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may be less detailed or precise. These essays demonstrate the student’s ability to express ideas
clearly but do not exhibit the same maturity or control as the very best essays. They are likely to be
briefer or more general and less well supported than the 9–8 essays.
5 These essays demonstrate some understanding of the poet’s attitudes, but they are more superficial
and less convincing than the upper-half essays. Discussion may center on only part of the prompt or
be inadequately supported by references to the text or overly generalized. Although the writing is
adequate to convey the student’s ideas and is not marred by distracting errors, these essays are not
as well conceived, organized, or developed as those in the upper half. 4–3 These lower-half essays reveal an incomplete understanding of the poem and/or a mistaken
conception of the task. They may discuss the description of the scene without addressing the
poem’s attitudes. Their assertions may be implausible or irrelevant or...
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