FYS Portfolios

This scoring guide describes the criteria for evaluating students' portfolios.  While the standards address specific elements within individual texts, the final evaluation expresses a holistic evaluation of the complete set of materials. Although faculty use a six-point scale, the evaluations fundamentally divide into two groups: scores of 4-6 indicate a competently written set of texts, meeting standards of quality the faculty expect from students completing their first term at Coe; scores of 1-3 identify portfolios with significant inadequacies in fundamental writing skills.


6              Content: Texts insightfully explore pertinent issues; depth, fullness, and complexity of thought.

Organization: Focused and coherent organization.

Development: Telling details, penetrating examples or comparisons.

Style:  Smooth, effective mastery of diction, sentence variety, and transitions.

Editing & Mechanics:  Few, if any, errors in mechanics, usage, and sentence structure.


   5            Content:  Some depth and complexity of thought; worthwhile insights on important issues.

Organization:  Effectively organized, coherent writing.

Development:  Good development in some passages with supporting details.

Style:  Clear, efficient writing, though may lack the originality or power of a 6.

Editing & Mechanics:   Diction, sentence structure, & mechanics are solid; few editing errors.


    4             Content:  Addresses questions raised and explores issues, though less systematically
 than  5/6.

                 Shows clarity of thought but may lack complexity; not arresting in originality or power.

Organization:  Reasonable organization, though may be weak in some paragraphing or transitions.

Development: Some effective details; occasionally ideas may be left stranded.

Style: Basic competence in writing; some flexibility and variety in sentence structure.

Editing & Mechanics:  Occasional errors in mechanics and sentence structure, but most usage is accurate.


3                   Content:  May distort or neglect important dimensions of issues being discussed;    understanding of readings may be incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading; analysis is often
 superficial or full of stereotypes; development of ideas uncertain and unclear.

Organization:  tends to be simplistic, mechanical.

Development:  Absence of details, insufficient descriptions; examples are obvious or unoriginal.

Style:  Errors in sentence structure; limited sentence variety; unsure control of language.

Editing & Mechanics: Errors in usage and mechanics may occasionally interfere with reading.


2          Content:  Important tasks ignored or misunderstood; serious difficulty reading &  responding to texts;  serious errors in reasoning or developing key ideas; contradictions in statements.

Organization: Significant structural problems, necessary material missing or
 inappropriately placed.

Development:  Writing dominated by cliches and simplistic claims and support.

Style: Some basic composing skills but minimal sentence variety or flexibility.

Editing & Mechanics:   Frequent errors in sentence structure, usage, mechanics.


1          Content:   Major portions of portfolio not completed; compositions difficult to comprehend

Organization:  Overall impression of disorganization and confusion.

Development: Serious difficulties with developing ideas or examples and illustrations.

Style:  Writer is not in control of basic conventions of Standard English.

Editing & Mechanics:  Consistent, serious faults in sentence structure, usage, mechanics.




Student:                                                                                                           Instructor:


The portfolio evaluation is based on the reader's appraisal of each text according to five
primary criteria and an overall assessment of the portfolio as a set of interrelated texts.


1.  CONTENT (A top-rated portfolio demonstrates serious thinking and engagement with topics;
content should be accurate and precise, going beyond superficial discussion of issues)



2.  ORGANIZATION (Structure of paragraphs and papers appropriate to nature of content)




   3.  DEVELOPMENT (Effective use of examples, illustrations, quotes, details; significant ideas
explained and amplified)




 4.  STYLE   (Fluency, variety, and flexibility in sentences; good phrasing and word choice)




5.  EDITING & MECHANICS (Prose observes conventions of Standard English in grammar,
sentence structure, punctuation, spelling; appropriate manuscript preparation)





FINAL EVALUATION OF PORTFOLIO (Six-Point Scale)                                                          

6 = Cogent, well-articulated compositions; effectively organized & developed.

5 = Clean, clear writing; no major problems.

4 = Adequate writing; some flaws but mastery of most conventions for academic prose.

3 = Marginally competent writing; significant deficiencies in at least one of the five criteria.

2 = Significant deficiencies in at least two of the five criteria.

1 = Significant deficiencies in three or more of the five criteria.


Concluding Comments






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E-mail Dr. Bob Marrs with any questions, comments or suggestions.