Sample Undergraduate |
Essay Scoring Rubric
This rubric was developed for a particular set of courses and so may not be immediately applicable to one's own situation, but illustrates how students can be given clear direction and held to a high standard while still being allowed considerable latitude in choosing their own content and approach, thus retaining ownership of their written work. Be sure to adapt the grade range for each category to match local expectations and standards.
CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING TERM PAPERS
For all assignments in this module, it is expected that you will take a position and defend it with a logical argument. Be sure also to support your arguments with specific, concrete examples. The highest marks are reserved for those assignments that demonstrate insight and originality.
A - EXCELLENT (85 - 100) - A Markedly Exceptional Performance originality, insight, and creativity are demonstrated; the paper goes beyond repeating what others have said and contributes something new to our understanding of the topic
a comprehensive grasp of the subject matter is demonstrated, including an in-depth understanding of the relevant concepts, theories, and issues related to the topic addressed
an awareness of differing view-points is demonstrated and a rigorous assessment of these undertaken where relevant
an ability to think critically is demonstrated in the analysis, synthesis and evaluation of relevant information
a thoughtful statement of position is presented and defended through logical arguments and carefully selected supportive detail; the arguments presented build to a consistent conclusion
a clear, fluent, and concise style highlights a well-written, tightly argued, and logically structured essay
a virtually flawless mastery of all aspects of grammar, structure, and style is demonstrated
B - SUPERIOR (70 - 84) - Clearly Above Average Performance a thorough grasp of the subject matter is demonstrated
an awareness of differing view-points is demonstrated and an assessment of these attempted where relevant
the paper goes beyond description to interpretation, analysis, synthesis and evaluation
a position is adopted and logically argued; appropriate supporting detail is supplied
a clear style which communicates well (but may contain occasional or minor flaws in the mechanics of spelling, grammar, sentence structure, etc.) is evident in the logical presentation of a reasonable argument
C - SATISFACTORY (55 - 69) - A Fully Competent Paper
a basic grasp of the subject matter is demonstrated
accurate information incorporating relevant sources and references is conveyed
a position is adopted and logically argued
an adequate attempt at analysis, synthesis, interpretation or evaluation is evident
an acceptable style demonstrates an awareness of, and attention to, the principles of paragraph development, sentence structure, grammar and spelling, etc.
D - POOR (40 - 54) - A Marginally Acceptable Paper
a lack of familiarity with the subject matter is demonstrated through the omission of key material, or through the misinterpretation of important concepts, theories or issues
a lack of critical thinking is evident in a paper which is more descriptive than interpretive; or in which the analysis and synthesis are logically flawed; or in which there is a reliance on assertion; or in which the relevance of supporting detail is questionable
a position is not taken, is hard to determine, or is inconsistent with arguments or information presented in the paper
there is a lack of originality and an over-reliance on material presented in class or in the assigned readings
written expression requires improvement in basic communication skills; or written communication is marred by inflated diction, overly complex sentence structures, or an obtuse style.
F - FAILING (0 - 39) - An Unacceptable Performance
a basic lack of understanding of the subject matter is demonstrated through gross misinterpretation or omissions
there is little attempt to go beyond description; or interpretation and analysis demonstrates gross error in logic or supporting detail; or little or no factual material is presented; or material presented contains gross factual error; or is completely irrelevant
written expression is disorganized, incoherent, poorly expressed, and contains unacceptably frequent or serious errors in grammar, sentence structure, and spelling
an attempt is made to use others' work without providing proper acknowledgment
an attempt is made to hand in a paper from another course without prior approval of the instructor
an attempt is made to write a paper on a topic other than that approved in writing by the instructor
an assignment contains racist, sexist, or other stereotyping content which calls into question the student's ability to meet KSA #6.
— marking criteria compiled by R. Runté and K. Mazurek