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The cause/effect essay tries to discover the connections between events, in terms of causes, results, or consequences

Writing

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.

Essay Rubric

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.
ORGANIZATION:
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 .

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