Monday, January 25, 2010


Question 1

(Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey’s Speech)

The score reflects the quality of the essay as a whole—its content, its style, its mechanics. Students are rewarded for what they do well. The score for an exceptionally well-written essay may be raised by 1 point above the otherwise appropriate score. In no case may a poorly written essay be scored higher than a 3.

9–8 These essays offer a persuasive analysis of Shakespeare’s use of literary
elements to convey Wolsey’s complex response to his dismissal from court. The essays offer a range of interpretations; they provide convincing readings of Wolsey’s complex response, Shakespeare’s use of literary devices, and the relationship between the two. They demonstrate consistent and effective control over the elements of composition in language appropriate to the analysis of poetic speech. Their textual references are apt and specific. Though they may not be error-free, these essays are perceptive in their analysis and demonstrate writing that is clear and sophisticated, and in the case of an essay earning a 9, especially persuasive.

7–6 These competent essays offer a reasonable analysis of Shakespeare’s use of literary elements to convey Wolsey’s complex response to his dismissal. They are less thorough or less precise in their discussion of Wolsey’s response and Shakespeare’s use of literary techniques, and their analysis of the relationship between the two is less convincing. These essays demonstrate the student’s ability to express ideas clearly with references to the text, although they do not exhibit the same level of effective writing as essays in the 9–8 scoring range. While essays scored 7–6 are generally well written, those scored a 7 demonstrate more sophistication in both substance and style.

5 These essays may respond to the assigned task with a plausible reading of Shakespeare’s use of literary elements to convey Wolsey’s response, but they may be superficial in their analysis of the speech. They often rely on paraphrase, but paraphrase that contains some analysis, implicit or explicit. Their analysis of Wolsey’s response or Shakespeare’s techniques may be vague, formulaic, or minimally supported by references to the text. There may be minor misinterpretations of the speech. The essays demonstrate some control of language, but the writing may be marred by surface errors. These essays are not as well conceived, organized, or developed as those in the 7–6 range.

4–3 These lower-half essays fail to offer an adequate analysis of the speech. The analysis may be partial, unconvincing, or irrelevant, or may ignore the complexity of Wolsey’s response or Shakespeare’s use of techniques. Evidence from the speech may be slight or misconstrued, or the essays may rely on paraphrase only. The writing often demonstrates a lack of control over the conventions of composition: inadequate development of ideas, accumulation of errors, or a focus that is unclear, inconsistent, or repetitive. Essays scored a 3 may contain significant misreading and/or demonstrate incompetent writing.

2–1 These essays compound the weaknesses of those in the 4–3 range. Although some attempt has been made to respond to the prompt, assertions are presented with little clarity, organization, or support from the speech. The essays may contain serious errors in grammar and mechanics. They may offer a complete misreading or be unacceptably brief. Essays scored a 1 contain little coherent discussion of the speech.

0 These essays do no more than make a reference to the task.

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