Performance Assessment: Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay Introduction

This module will ask you to practice the stages of the writing process. You will develop an essay to be finalized by the end of this module.

The term “college student” corrals a wide range of types of students in a single term. It stands to reason that different groups of people have different motivations for entering higher education, different goals while they are there, and different definitions of success once they graduate.

For this essay, you will select a specific category of college students, define a practice that could lead to enhanced success for that category, and argue for the adoption of that practice.

The thesis for this essay will persuade readers in the target audience to adopt the practice you’ve identified, in order to help them achieve better outcomes while in college. The thesis will be supported in the body of the essay with evidence demonstrating why this practice will increase success and how it can be implemented.

Assignment Details

The final essay will be 750-1000 words long. It will include a thesis statement that is supported by evidence. It will be well-organized, and display evidence of careful application of the writing process.


In order to successfully complete this assessment, a submitted essay must reach “Meets or Exceeds Expectations” in all categories.

Criteria Ratings
Topic & Thesis Statement Meets or Exceeds Expectations

  • essay topic has been personalized to refine the assignment prompt
  • contains a clearly identifiable persuasive thesis statement that drives the essay content
Approaching Expectations

  • essay topic is a generic answer to the assignment prompt
  • contains a persuasive thesis statement that relates to most essay content
Does Not Meet Expectations

  • essay topic does not match the assignment prompt
  • does not contain a persuasive thesis statement, or thesis statement does not relate to most essay content
Evidence Meets or Exceeds Expectations

  • sufficient and varied evidence provided to justify the thesis statement
  • draws on academic and personal sources as needed
Approaching Expectations

  • insufficient evidence provided to justify the thesis statement
  • draws only upon personal sources (personal examples, anecdotes)
Does Not Meet Expectations

  • no evidence provided, or evidence does not justify the thesis statement
Organization Meets or Exceeds Expectations

  • contains a clearly identifiable introduction, body section, and conclusion
  • follows a logical pattern of development
  • applies transitions effectively
Approaching Expectations

  • contains an introduction, and/or body section, and/or conclusion
  • has a pattern of development, but needs further attention to paragraphing
  • insufficient use of transitions
Does Not Meet Expectations

  • missing introduction, body section, or conclusion elements
  • no clear pattern of development
  • little to no use of transitions
Editing and Proofreading Meets or Exceeds Expectations

  • evidence that higher-order editing concerns have been identified and addressed
  • evidence that lower-order proofreading concerns have been identified and addressed, though minor patterns of error might remain
Approaching Expectations

  • higher-order editing concerns may not have been addressed
  • lower-order editing concerns may not have been addressed.  Significant patterns of error remain.
Does Not Meet Expectations

  • fundamental issues with higher-order editing concerns present in draft
  • fundamental issues with lower-order editing concerns present in draft