Scoring Guide, Prompts & Student Essays

Scoring Guide, Prompts & Student Essays

Prompt #1

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Background: Most people agree that government should regulate our lives to some extent.  Individuals and political groups, however, are often sharply divided over the degree to which such control is justified.

Writing Directions:  Write an essay in which you discuss how much control the government should have over one specific area of people€™s lives.

Prompt #2

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Background: The state of California has severely cut funding to its universities.  Not wanting to raise tuition even more, the Board of Trustees of the California State University system wants student suggestions for changes that would save money, while still preserving or even increasing the quality of education in the CSU.

Writing Directions: Write an essay in which you discuss the problem as you have experienced or noticed it and then describe no more than two money-saving changes that California State University, Stanislaus could implement.  The change or changes could be on how our university operates or how students are taught.  In addition to your discussion and descriptions, you must explain the reasons why these changes are reasonable and should be adopted.


Scoring Process

Each WPST essay is read by two readers who keep their evaluation confidential so one reader€™s score does not influence the other€™s. The readers use a numerical evaluation rubric. Your score reflects the numerical sum on both readers. For example, the first reader scores an essay with a €œ4€ and the second also with a €œ4.€ The essay€™s total score would be an €œ8.€ The minimum passing score is €œ7€, which is the sum of one score of €œ4€ and another of €œ3.€ The maximum score is €œ10.€

5 Highly competent, although it may have minor faults

  • Sustains an argument that acknowledges and develops the complexity of the issue.
  • Displays fluent control over language.
  • Uses relatively sophisticated language.
  • Has a structure which is strong, with all parts integrated into the discussion of the issue.
  • Develops an argument that acknowledges and develops the complexity of the issue.

Prompt #1
Student Essay Score 10.pdf

Prompt #2
Student Essay Score 10.pdf

4 Adequate rather than competent

  • Acknowledges the complexity of the issue.
  • Displays adequate control over language.
  • Uses language appropriately.
  • Has a clear structure although there may be occasional lapses in focus.

Prompt #1
Student Essay Score 8.pdf

Prompt #2
Student Essay Score 8.pdf

3 Developing Adequacy

  • Often develops only one aspect of the issue, or may distort the issue.
  • Contains generalizations with little support rather than developing an argument.
  • Displays general control over language although there may be an accumulation of errors.
  • Has a structure which may be unclear or which may limit the author's development of the issue.

Prompt #1
Student Essay Score 6.pdf

Prompt #2
Student Essay Score 6.pdf

2 Inadequate

Exhibits any one of the following characteristics:

  • Attempts to address the issue, but does not provide adequate development
  • Lacks control over language
  • Has no apparent structure.

Prompt #1
Student Essay Score 4.pdf

Prompt #2
Student Essay Score 4.pdf