Assignment Rubric

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Consists of some of the basic elements of good writing: Word choice, sentence structure, paragraph unity, transitions, general organization.

  • 7 Demonstrates superior control of all elements of good writing.
  • 5 Demonstrates sufficient control of the elements of good writing to express ideas with reasonable clarity and organization.
  • 3 Has some problems with expression which could be improved by more attention to basic elements of good writing.
  • 1 The author’s basic meaning is difficult to infer reliably due to insufficient control of several elements of good writing


This rubric dimension is satisfied by an accurate and complete representation of information relevant to answering the question or topic posed by the paper prompt, as well as careful description of relevant studies, theories and concepts.

  • 7 Excellent selection and use of information, theories, and concepts. Presents a complete and detailed picture of the view, issue, or idea under discussion. The content addresses the thesis and the thesis addresses the topic.
  • 5 Has most of the information, theories, and concepts needed to answer the question. Very few, if any, inaccuracies.
  • 3 Missing some important elements of a complete answer to the question, and/or some significant inaccuracies. The content of the paper is not always focused on the thesis or the paper prompt.
  • 1 Missing substantial elements of the answer and / or includes irrelevant or inaccurate information. The paper is not focused on the topic.


The writing is organized by a clearly articulated thesis or central idea and is well supported with information, reflection, and argumentative or explanatory rationales. In extended writing the thesis is defending and developed by considering alternative versions and opposing views.

  • 7 Strong thesis or organizing idea, well-chosen information, and clearly articulated rationales, distinguishing explanation from justification, shows development by consideration of alternatives.
  • 5 A good thesis, possibly a bit too general or specific, but supported adequately.
  • 3 The thesis has some problems (e.g. vague, overly general or specific, doesn’t adequately address the problem). There is support, though it may not always be clearly stated or as substantial as needed for the thesis.
  • 1 Not much sign of a thesis and therefore no way to assess support. Or, a very weak thesis and supporting evidence and argumentation is incomplete or faulty.
  • This semester I will not be using the "Insight" dimension.


Insightful writing is particularly clear, takes a distinctive approach to the topic, and / or introduces new or particularly elegant ways of expressing ideas and problems.

  • 7 The author showed me an aspect of the topic or a way of looking at it that was novel, or particularly interesting, and/or elegantly expressed. The thesis or conclusion brought out a new aspect of the topic.
  • 5 The author made a statement in his or her thesis that clearly identified an interesting problem or issue. The thesis is clearly and insightfully stated and developed.
  • 3 The author communicated his or her point in a way that showed the basic problem or issue under consideration.
  • 1 The author is still having some difficulty treating the topic clearly and with understanding.