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Argumentative Writing (SCALE)

Created by Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, & Equity (SCALE) ©2012

Scoring DomainEmergingDevelopingProficientAdvanced
Argument a


What is the evidence that the student can develop an argument or thesis and draw meaningful connections and conclusions?
  • Argument/thesis is unclear
  • Argument/thesis is underdeveloped
  • Presents a somewhat clear argument/thesis
  • Presents a general argument/thesis
  • Presents a clear argument/thesis
  • Presents a well developed argument/thesis
  • Presents a clear and convincing argument/thesis
  • Presents a well developed argument/thesis that demonstrates original thinking
Argument b


What is the evidence that the student considers counter-claims?
  • One claim dominates the argument and alternative or counter-claims are absent
  • Briefly alludes to questions, counter- claims, or alternative interpretations when appropriate
  • Acknowledges questions, counter-claims, or alternative interpretations when appropriate
  • Acknowledges and responds to questions, counter- claims, or alternative interpretations to sharpen the argument/thesis when appropriate
Evidence A


What is the evidence that the student can support the argument or thesis?
  • Relies on one or two reasons, examples, or quotations relevant to argument/thesis
  • Refers to limited evidence (reasons, examples, or quotations) relevant to argument/thesis
  • Refers to sufficient and detailed evidence (reasons, examples, and quotations) relevant to argument/thesis
  • Refers to most important evidence (reasons, examples, quotations) relevant to argument/thesis
Evidence B


What is the evidence that the student recognizes the limitations of sources?
  • One source dominates the argument
  • Compares the point of view of two or more sources
  • Evaluates points of view, purposes or other context information to assess credibility of sources
  • Thoroughly evaluates points of view, purposes or other context information to assess credibility of sources
Organization


What is the evidence that the student can organize and structure ideas for effective communication?
  • Argument/thesis is unclear throughout the text
  • Argument/thesis is not evident throughout the text
  • Ideas are disorganized
  • Ideas are underdeveloped, or loosely sequenced
  • No transitions are used
  • Argument/thesis is evident throughout text
  • Argument/thesis is not consistently present throughout text
  • Ideas are organized
  • Ideas are not sufficiently developed or logically sequenced
  • Transitions connect ideas with minor lapses
  • Argument/thesis is presented clearly throughout text
  • Argument/thesis is presented consistently throughout text
  • Ideas are developed
  • Ideas are logically sequenced
  • Transitions connect ideas
  • Argument/thesis is presented clearly and consistently throughout text
  • Argument/thesis drives the organization of the text
  • Ideas are fully developed
  • Ideas are logically sequenced to present a coherent whole
  • Transitions guide the reader through the development and reasoning of the argument/thesis
Language Use


What is the evidence that the student can use language skillfully to communicate ideas?
  • Has limited control of syntax
  • Has limited control of vocabulary
  • Language is inappropriate to the purpose and audience
  • Tone is inappropriate to the purpose and audience
  • Has an accumulation of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that distracts or interferes with meaning
  • Has control of syntax
  • Has control of vocabulary
  • Language is appropriate to the purpose and audience with minor lapses
  • Tone are appropriate to the purpose and audience with minor lapses
  • Has some minor errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that partially distract or interfere with meaning
  • Demonstrates varied syntax
  • Demonstrates effective word choice; uses rhetorical techniques
  • Language is appropriate to the purpose and audience
  • Tone is appropriate to the purpose and audience
  • Is generally free of distracting errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • Has an effective fluent style with varied syntax
  • Has precise word choice, and skillful use of rhetorical techniques
  • Language is tailored to the purpose and audience
  • Tone is tailored to the purpose and audience
  • Is free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
Cites Sources


What is the evidence that the student can cite sources appropriately?
  • When appropriate for the task, textual citation is missing
  • When appropriate for the task, textual citation is incorrect
  • When appropriate for the task, cites textual evidence sometimes
  • When appropriate for the task, cites textual evidence with some minor errors
  • When appropriate for the task, cites textual evidence consistently
  • When appropriate for the task, cites textual evidence accurately
  • When appropriate for the task, cites textual evidence consistently
  • When appropriate for the task, cites textual evidence accurately