Grammar and usage contribute to clarity and style.

Paragraphing tends to be sound and reinforces the organizational structure


Spelling is usually correct or reasonably phonetic on common words, but more difficult words are problematic.

End punctuation is usually correct; internal punctuation (commas, apostrophes, semicolons, dashes, colons, parentheses) is sometimes missing/wrong.

Most words are capitalized correctly; control over more sophisticated capitalization skills may be spotty.

Problems with grammar or usage are not serious enough to distort meaning but may not be correct nor accurately applied all of the time.

Paragraphing is attempted but may run together or begin in the wrong places.

Moderate editing (a little of this, a little of that) would be required to polish the text for publication.


Spelling errors are frequent, even on common words.

Punctuation (including terminal punctuation) is often missing or incorrect.

Capitalization is random and only the easiest rules show awareness of correct use.

Errors in grammar or usage are very noticeable, frequent, and affect meaning.

Paragraphing is missing, irregular, or so frequent (every sentence) that it has no relationship to the organizational structure of the text.

The reader must read once to decode, then again for meaning.

Extensive editing (virtually every line) would be required to polish the text for publication.