The Writing Program also evaluates writing of all students. We identify both students who need to develop better writing skills and outstanding writers who might serve as peer consultants for our Writing Center in the following academic year. Writing evaluations allow the college to monitor the writing performance of students across the curriculum. All students are evaluated periodically by their professors. Faculty rank a student's writing as Excellent, Good, Acceptable, or Inadequate, based on three criteria-Quality of Thought, Rhetorical Sophistication, Mechanics. If a student gets two less-than-acceptable evaluations, the Writing Program Director sends a personal letter to the student's academic adviser and to the student at pre-registration. Students and advisers then determine if the student should take a Writing Intensive course, take the Writing Practicum adjunct, or visit the Writing Center regularly. Writing evaluations are not part of a student's permanent record.
The three criteria on which writing is evaluated are:
Quality of Thought -- This category focuses on development of ideas and includes the writer's use of the following: topic focus; thesis/argument; organization and development or ideas; logic; coherence; unity; evidence/support; analysis; conclusions.
Rhetorical Sophistication -- This category focuses on style and includes the writer's use of the following: polish; flow; transitions; clarity; brevity; tone; originality; flair; word choice; voice (appropriate use of active and passive voice); integrating sources/quotes; audience analysis; placement of information; visual rhetoric (graphs and figures).
Mechanics -- This category focuses primarily on grammar and syntax; it includes the writer's use of the following: appropriate/required format; sentence structure; grammar; usage; punctuation; bibliography/citation form (when required).
Overall -- This category is dependent on the above categories and determines the student's overall competence as a writer.
The faculty rank a student's writing as Excellent, Good, Acceptable, or Inadequate. The suggested criteria for faculty to assign the different writing scores are:
Excellent: Outstanding work. The student writes as well as the top 5% of CC students. The writer's argument or point is clear, focused, coherent. She/he establishes context, purpose, point of view. Paragraphs are logical, coherent, unified, developed, with appropriate evidence. The writer keeps related words and ideas together, defines terms, elaborates on general or abstract terms, explains essential concepts. She/he uses clear sentence structure and idiomatic English, has control over grammar and diction. There are no significant mechanical errors.
Good: Solid work. The student's writing is competent but not quite all together yet. The writer consistently has an argument or makes a point, but her/his arguments may not be as compelling as those of the excellent writer. Paragraphs develop the main idea for the most part. However, there may be occasional lapses in coherence of argument, clarity of the presentation of information, organization of ideas. (Signs of these problems include weak conceptual links and/or superficial transitions.) The writer develops her/his point with evidence or examples, but these may lack depth or detail, or may not clearly support the main idea. The writer uses clear, fluent and generally idiomatic English but may be unsure of the connotation or the words. The sentence structure may not always reflect the logical relationships of its discreet parts. The writer almost always has control over grammar and diction. There may be infrequent, minor mechanical errors or repetition of a single error.
Acceptable: Average work. The student writes well enough to communicate and will not embarrass herself/himself in the outside world. The writer has a focus for her/his writing and usually uses appropriate evidence to support her/his points. However, the main idea may be simplistic and/or the analysis underdeveloped. The writer uses fewer examples to develop her/his analysis. The writer may not grasp completely the concepts she/he is discussing. Organization may be repetitious or random; individual paragraphs may not consistently develop a unified idea. The writer has adequate control of sentence structure, grammar, and diction. There may be a pattern of mechanical errors that suggest the writer needs to edit her/his work more carefully.
Inadequate: Insufficiently coherent work. The writer has trouble establishing context, purpose, or point of view. She/he may not have a clear main idea or may attempt to present too many unrelated, general ideas. Individual paragraphs are fragmented; there are few real connections between paragraphs. The writer uses virtually no evidence to support her/his ideas. Individual sentences may be short and choppy, long and incoherent, or even incomplete. The writer has extremely poor control or sentence structure, grammar, and diction. Her/his word choice is unidiomatic. Mechanical errors abound.