The cause/effect essay tries to discover the connections between events, in terms of causes, results, or consequences. You may think about a causal relationship by considering some familiar word combinations: If . . . then; Because of . . . the result was, or the problem . . . could be solved by. However, you must not confuse coincidence or chronological sequence with evidence; this is called post hoc fallacy (believing that the action/event that follows is automatically caused by the first action/event). Also, you must look for causes or effects that go beyond the obvious; be careful not to oversimplify.
This rubric is for all essays written in the class (except the argumentation/persuasive essay).
|Excellent (A)||Good (B)||Satisfactory (C)||Poor (D)||Unacceptable (F)|
|CONTENT||A significant central idea, clearly defined and supported with concrete, substantial, and consistently relevant detail.||A central idea, defined and supported with concrete and mostly relevant detail.||Central idea apparent but trivial, or trite, or too general; supported with concrete detail, but detail that is occasionally repetitious, irrelevant, or sketchy.||Central idea lacking or confused, or only minimally supported with relevant detail.||Central idea is not apparent, or unsupported by relevant details.|
Rhetorical and Logical Development
|Theme planned so that it progresses by clearly ordered and necessary stages and developed with originality and consistent attention to proportion and emphasis; paragraphs coherent, unified, and effectively developed; transitions between paragraphs explicit and effective.||Theme planned so that it progresses by ordered and necessary stages and developed with some originality with usually consistent attention to proportion and emphasis; paragraphs coherent, unified, and usually effectively developed; transitions between paragraphs are mostly effective.||Plan and method of theme apparent but not consistently fulfilled; developed with only occasional disproportion or inappropriate emphasis; paragraphs unified, coherent, usually effective in their development; transitions between paragraphs clear but abrupt, mechanical, or monotonous.||Plan and purpose of theme somewhat apparent; developed with irrelevance, redundancy, or inconsistency; paragraphs somewhat incoherent, not unified, or only minimally developed; transitions between paragraphs unclear or ineffective.||Plan and purpose of theme not apparent; undeveloped or completely irrelevant; paragraphs incoherent, not unified, or undeveloped; no transitions between paragraphs.|
|ORGANIZATION: Sentence Structure||Sentences skillfully constructed (unified, coherent, forceful, effectively varied).||Sentences typically skillfully constructed (unified, coherent, varied). May have one structural error.||Sentences usually correctly constructed but lacking distinction. May have two to three structural errors.||Some sentences not unified, incoherent, fused, incomplete, monotonous, or overly simplistic. May have four structural errors.||Several sentences not unified, incoherent, fused, incomplete, monotonous, or overly simplistic. Has five or more structural errors.|
|DICTION||Distinctive: fresh, precise, economical, and idiomatic; completely appropriate tone for essay.||Satisfactory: mostly precise and idiomatic, but may have one to two examples of informal language, or inappropriate tone for essay.||Appropriate: usually clear and idiomatic, but some inappropriate language or tone (3 errors).||Somewhat appropriate: some language is vague, unidiomatic, or substandard; moderate inclusion of inappropriate language or tone (4 errors).||Inappropriate: language is vague, unidiomatic, or substandard; includes 5 or more errors of inappropriate language or tone.|
|GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION, SPELLING||Clarity and effectiveness of expression promoted by consistent use of standard grammar, punctuation, and spelling.||Clarity and effectiveness of expression promoted by usually consistent use of standard grammar, punctuation, and spelling; minor errors.||Clarity and effectiveness of expression weakened by occasional deviations from standard grammar, punctuation, and spelling.||Clarity and effectiveness of expression weakened by multiple deviations from standard grammar, punctuation, and spelling.||Communication obscured by frequent deviations from standard grammar, punctuation, and spelling.|
|MAJOR ERRORS||No major errors.||Not more than one major error.||Not more than two major errors.||Not more than three major errors.||Four or more major errors .|