Writing Assessment Criteria for Essay Writing (Advanced)







Grammatical Range and Accuracy

(Depending on the Level)

Uses a wide range of structures (e.g.  Excellent use of perfect tenses, proper tense changes, relative clauses)

Majority of sentences are error-free

Makes only very occasional errors

Uses a good variety of complex grammar and sentence forms

Makes some errors in complex sentences, but they rarely reduce communication.

Uses an adequate variety of grammar and sentence forms

Makes some errors in complex grammar as well as having a few errors in more basic forms.


Uses only a limited range of structures with only rare use of subordinate clauses

Makes basic grammar mistakes

Some structures are accurate but errors predominate

Attempts to form sentences; errors in grammar obscure meaning.

Cannot use sentence forms except in memorized phrases.

Lexical Resource

(Depending on the Level)

Uses a wide range of vocabulary fluently and flexibly to convey precise meaning.

Skillfully uses uncommon lexical items with occasional inaccuracies in word choice and collocations.

Produces almost no errors in spelling and/or word formation.

Uses a good range of vocabulary for the task.

Uses less common vocabulary but with a little inaccuracy

Makes few errors in spelling and/or word formation which do not obscure communication.

Uses an adequate range of vocabulary for the task.

Attempts to use less common vocabulary but with some inaccuracy

Makes some errors in spelling and/or word formation, but they do not obscure communication.

Uses a limited range of vocabulary, but this is minimally adequate for the task

Makes noticeable errors in spelling and/or word formation that may cause some difficulty for the reader

Uses only basic vocabulary which may be used repetitively or which may be inappropriate for the task

Has limited control of word formation and/or spelling;

Errors may cause strain for the reader

Coherence & Cohesion

Sequences information and ideas logically.

Manages all aspects of cohesion well, within and between paragraphs.

Uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately.

Uses a variety of level-appropriate cohesive devices

Arranges information and ideas coherently and there is a clear overall progression

Uses cohesive devices effectively, but cohesion within and/or between sentences may be faulty or mechanical


Presents information with some organization but there may be a lack of overall progression

Uses inadequate, inaccurate, repetitive cohesive devices

May be repetitive

Uses paragraphing, but not always logically

Has minimal organization and progression

Uses some basic cohesive devices but these may be inaccurate or repetitive.

Paragraphs only meets minimal length requirements

Presents information and ideas but without coherence or clear progression.

Few to no cohesive devices

May not use paragraphs or their use may be confusing.

Task Achievement



Fully satisfies all the requirements of the task

Clearly presents a fully developed response to the prompt

Includes a well-developed thesis

Great use of academically-appropriate, formal language

Generally addresses the task; the format may be inappropriate in places

Presents a clear purpose, with the tone consistent and appropriate to essay writing but could be more fully extended

Includes an adequate thesis

Attempts to address the task but does not cover all key features / bullet points; the format may be inappropriate

Some parts may be unclear, irrelevant, repetitive or inaccurate

Includes an attempt for thesis

Essay is somewhat shorter than the requirements

Essay is barely related or completely unrelated to the task

Language is inappropriate for formal writing

Essay is drastically shorter than the requirements


Capitalization & Punctuation




Almost no or few problems with capitalization or punctuation, which don’t interfere with the meaning.

Some mistakes with capitalization or punctuation that make some parts hard to follow and which cause the essay to look informal and unprofessional.

Too many problems with capitalization or punctuation which obscure the meaning.

*The parts shaded on the criteria show the score that an average student should get. So overall, an average student grade is around 21-22.