Colleen McCready
Higher Education, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

English 1010: Composition I Diagnostic Essay


This is an assignment for a diagnostic essay to be used at the beginning of a composition I class to assess the students level of writing.

English 1010: Composition I Diagnostic Essay

This assignment is in a transparent framework. It is recommended if you use a rubric, or have different grading criteria, that you change the criteria section.

Assignment Name

Diagnostic Essay

Due date



Define the learning objectives, in language and terms that help students recognize how this assignment will benefit their learning. Indicate how these are connected with institutional learning outcomes, and how the specific knowledge and skills involved in this assignment will be important in students’ lives beyond the contexts of this assignment, this course, and this college.


The purpose of this assignment is to help you practice the following skills that are essential to your success in this course, in school, in this field, and in professional life beyond school:

  • Clear concise writing
  • Critical thinking
  • Articulation of thought process
  • Knowledge


  • Write a 1.5-2 page paper addressing the following prompt.
  • This is a personal reflection paper so no outside sources are needed.
  • Format your paper in MLA format in Microsoft Word.



Think of your life thus far. Who has been a major influence in your life? Provide three examples of how this person has influenced you. You must have an introduction, 3 body paragraphs and a conclusion.


Criteria for Success

A successful diagnostic essay will contain at minimum of 5 paragraphs to include an introduction, minimum of 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. You will address the prompt fully and adhere to MLA formatting guidelines.