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French 1 and 2 Compositions

Compositions should be typed, of required length, and demonstrate accurate and creative use of the grammar
and vocabulary of the lessons. Students should not use structures not covered in the lessons.
At the writing of every composition, students should look at their previous one, pay attention to the instructors
comments and corrections, and make a concerted effort not to repeat the same mistakes.
Grading compositions:
AExcellent: well thought-out sentences, accurate grammar, specific word choices, personal creativity

evident, fluency of expression. Excellent organization and development of main idea. Transition
between paragraphs. Full use of chapter vocabulary and grammar. Ideas are adequately formulated and
fully comprehensible and the paper reads clearly, in part due to satisfactory use of paragraphs.
B--Good: approximate grammar and somewhat specific vocabulary, some evidence of creativity, good flow of
expression, good organization. Partial use of chapter vocabulary and grammar. Ideas are for the most part

understandable and well-expressed. The paper reads rather clearly and generally uses paragraphs
efficiently. Syntax is sometimes hesitant or erroneous, grammar could here and there be improved
upon. Some words could have been chosen more carefully, vocabulary could be more precise or
varied.
C--Average: simple sentences and choice of words for general meaning; text is understandable but needs
improvement; not much evidence of creativity (list of sentences taken from the book). A well-wrought
organization is lacking. Some ideas are obscure and/or not well-expressed. The paper does not read very

easily because the division of the argument into paragraphs is hesitant. The paper is marred by
significant grammar, syntactic and semantic errors. Words are often not used precisely in specific
contexts and vocabulary seems somewhat limited.
D--Not good: barely understandable, many errors, inaccurate use of grammar, no specific vocabulary. Poor
development of ideas. There are few comprehensible ideas and most of them are not well expressed. The

paper is confusing because paragraphs are often used haphazardly. Syntax almost always seems erratic
and grammar is hesitant. Words are rarely used accurately in context, vocabulary does not seem does
not seem wide enough.
F--Bad: total inability to communicate, demonstrates a complete lack of effort; grammar and vocabulary leads
to misunderstanding of the subject. Ideas in this paper seem confused and are expressed inadequately.

This paper is also completely disorganized in its usage of paragraphs.


Addendum:
French 2: organization will be emphasized even more, with special attention paid to the structuring of a wellwrought argument, including pros and cons (e.g. thse/anti-thse/synthse).

Rev. S14

Choice of
topic,
inventiveness,
general
structuring of
the argument,
use of
examples, and
conclusiveness
of your
demonstration

A
The paper is
precise,
inventive and/
or original, it
is well argued
and illustrated
by pertinent
examples;
hypothesis is
clearly
demonstrated.

B
The paper is not
quite focused
enough, parts of
the argument
could have been
better structured,
some of the
examples lack
pertinence or are
repetitive and/or
the
demonstration is
somewhat
inconclusive.

C
The composition
includes several
interesting
remarks but the
paper is not
focused enough
and seems a bit
disorganized. The
use of examples
is not rigorous
enough and the
argument is not
fully convincing.

D
The focus is too
wide or not
well defined
enough, or
topic is too
commonplace.
The paper lacks
examples and/
or is generally
unconvincing.

Checklist (before turning in the composition):


1. Do all adjectives agree (in gender and in number) with the nouns they modify?
e.g., Les grandes vacances sont toujours agrables.
2. Do all conjugated verb forms agree (in person and in number) with their subjects?
e.g., Monique et Patrick tudient ensemble.
3. Have you checked the gender of all nouns?
e.g., le film, la vido, le tlphone, la photo
4. Have you checked for lisions?
e.g., Ltudiant quAlbert connat, cest Jean.
5. Have you checked spelling throughout, including accents?
6. Do past participles of tre verbs agree with subjects?
e.g., Elles sont parties.
7. Do past participles of avoir verbs agree with any objects that precede the verb?
e.g., Voil les fleurs que jai achetes.

Rev. S14

F
The argument is very
imprecise or insufficiently
original and/or the paper
appears to have been
written in haste (or to be
unfinished).