Descriptive Evaluation Language (From the 2014-2015 English 101 Course Materials)
We have elected to use descriptive verbs (emerging, progressing, and maturing) to evaluate students’ essays because verbs remind us that a piece of writing is always a work in progress. Over the years, we have found that the work that most students do in English 101 generally falls into one of three categories: Most work is clearly competent—good enough for the moment. It meets the basic requirements and shows a progressing development of the knowledge and rhetorical moves and strategies that we are teaching. Some work is not yet fully competent, although we see some evidence of the proto-moves beginning to surface or emerge. And some work clearly stands out in terms of the maturity of the questions and problems it addresses; the complexity, depth, and specificity of the thinking it demonstrates; and its rhetorical savviness and the attention to craft and language it displays.