(Source: http://personal.uncc.edu/medomoto/4200/writing/holistic_writing.htm)

Holistic vs. Analytic Scoring of Writing


Holistic Scoring:




9 Strong control of the language; proficiency and variety in grammatical usage with few significant errors; broad command of vocabulary and of idiomatic language




Good general control of grammatical structures despite some errors and/or some awkwardness of style. Good use of idioms and vocabulary. Reads smoothly overall.




Fair ability to express ideas in target language; correct use of simple grammatical structures or use of more complex structures without numerous serious errors. Some apt vocabulary and idioms. Occasional signs of fluency and sense of style.




Weak use of language with little control of grammatical structures. Limited vocabulary. Frequent use of anglicisms, which force interpretations on the part of the reader. Occasional redeeming features.




Clearly unacceptable from most points of view. Almost total lack of vocabulary resources, little or no sense of idiom and/or style. Essentially translated from English.
Floating point   A one-point bonus should be awarded for a coherent and well-organized essay or for a particularly inventive one.


Taken from Johnson's Grading the Advanced Placement Examination
in French Language
, Princeton, NJ: Advanced Placed Program
of the College Board, 1983.



Analytic Scoring:


Evaluation Criteria for Analytic Scoring



Grammar and Structures A = excellent control, very few errors 
B = comprehensible, some errors 
C = substantial and significant errors 
D = one or more blocks to communication 
F = unintelligible
Vocabulary Choice A = skilled use of vocabulary relevant to context; widely varied 
B = clear, appropriate, and sophisticated choice of vocabulary 
C = errors, but evidence of attempts at sophistication and appropriateness 
D = errors and/or inappropriate choice of vocabulary 
F = totally inappropriate choice of vocabulary masking meaning
Fluency and Creativity A = highly creative and original; extremely smooth text; amount of text commensurate with topic and content; good organization 
B = good degree of creativity; relatively smooth text; acceptable organization; sufficient amount of text 
C = some attempts at creativity; loose organization; text is rather monotonous due to lack of variety of structures 
D = hard to follow; organization undermines intelligibility; very little originality 
       and creativity 
F = no evidence of creativity; no attempt at organization; no apparent structure
Content and Relevance A = significant, interesting, appropriate; well thought-out; appropriate to assignment 
B = generally good work, but facts may be unsupported; repetitions or clichés may be apparent 
C = careless development of data relevant to content 
D = no effort to make content significant to the composition 
F = incoherent and wildly inappropriate content




Works Cited


Cooper, C. R. & Odell, L. (Eds.). (1977). Holistic Evaluation of Writing. In C.R. Cooper and L. Odell (Eds.),
            Evaluating Writing. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 3-31.

Hughes, A. (1989.) Testing for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Johnson, L. W. (1983). Grading the Advanced Placement Examination in French Language. Princeton, NJ:
            Advanced Placement Program of the College Board.

Scott, V. M. (1996). Rethinking Foreign Language Writing. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Terry, R. M. (1989). Teaching and Evaluating Writing as a Communicative Skill. Foreign Language Annals.
            22 (1): 43-54.

_____. (1992). Improving Inter-rater Reliability in Scoring Tests in Multisection Courses. AAUSC Issues in Language
            Program Direction: Development and Supervision of Teaching Assistants in Foreign Languages. Boston:
            Heinle & Heinle Publishers.