Here are the symbols and what they mean on your graded essays:

X -  I'll put this next to a statement that is wrong in its facts

+  -  I'll put this next to a statement that requires more explanation; you might be right, but didn't give me enough information to understand

s - I'll put this next to a statement that is not clearly enough stated for me to understand what you mean (this could be because unclear writing or failure to use precise and correct vocabulary prevents me from giving it a X or a )

a - I'll put this next to a clear statement that directly addresses the question.

- I'll use this to indicate a statement that does not address the question and that I'll usually simply not factor into your score.

 

Scoring on essays is as follows:

Level of Achievement General Approach Comprehension
exemplary

(9-10 points)

  • addresses the question directly, using a strong topic sentence  
  • states a justifiable answer
  • presents arguments in logical order
  • Uses acceptable style and grammar
  • demonstrates clear and complete understanding of the question
  • backs conclusion with appropriate evidence
  • uses examples that support the answer
adequate

(7-8 points)

  • does not directly address the question, although does tangentially, or only addresses parts of the question
  • states a justifiable answer
  • presents arguments in logical order
  • uses acceptable style and grammar, but with a few errors
  • demonstrates only adequate understanding of question because does not back conclusions with appropriate evidence
  • uses examples that support the answer
  • less through than above
Needs Improvement

(< 6 points)

 

  • does not address the question
  • states no relevant answer
  • indicates misconceptions
  • not clearly or logically organized
  • fails to use acceptable grammar and style
  • does not demonstrate understanding of the question
  • does not provide evidence to support answer
  • does not use examples

 

Here are some links with essay writing tips...you might know all this already, but maybe there is something useful here.

http://classweb.gmu.edu/biologyresources/writingguide/index.htm  this is an online writing guide from the Biology Dept at George Mason University...it looks pretty helpful.

http://www.athensacademy.org/instruct/upper/science/rpatterson/AP%20Biology/Documents/Tips%20For%20Writing%20Essays%2003-04.htm

http://www.fultonschools.org/teacher/tuckerjs/apbioinfo/essay_writing.htm

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x2921.xml