I. Understanding/Relevance: Has the author understood the prompt? Does the author treat it critically, i.e. with a precise and relevant formulation of a problem/question? 

II. Argumentation: Are the arguments persuasive, precise, coherent, and consistent, i.e. is this a piece of skillful reasoning? 

III. Use of concepts: Are important concepts explicated? Is the usage of concepts and the relations between them clear? 

IV. Structure: Is the essay structured into relevant segments? Is there a good flow? 

V. Originality: Is there evidence of independent thinking and originality of thought? Is it always clear who speaks (authorial voice)? 

VI. Tone: Is the style and tone adequate (fair, balanced, not ad hominem)?