Back to Syllabus

Assignment Criteria--Autobiographical Personal Essay

Based on our reading and class discussions, answering the questions below (questions we identified together in class) will help evaluate the Autobiographical Essay assignment:

1) Title: Does the essay’s title created interest and convey the general subject matter of the essay?

2) Is the essay’s purpose clear (even though it may not necessarily be overtly stated)? Say what you think that purpose is.

3) Is the essay in narrative form with a clear plot and tension? See pp. 145-6 in AB to refresh your memory of these terms.

4) Does the essay seem complete, finished? What more would need to be added to finish or complete the essay?

5) Is the setting well described? Is the time frame apparent?

6) Are characters well developed? Do they come alive as identifiable human beings?

7) Is the essay coherent? Do all the parts fit? Is the relationship between parts clear? Are transitions supplied to help make relationships clear?

8) Does the writer show rather than tell? Give a couple of examples.

9) Do the writer’s descriptions contain words which appeal to the senses--vision, touch, sound, smell, taste?

10) Is dialogue handled well? Can you easily tell who is speaking? Does the speech of the speakers seem appropriate to their characters?

11) Has the essay been carefully edited and proofread to eliminate errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and so on?

12) What was most interesting about the essay? What was especially good about the essay?

13) What were the one or two greatest weaknesses you noted in the essay? Advise the writer on how to address those weaknesses?