These are well-written essays. With apt and specific references to the passage, they analyze the prompt in depth and with appropriate support. These essays need not be without flaws, but they are characterized by an understanding of the passage and consistent control over the elements of effective writing. They demonstrate the writer’s ability to read with perception and to express ideas with clarity and skill.
These essays are less developed or aptly supported than those earning the best scores. They are, however, less precise, less thorough, or less convincing than that of the best essays. These essays may contain minor flaws in interpretation, or relate the analysis of style to the meaning of the passage less cogently than 8–9 essays. These essays demonstrate the writer’s ability to express ideas clearly, but with less maturity and control than the top essays.
The writer of these essays attempt to answer the question, but do so superficially or unconvincingly. The answer may be vague or limited, or the analysis of style may be cursory or lack appropriate examples. The writing is adequate to convey the writer’s thoughts, but these essays are not as well conceived, organized, or developed as upper-level essays. Often, they reveal simplistic thinking and/or immature writing.
The writers of these essays respond to the essay prompt incompletely. They may merely summarize or not respond adequately to part or all parts of the question. The