Spanish 134 - Compositions

There are 6 graded compositions in this course, two in each part of the course (see calendar). Each of them counts as 3% of the final course grade.

These 6 compositions are 150-200 words long and involve several steps:

  • THE OUTLINE. Once your instructor has assigned the topic of your composition, you will need to write an outline. You will bring the outline to class on the dates identified in the calendar as "write in class". The outline is 5% of the grade.
  • THE FIRST DRAFT. Using this outline, you will write the first draft of your composition in class. You will submit it at the end of the class. Your instructor will give you general comments and feedback on your first draft, and will mark your errors without correcting them. The first draft is 35% of the grade.
    VERY IMPORTANT: The first draft of each composition needs to be written in class. If you are not in class and/or you do not submit a first draft, you will be not allowed to submit a final version and your grade for this composition will be zero.
  • THE FINAL VERSION. You will revise your compositions, correct these errors, and include your instructor’s comments, before submitting the final version.The final version is 60% of the grade.

Specific instructions about the topic and goal of each composition will be given by your instructor on the dates assigned on the calendar.

Compositions will be graded on content, organization, grammar, vocabulary, and mechanics. You need to print a COMPOSITION EVALUATION FORM. You will submit this form with every draft and version of the composition.

VERY IMPORTANT: All final versions must be typed, double spaced, with 1-inch margins, and using a 12-point font. Accent marks and special characters need to be typed too.

VERY IMPORTANT: Compositions will not be accepted after the due date.

VERY IMPORTANT: All compositions must be written by the student without assistance. Tutor services are available at the University of Washington to help you with grammar explanations and specific questions. However, a tutor cannot revise or correct your composition. The use of online translation programs is not allowed either.
According to the honesty code of the University of Washington, “you are guilty of cheating whenever you present as your own work something that you did not do. You are also guilty of cheating if you help someone else to cheat”. Visit the following webpage for more information on academic honesty, cheating, and plagiarism:



EXCELLENT: there is an established purpose and audience; all components of the writing prompt are thoroughly addressed; very complete information; ideas supported with detail and evidence; relevant; on target; answers What? Why? How?
GOOD: prompt is addressed, but not thoroughly; adequate information; some development of ideas; some ideas lack supporting detail or evidence: some ambiguity of purpose and/or audience; leaves the reader asking a few What? Why? How?
FAIR: purpose and/or audience unclear; limited information; ideas present but not developed; lack of supporting detail or evidence; insufficient length; leaves the reader asking What? Why? How? questions
POOR: minimal information; information lacks substance; inappropriate or irrelevant information; insufficient length
UNSATISFACTORY: not enough information to evaluate

EXCELLENT: required format (letter, essay, email, etc.) and length; logically and effectively ordered; main points and details are connected; fluent; not choppy whatsoever; appropriate introduction and conclusion, appropriate use of connectors
GOOD: correct format and length; an apparent order to the content is intended; somewhat choppy; loosely organized but main points do stand out although sequencing of ideas is not complete; weak introduction and/or conclusion, missing some connectors
FAIR: format acceptable; limited order to the content; lacks logical sequencing of ideas; ineffective ordering; very choppy; lack of connectors, lacking a logical introduction or conclusion
POOR: series of separate sentences with no transitions; disconnected ideas; no apparent order to the content; no introduction and/or conclusion
UNSATISFACTORY: format not acceptable; short essay; not enough information to evaluate

EXCELLENT: student demonstrates mastery of grammar presented in the chapter; many accurate examples of all grammar from lesson; very few errors in subject/verb, adjective/noun agreement; work was well edited for language
GOOD: several accurate examples of grammar presented in the chapter; possibly missing a few examples of grammar from the chapter; occasional errors in subject/verb or adjective/noun agreement; some editing for language evident but not complete
FAIR: a few accurate examples of grammar presented in lesson but not all; some errors in subject/verb agreement; some errors in adjective/noun agreement; erroneous use of language often impedes comprehensibility; work was poorly edited for language
POOR: very few accurate examples of grammar presented in lesson; frequent errors in subject/verb agreement; non-Spanish sentence structure; erroneous use of language makes the work mostly incomprehensible; no evidence of having edited the work for language
UNSATISFACTORY: not enough information to evaluate

EXCELLENT: student maximized opportunities for use of words presented in lesson; precise and effective word use and choice; variety of vocabulary
GOOD: several examples of words presented in lesson, but there was opportunity for more; some erroneous word usage or choice
FAIR: used a few words presented in the lesson; erroneous word use or choice leads to confused or obscured meaning; some literal translations and invented words; some words used repetitively
POOR: inadequate; repetitive; incorrect use or non‐use of words studied; literal translations; abundance of invented words
UNSATISFACTORY: not enough information to evaluate

EXCELLENT: correct format; double spaced; almost no errors in spelling, punctuation, or capitalization
GOOD: correct format; double spaced; very few errors in spelling, punctuation, or capitalization
FAIR: correct format; double spaced; few errors in punctuation, spelling, or capitalization
POOR: not double spaced; frequent errors in punctuation, spelling, or capitalization
UNSATISFACTORY: unacceptable format; very frequent errors in punctuation, spelling, or capitalization; no evidence of having edited the work for punctuation, spelling or capitalization