11.229 Holistic Rubric

PointsEssay Characteristics
  • Excellent organization of ideas 
  • Clarity and conciseness 
  • Be virtually error-free in grammar and usage
  • Displays the features of a 6-point essay, but be slightly weaker in organization, clarity, and grammar
  • Lacks the organizational and structural sophistication of a 5- or 6-point essay  
  • Basic competence in grammar and usage 
  • Overly formulaic organization or lacking organization 
  • Lack of clarity with vague and wordy construction (excessive use of passive voice, excessive nominalization) 
  • Problems with grammar and usage 
  • Compounds the problems of a 3-point essay and displays: Significant flaws in organization
  • Lack of overall coherence and usage of terms without prior definition
  • Consistent flaws in syntax, diction, grammar, or spelling
  • Compounds the weaknesses of a 2-point essay


Cherie Miot Abbanat. 11.229 Advanced Writing Seminar. Spring 2004. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.