CSULA Department of English | Composition Resources

Catalog Description
| Learning Objectives
| Requirements
| Recommended Textbooks
| ENGL 095/096 Portfolios

ENGL 095 Scoring Guide

Catalog Description (back
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Prerequisite: English Placement Test (placement determined
by student's score). Instruction in basic writing and reading. Focus on writing
processes such as invention, revision, and editing. Use of personal experience
and/or observation in writing narrative and expository essays. Graded CR/NC.

Learning Objectives (back
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  • Develop the ability to focus an essay upon a single assertion
    triggered by a writing prompt

  • Use effective writing process strategies in invention, drafting,
    revising, and editing

  • Develop critical reading strategies for both narrative and
    expository prose

  • Use both narrative and expository structures to organize essays

  • Demonstrate fluency by developing essays with sufficient specific
    detail

  • Revise writing based on criteria articulated in the rubric and
    feedback from peers and the instructor

  • Edit writing to eliminate major errors in English sentence
    structure, punctuation, and usage

Requirements (back to
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Students are expected to

  • Write 5-7 first draft
    essays 

  • Substantially revise two
    of these essays into 2-3 page typed essays for inclusion in the final
    portfolio

  • Write an in-class essay at
    the end of the quarter for inclusion in the portfolio

  • Attend a minimum of 80% of
    the scheduled class sessions

  • Actively participate in
    prewriting and revision activities during class

  • Read critically and
    respond informally in writing to assigned readings

Recommended Textbooks (back
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Handbook

If you assign or
recommend a handbook, please consider using the following so that students
do not have to buy different handbooks over the course of several quarters in the
composition program.

The Everyday Writer (4th ed.), edited by Andrea Lunsford (Bedford/St.
Martin’s): A handbook with a strong rhetorical focus; the 4th edition includes
2009 MLA and 2010 APA updates along with other documentation formats.

Texts

No recommended textbooks.

ENGL 095/096 Portfolios (back
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)

Grading and Portfolio Evaluation

English 095 and 096 are graded Credit or No Credit (CR/NC).
Students are evaluated on a portfolio consisting of three writing samples: two
essays written during the quarter (revised and edited, with the rough drafts and
the original writing prompt attached beneath the final presentation draft), plus
a final in-class essay which is administered during the tenth week of classes,
usually at the final class meeting. Generally, instructors develop their own
prompt for the in-class essay, drawing on topics or themes that they have
considered during the quarter.

English 095 and 096 instructors attend a mid-term
socialization, usually held on Friday of the fifth week of classes, to read
sample portfolios from previous quarters and to develop an understanding of the
holistic scoring rubric and portfolio evaluation standards. During the fall
quarter, instructors grade portfolios on Friday (English 095) and Saturday
(English 096) of the tenth week of classes during an all-day holistic grading
session held on campus. During winter and spring quarters, portfolios for both
095 and 096 are read on Friday of the tenth week. Portfolio grades are based
upon the entirety of the portfolio and graded holistically, according to rubrics
established for each course. (See the Appendices.) End-of-quarter procedures and
directions for the portfolios are distributed by the eighth week of the quarter.

Responding to Papers

Instructors are expected to give adequate and specific
feedback on student essays through conferences and/or comments on papers. Some
instructors do not grade individual essays, but rather guide students in
choosing essays and revising them to create a successful portfolio, making it
clear that requests for further revision indicate that the essay is not yet
ready for the portfolio. By the middle of the quarter, instructors should begin
giving students more specific information about the quality of their writing, so
students who are not doing passing work are aware of their status. Some
instructors use the CR/NC distinction since that is the ultimate decision.
Others give a numerical grade based upon the portfolio scoring guide for that
course. Whatever their method, most instructors strive to strike a balance
between encouraging students and giving them an honest assessment of their work.
Students are understandably upset when they believe they have been doing passing
work, but then receive a NC grade on their portfolio.

Peer response groups are also recommended as a way of
helping students develop their ability to critique essays, of increasing the
feedback that students receive, and providing an audience other than the
instructor. Many students will benefit from additional tutorial instruction
available in the University Writing Center.

English 095 Scoring Guide (back
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)

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6    Very
Strong

The 6 portfolio
demonstrates very good writing ability. Revised essays in a 6 portfolio
typically

  • exhibit
    a clear purpose and a strong sense of audience.
  • address
    the topic clearly and thoughtfully, responding effectively to all aspects of
    the assignment.
  • are
    very clearly focused and coherently organized, with main ideas supported by
    effective reasons and well-chosen examples.
  • show
    improvement over successive drafts, when necessary.
  • use
    diction, phrasing, and syntax effectively.
  • are
    largely free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics.

The final in-class essay may
exhibit less control of language than the revised essays, but will be
thoughtful, well-organized, and adequately developed. The student is clearly
ready for English 096.

5    Strong

A 5 portfolio demonstrates
strong writing ability. Revised essays in a 5 portfolio typically

  • exhibit
    a sense of purpose and audience
  • address
    the topic clearly, but may respond to some aspects of the assignment more
    effectively than others.
  • are
    clearly focused and organized, with main ideas supported by appropriate
    reasons and examples.
  • show
    improvement over successive drafts, when necessary.
  • use
    diction, phrasing, and syntax correctly and effectively.
  • may
    have a few errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics, but nothing that confuses or
    distracts the reader.

The final in-class essay may
exhibit less control of language than the revised essays, but overall will be
focused, organized, and adequately developed. The student is ready for English
096.

4    Adequate

A 4 portfolio demonstrates
adequate writing ability. Revised essays in a 4 portfolio typically

  • exhibit
    a sense of purpose and audience
  • address
    the topic adequately, but may respond to some aspects of the assignment less
    effectively than others.
  • are
    reasonably well-focused and organized, with main ideas supported by reasons
    and examples.
  • show
    improvement over successive drafts.
  • demonstrate basic
    competence in diction, phrasing, and sentence structure, although there may be some
    imprecision and/or repetitiveness.
  • may
    have some errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics, but these will be neither
    serious enough to confuse nor frequent enough to distract the reader.

The final in-class essay may
exhibit less control of language, have occasional lapses of focus, some uneven
development, or a mechanical organization, but it will respond to the topic at
least minimally or implicitly. The student will benefit from the challenge of
English 096.

3    Inadequate

A 3 portfolio demonstrates
developing competence, but is flawed in some significant way(s). Revised essays
in a 3 portfolio may

  • not
    exhibit a sense of purpose and audience
  • not
    address the topic adequately or might neglect aspects of the task.
  • be
    lacking in focus or unclearly organized; may consist mostly of
    generalizations without support or details without conclusions.
  • not
    show meaningful improvement over successive drafts, suggesting the writer
    does not yet understand how to revise effectively.
  • lack
    control of diction, phrasing, and sentence structure.
  • lack
    control of diction, phrasing, and sentence structure.
  • have
    errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that are serious enough to confuse
    or frequent enough to distract the reader.

The final in-class essay often
exhibits very limited control of language, and may be marked by lapses of focus,
uneven development, and poor organization. The student would benefit from
repeating English 095.

2    Very
Weak

A 2 portfolio is
seriously flawed, and generally is marked by more than one of the
following characteristics. Revised essays in a 2 portfolio may

  • not
    exhibit any sense of purpose or audience
  • significantly
    misunderstand the topic or neglect important aspects of the task.
  • be
    incoherently organized or lacking in focus, with inadequate development of
    ideas.
  • not
    show meaningful improvement over successive drafts, suggesting the writer's
    inability to respond to instruction.
  • be
    confusing in diction, phrasing, and sentence structure.
  • have
    frequent and serious errors that interfere with meaning.

The final in-class essay often
exhibits very limited control of language, and may be marked by lapses of focus,
uneven development, and poor organization.

1    Incomplete

A 1 portfolio is
incomplete in significant ways (for instance, does not have drafts of essays
or other required materials or is missing one or more essays).