Cleveland State University

The Writing Center


Professors often do not disclose what they really want.  This grading sheet shows you that they have higher and lower concerns.  A clear focus and excellent development are more important to most professors than correct grammar and fluency in style.  Check your draft against this scale and use it to edit your peers' work as well.  The scores go from 1 (low) to 5 (high).

Higher Order Concerns

Focus                        1          2          3          4          5
A focus is the thesis or main point of your writing.  Is it clear?  Is the whole paper on the focus?  Write out the focus right here.

Development           1          2          3          4          5
Development refers to the amount of support you give your focus.  Are there enough quotes, paraphrases, examples, inferences, reasoning, opinions, forecasts? 

Organization            1          2          3          4          5
Has the writer organized or structured the paper in the way that the discipline suggests?  That is, if it is a lab report, does it adhere to the proper structure?  If you are working on an argumentative essay, is it organized to present an argument?  Can the reader follow individual paragraphs—are they well organized?

Lower Order Concerns

Style               1          2          3          4          5
Style can be considered in terms of sentence patterns and diction.  Are the sentence patterns varied or all the same?  Variety produces more interesting reading.  Is the diction appropriate for a college-level assignment?  Is the diction appropriate for the discipline?

Mechanics    1          2          3          4          5
Mechanics refer to punctuation, spelling, and grammar.  Could the writer benefit from a brush up on some grammatical points?  Could the writer learn new punctuation strategies? 


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engaged learning
Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
Provost Office
2121 Euclid Avenue

RT Library 124
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Rhodes Tower 124
1860 E. 22 Street
Office Hours
Mon - Thurs : 9:30 am-7:00 pm
Fri : 9:30 am-4:00 pm

For appointments call:
Dr. Mary McDonald
Fax: 216.687.6943
Dr. Mary McDonald , Director

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