The essay is extremely well organized and thoughtful. The dialogue is structurally sound, interesting, and contributes to an inviting environment of inquiry. The reader is engaged and enthralled. The essay is easy to follow, has a natural flow, and is structurally sound in every manner. Excellent essays always have a thesis statement present. Readers are convinced that the writer cares for his or her ideas, and about the language that carries them. A bibliography and an APA format is always present.
The essay contributes to the topic with very clear, concise dialogue formatted in an easy to read style. The reader can follow and recognize the essay structure. Evidence is presented in a neat and orderly way. Some of the sentences may not be elegant, but they are clear, and in them thought flows naturally. The paragraphs may be unwieldy now and then, but they are organized around one main idea. The reader does not have to read a paragraph two or three times to understand the thought that the writer is trying to convey. It has a thesis that is limited and worth arguing. It does not contain unexpected digressions, and it ends by keeping the promise to argue and inform that the writer makes in the beginning of the essay. Rarely does this level of an essay not contain a bibliography or is in a format other than APA.
The essay has a thesis, but it is vague and broad, or else it is uninteresting or obvious. It does not advance an argument that anyone might care to debate, such as; “Henry James wrote some interesting novels,” “I thought this paper was interesting," “I really liked this article.". Even if it has a clear and interesting thesis, a paper with insufficient supporting evidence is an average paper. The thesis in the writing assignment often hangs on some personal opinion. If the writer is a recognized authority, such an expression of personal taste may be noteworthy, but writers gain authority not merely by expressing their tastes but by justifying them. Personal opinion is often the engine that drives an argument, but opinion itself is never sufficient. It must be defended.
There is some organization present, but overall the reader is left questioning the process and structure. The essay either has no thesis statement or else it has one that is strikingly vague, broad, or uninteresting. The paragraphs do not hold together; ideas do not develop from sentence to sentence. The paper usually repeats the same thoughts again and again, perhaps in slightly different language but often in the same words.
The essay is very disorganized and hard to follow. There is no structure or formal organization to the essay.