How Your Writing Is Evaluated


The CATW uses an analytic scoring guide, called a scoring rubric, to evaluate student writing samples. Each test is scored independently by two faculty raters and both raters assign scores in each of five grading categories.

The Five Scoring Categories

1.    “Critical Response to the Writing Task and Text”: This category emphasizes your ability to complete the writing task and to demonstrate understanding of the main ideas in the reading text, using critical analysis, and integrating your own ideas and experiences to respond to the main ideas in the text.

2.    “Development of Writer’s Ideas”: In this category you are evaluated on your ability to develop your ideas (for example, by using summary, narrative, or problem/solution) in a clear and organized way. Your response should include both general statements and specific details and examples. Specific references to the text must be included with these details andexamples.

3.    “Structure of the Response”: This category evaluates your ability to organize ideas into a cohesive essay that supports a central focus, or thesis. The structure of your essay is evaluated for evidence of logical connections between ideas and the use of transitions to convey these connections.

4.    “Language Use: Sentences and Word Choice”: This category evaluates the degree to which you demonstrate sentence control and variety in sentence structure. This category also evaluates your ability to use appropriate vocabulary to make your ideas clear.

5.    “Language Use: Grammar, Usage, Mechanics”: This category evaluates your ability to follow the conventions of standard American English language use in terms of grammar and mechanics, so that your meaning is clear.