The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing,

Dear Esra,


This is a very interesting topic! Please see the rubric and my notes below to understand your grade on the Letter to the Editor Assignment:


Purpose & Focus: 11/15

Organization & Transitions:4 /5

Tone & Editing:4 /5

Overall Grade: 19/25


To understand the numerical scoring of this paper and areas for potential improvement, please consult the areas marked with an X in the following grading chart:


Content & Structure
  This letter does a great job of appealing to your readers, and I have no suggestions for improvement in terms of the basic content.
X A more effective or developed “hook” could help engage the reader from the beginning of the letter.
  This is an interesting topic, but it’s also rather broad. A more specific local approach would have been helpful.
X More context, background research, or evidence would have strengthened this letter.
X The purpose and focus of this letter could be clearer throughout. What publication is this aimed at? How might you appeal to the general readership of this specific newspaper more specifically?
X The selected publication seems inappropriate for the topic, or this isn’t a real publication.
X The purpose of this letter could be more specific throughout. What do you want your audience–the general readership of your local newspaper–to actually do? Some first steps (or a more specific action plan for them) would be helpful.
  The purpose and focus of this letter are unclear at times–and even when they are clear, they seem a little strange for this kind of paper, partly because there seem to be places in which you address the editor directly. In terms of both purpose and audience, it’s important to note that a “letter to the editor” generally isn’t about the newspaper itself or aimed at the actual editor. Instead, a letter to the editor is usually focused on some local issue or problem, and the audience is the readership of this specific newspaper (the community at large). How might you appeal to the general readership of this specific newspaper more specifically?
  Your solution would benefit from further development and specificity and/or deeper consideration of opposing arguments or pragmatic challenges.
  This letter is a bit too short and would benefit from further development.
x Further work on organization and/or transitions would strengthen this essay.
Editing Issues to Watch Out for in the Future
X Misspelled or misused words and/or names
X Run-on sentences
  Incomplete sentences
  Shifting verb tense
  Shifting point of view
X Awkward, unclear, or repetitive phrasing
X Missing words
  Capitalization errors
x Missing/misused commas
  Missing/misused apostrophes
  Misused colons or semicolons
  Problems with agreement
  Misplaced punctuation in relation to quotation marks
  Errors in end punctuation
  Spacing errors
  Missing or misused articles
  Misused hyphens



In regards to editing issues, you may want to consult the appropriate sections in the grammar handbook at the back of your textbook about these issues as well. (These are the cream-colored pages in the 8th or 9th edition or the blue pages in the 7th edition.) Once you’ve reviewed these sections as well as your paper, feel free to let me know if you have questions about any of these issues.


Other than that, this is good work!


All best wishes,




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