The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors have the following grading guidelines for their annual Excellence in Writing Contest.
1. Clarity (1-15 points). No reader should ever have to read a sentence twice because of the way it's put together. SCORE __________
2. Lean writing (1-10 points) Deduct for unnecessary words and repetition. Give points for strong active verbs and deduct for overuse of adjectives and adverbs. SCORE __________
3. Style, Sparkle and Presentation (1-30 points) Give points for uniqueness, drama, and creativeness in telling of the story or reporting the facts. SCORE __________
4. Accuracy (1-15 points) Pertains to facts in general, but watch out for genealogical and historical errors, and/or misleading information, and deduct for same. This includes typographical errors and transpositions, even though they may or may not be the author's fault (obviously you have no way of knowing who made the error when grading published material). SCORE __________
5. Language (1-20 points) Watch the grammar, spelling (but allow for variant spellings—do not deduct for non-American English spelling), punctuation, and word usage. Deduct for clichés, qualifiers, platitudes and overused words, such as "very." Deduct for excessive and unnecessary punctuation, particularly the use of exclamation points. SCORE __________
6. Overall quality of the entry (1-10 points) Did the piece move you?__ Did you like it a lot?__ Does it stand out from the others?___ SCORE _________
7. TIE BREAKER. Judge's bonus (exactly 5 points). Use only to break a tie between entries. SCORE_____
Additional guidelines "Judges will not be influenced in any way by the size or status of the medium in which any entry might have been published. Judging is strictly based upon the entry's merits as listed below. Note: Judges do not know the names of the other judges for this contest, and the names of the judges are not released until after this year's contest winners have been announced."
DO THESE CRITERIA FIT WHEN JUDGING BLOGS?
Do you think the ISFHWE grading guidelines will also work in the newly developing "Blogs" category?
What about the fact that blogs can be highly personalized ~ using colloquialisms, for example? Does this cause the loss of points in section 5, but the addition of points in section 3 and perhaps 6 above? (So basically, it is a wash?)
Any other suggestions?
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy.