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CATEGORY 4 Above Standard 3 Meets Standard 2 Approaching 1 Below standards

Background Introductory Introductory Introductory Introductory
Information paragraph contains paragraph contains paragraph contains paragraph contains
relevant background relevant little relevant no relevant
information and is background and/or mostly information on the
precisely focused on information on the unfocused topic.
thesis. topic. information.
Thesis The thesis statement The thesis Thesis statement is The thesis statement
Statement clearly names the statement is clear unclear, but may is missing or does
(overall topic of the essay and names the topic have the topic and not name the topic
assertion) and outlines the of the essay. some main points. and main points of
main points to be the essay.
AXES Format Ideas flow smoothly All body Body paragraphs Body paragraphs do
and all body paragraphs follow somewhat follow not follow the AXES
paragraphs follow AXES format AXES format format.
AXES format
Evidence and Evidence is precise Evidence is At least one piece Evidence and
Examples and examples relevant and of evidence is examples are not
strongly support the examples support irrelevant or relevant and/or
assertion/ thesis. the assertion/ example does not examples do not
thesis. support the support the
assertion/ thesis. assertion/thesis.
Significance Significance shows Significance shows Significance lacks Significance is
critical thinking and thought and ideas depth and shows missing or lacks
ideas are connected are connected to emerging depth.
to show high-level show an understanding of
understanding of the understanding of the topic.
topic the topic.
Word Choice Writer uses high- Writer uses Vocabulary may be Vocabulary is overly
level, thoughtful thoughtful repetitive, general general and
vocabulary and vocabulary and and/or lacking in academic language
precise academic academic language. academic tone. is weak.
Conventions The essay is The author makes Author makes Significant errors are
exceptionally easy some errors in several errors in present making the
to read, although spelling, grammar grammar, spelling paper difficult to
writing may contain and punctuation, and punctuation read.
a few insignificant but they do not and these errors
errors capitalization, interrupt the flow interrupt the flow of
grammar, or of ideas. the paper.