignedCriteriaSample Scored Essay
55 Essay has a thesis and is developed with concrete, specific details in a unified and coherent way. The essay contains a complexity of ideas, adequate vocabulary, and problems with grammar, mechanics, or spelling do not interfere with reader concentration or understanding.
Student may enroll in ENG101.
Sample ENG 101
44 Essay may have a thesis which responds to the topic, but the supporting ideas are not consistently concrete (specific) or are inadequately developed. The essay may demonstrate basic organizational skills, but grammar, mechanics, and spelling errors are sufficient or serious enough to cause some problems with comprehension.
Student needs one semester of developmental composition ENG098 to prepare for ENG101. 
Sample ENG 098  
33 Essay may have a thesis which responds to the topic, but the supporting ideas are undeveloped, repeated, unclear or incoherent. The essay has recurrent grammatical and syntactical problems.
Student needs two semesters of developmental composition (ENG097 and 098) to prepare for ENG101.  
Sample ENG 097  
below 33 Readers were unable to determine your writing course placement. You will need to re-test. Prior to re-testing, review the Supplemental Resource Guide for Writing for available retesting support/preparation. Supplemental resource guide