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Spanish 201 - Compositions

There are 5 graded compositions in this course. Each composition is 175-200 words long and counts as 4% of the final course grade.


STEP 1: On the dates assigned on the calendar, you will receive specific instructions about the topic and goal of the composition. You will write the first draft of your composition and submit it on the date assigned on the calendar. This first draft counts as 40% of the grade.

STEP 2: Your teacher will read the first draft of your composition and will return it to you in two days with general comments and feedback. They will mark your errors without correcting them. You will need to revise the content and organization, as suggested by your instructor, and correct all errors before submitting the final  version of the composition. The final version counts as 60% of the grade.

VERY IMPORTANT: All compositions must be WRITTEN BY THE STUDENT WITHOUT ASSISTANCE. All the work you submit for this class must have been completed by you. While writing your composition, you can use a dictionary and check the grammar charts in your textbook, but you ARE NOT ALLOWED TO USE AN ONLINE TRANSLATION PROGRAM. This will be considered CHEATING. 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”. If there is evidence in your composition that you used an internet translator (such as Google Translate), or you copied and paste from a book or website, or you received help from a native or fluent speaker of Spanish YOU WILL RECEIVE A GRADE OF 0.0 IN YOUR COMPOSITION AND WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO REPEAT IT. Visit the following webpage for more information on academic honesty, cheating, and plagiarism:

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

VERY IMPORTANT: Compositions will not be accepted after the due date. Please check the dates on the course calendar and make sure you make the necessary arrangements on your own calendar to be able to write and submit all versions of your composition on time. In case of illness or other justified reason, you need to contact your instructor as soon as possible to discuss possible alternative due dates.


Compositions will be graded on content, organization, grammar, vocabulary, and mechanics, as follows:

FIRST DRAFT: 15 points for content, 15 points for organization, 10 points for language use
FINAL VERSION: 10 points for content, 10 points for organization, 15 points for grammar, 15 points for vocabulary, 10 points for mechanics

If the composition shows evidence that at least part of the work submitted was not completed by the student without assistance, the student will receive a grade of 0.0 in ALL these sections.

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