# 6.2: Rubrics

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## WHAT IS A RUBRIC?

A rubric communicates expectations and creates consistent criteria and standards by which to evaluate a performance or project. In writing, a rubric allows teachers and students to evaluate an activity which can be complex and subjective. A rubric is aimed at accurate and fair assessment, fostering understanding, and indicating a way to proceed with subsequent learning and teaching. A rubric can also provide a basis for self-evaluation, reflection, and peer review.

### WHY ARE RUBRICS IMPORTANT?

Rubrics help to…

• bring objectivity to subjective scoring.
• take away the “guessing game” by providing students with consistent standards the teacher will be using to evaluate their writing.
• teach students to set learning goals and take the responsibility for their learning into their own hands by knowing what skills make up a desired performance so they can strive to achieve it.
• assist students in developing their personal ability to judge excellence, or the lack thereof, in their work and the work of others.
• assure students that there is equality in grading and standardized expectations.
• praise students’ strengths and identify their weaknesses because rubrics provide visual representations of areas of excellence and under-performance allowing easy identification of what areas to work on at a glance.
• provide a clear means for students to monitor their progress on specific criteria over a given period of instruction or time.
• ensure for teachers that they are evaluating student work fairly, clearly and thoroughly.

### HOW DO I DO IT?

The English professors at Skyline College have worked together to create a shared rubric so that regardless of English class or instructor, students will be evaluated according to a consistent set of criteria based on a shared understanding of writing fundamentals. All of the materials designed to instruct, evaluate and comment on student writing in this Rhetoric are based on that departmental rubric. Contained here are three different approaches using Skyline College’s English Departmental rubric to evaluate and comment on writing. These rubrics can be used by students to evaluate one another, and they can be used by instructors to evaluate students. This provides further consistency and shared expectations as the students and the instructor use the same evaluating tool.

## Composition Essay Rubric with Explanations

 For (author of paper): From (evaluator):

How to: Check the appropriate rubric boxes and provide explanations afterwards of the ratings.

Using the information: For areas where a writer receives “needs work” or “adequate,” review that area in the Rhetoric associated with that topic and use the advice when revising.

Assignment Fulfillment

Chap 3: Paper Topics
(95-109)
Essay does not respond to the assignment and/or fails to fulfill the requirements. Essay does not analyze the text(s). Essay responds to the assignment but fails to fulfill some of the requirements. Essay partially analyzes the text(s). Essay responds to the assignment and fulfills all of the requirements. Essay analyzes the text(s). Essay responds to the assignment and effectively fulfills all requirements. Essay thoroughly analyzes the text(s) in a meaningful and complex way.
Thesis

Chap 7: Thesis
(200-227)
Thesis is missing, unfocused or vague or the thesis does not respond to the text(s). Operating as a controlling idea for the essay, the thesis makes an argument about the text(s) but is simplistic and/or formulaic Operating as a controlling idea for the essay, the thesis makes a focused, direct, and thought-provoking argument about the text(s). Operating as a controlling idea for the essay, the thesis makes complex, enlightening argument about the text(s).
Organization/ Coherence/ Focus

Chap 8: Introductions & Conclusions
(228-242) and
Chap 9: Paragraphs
(243-261)

Essay has no clearly defined or apparent organization. Introduction fails to engage or orient the reader; body paragraphs lack focus or cohesion; there are no topic sentences; conclusion is abrupt or not evident. The essay is not unified around one clear argument.

The sequence of ideas is functional but may have abrupt or illogical shifts. Introduction attempts to engage and orient the reader; body paragraphs are focused but lack cohesion; topics sentences are functional; conclusion reiterates the purpose and major points of the essay but is formulaic. The essay is loosely unified around one clear argument but there are gaps. The sequence of ideas and transitions are effective. Introduction engages and orients the reader; body paragraphs are focused and cohesive; topic sentences are strong; conclusion illuminates the central idea and explores the larger implications and/or significance. The essay is unified around one clear argument. The sequence of ideas and transitions are seamless and fluid. Introduction is quick to capture reader interest and strongly orients the reader; body paragraphs are clearly focused and cohesive; conclusion provides sophisticated, thought-provoking, and convincing analysis into the larger implications and/or significance. The essay is tightly unified around one clear argument.
Development & Support

Chap 9: Paragraphs
(243-261)
Body paragraphs contain illogical reasoning. Body paragraphs contain summaries or generalizations that lack relevant supporting evidence and
analysis.
Body paragraphs contain some well-reasoned points but are sometimes illogical.. Body paragraphs offer some level of evidence and analysis which at times may be too
general.
Body paragraphs are mostly fair, reasonable and logical. Body paragraphs offer focused, convincing and somewhat original analysis of relevant evidence. Body paragraphs are consistently fair, reasonable and logical. Body paragraphs offer focused, richly developed, sophisticated, original, and convincing
analysis of relevant
evidence.
Use of Text

Chap 10: Integrating Sources (262-282)
Relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the reading and relevant sources to support and illustrate ideas are missing or inadequate. Neglects to or weakly integrates quotes and paraphrases to support and
illustrate ideas.
Relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the reading and relevant sources to support and illustrate ideas are adequate. Relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the reading and relevant sources to support and illustrate ideas are skillfully integrated. Relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the reading and relevant sources to support and illustrate ideas are not only selected and skillfully integrated but demonstrate deep use of the texts.
MLA Formatting and Documentation Skills

Chap 5: MLA
(170-182)
MLA format has not been used properly. Sources are not properly cited according to MLA format. Some MLA formatting has been used but is missing elements. Sources are properly cited using MLA format with occasional
lapses in usage.
Has properly used MLA format in title page, body of paper and page numbering. Sources are cited using MLA format with very few
lapses in usage.
Has properly used MLA format in title page, body of paper and page numbering. Sources are properly cited using MLA format correctly.
Sentence Style

Chap 13: Style
(320-349)
Sentences are either overly simplistic or confusingly worded. Sentences are not joined logically to show relationships between ideas. There is a lack of sentence variety Sentences are solid but sometimes choppy. Sentences could be joined more logically to show relationships between ideas. There is minimal sentence variety. Sentences are clear and direct. Sentences are joined logically to show relationships between ideas. Sentences demonstrate syntactical maturity through varied sentence structure. Sentences are fluid and graceful and are joined logically to show relationships between ideas. Sentences effectively demonstrate syntactical maturity through varied sentence structure.
Grammar

Chap 14: Grammar
(350-439)
Essay has frequent errors in grammar, usage and spelling.
4 or more errors per page.
Essay has some errors in grammar, usage and spelling.
3 or fewer errors per page.
Essay has occasional errors in grammar, usage and spelling. 2 or fewer errors per page. Essay has few, if any, grammatical or proofreading
errors. 1 or fewer errors per page.

Comments: further explanations behind the scoring choices along with revision advice (for more commenting space, insert electronically or attach additional page)

## Literature Essay Rubric with Explanations

 For (author of paper): From (evaluator):

How to: Check the appropriate rubric boxes and provide explanations afterwards of the ratings.

Using the information: For areas where a writer receives “needs work” or “adequate,” review that area in the Rhetoric associated with that topic and use the advice when revising.

Assignment Fulfillment

Chap 3: Paper Topics
(95-109)
Essay does not respond to the assignment and/or fails to fulfill the requirements. Essay does not analyze the text(s). Essay responds to the assignment but fails to fulfill some of the requirements. Essay partially analyzes the text(s). Essay responds to the assignment and fulfills all of the requirements. Essay analyzes the text(s). Essay responds to the assignment and effectively fulfills all requirements. Essay thoroughly analyzes the text(s) in a meaningful and complex way.
Literary Analysis

Chap 12: Literature
(295-319)
Essay does not include literary analysis or criticism. Essay neglects to evaluate or analyze literary theme(s) or techniques. Essay uses simple but inconsistent literary analysis and criticism. Essay provides basic level evaluation and analysis of literary theme(s) and techniques. Essay provides probing literary analysis and criticism. Essay provides a thorough evaluation and analysis of literary theme(s) and techniques. Essay applies thought-provoking and complex literary analysis and criticism. Essay engages in a sophisticated and original evaluation and analysis of literary theme(s) and
techniques.
Thesis

Chap 7: Thesis
(200-227)
Thesis is missing, unfocused or vague or the thesis does not respond to the text(s). Operating as a controlling idea for the essay, the thesis makes an argument about the text(s) but is simplistic and/or formulaic. Operating as a controlling idea for the essay, the thesis makes a focused, direct, and thought-provoking argument about the text(s). Operating as a controlling idea for the essay, the thesis makes complex, enlightening argument about the text(s).
Organization/ Coherence/ Focus

Chap 8: Introductions & Conclusions
(228-242) and
Chap 9: Paragraphs
(243-261)

Essay has no clearly defined or apparent organization. Introduction fails to engage or orient the reader; body paragraphs lack focus or cohesion; there are no topic sentences; conclusion is abrupt or not evident. The essay is not unified around one clear argument.

The sequence of ideas is functional but may have abrupt or illogical shifts. Introduction attempts to engage and orient the reader; body paragraphs are focused but lack cohesion; topics sentences are functional; conclusion reiterates the purpose and major points of the essay but is formulaic. The essay is loosely unified around one clear argument but there are gaps. The sequence of ideas and transitions are effective. Introduction engages and orients the reader; body paragraphs are focused and cohesive; topic sentences are strong; conclusion illuminates the central idea and explores the larger implications and/or significance. The essay is unified around one clear argument. The sequence of ideas and transitions are seamless and fluid. Introduction is quick to capture reader interest and strongly orients the reader; body paragraphs are clearly focused and cohesive; conclusion provides sophisticated, thought-provoking, and convincing analysis into the larger implications and/or significance. The essay is tightly unified around one clear argument.
Development & Support

Chap 9: Paragraphs
(243-261)
Body paragraphs contain illogical reasoning. Body paragraphs contain summaries or generalizations that lack relevant supporting evidence and analysis. Body paragraphs contain some well-reasoned points but are sometimes illogical.. Body paragraphs offer some level of evidence and analysis which at times may be too
general.
Body paragraphs are mostly fair, reasonable and logical. Body paragraphs offer focused, convincing and somewhat original analysis of relevant evidence. Body paragraphs are consistently fair, reasonable and logical. Body paragraphs offer focused, richly developed, sophisticated, original, and convincing analysis of relevant
evidence.

Use of Text

Chap 10: Integrating Sources (262-282)
Relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the reading and relevant sources to support and illustrate ideas are missing or inadequate. Neglects to or weakly integrates quotes and paraphrases to support and
illustrate ideas.
Relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the reading and relevant sources to support and illustrate ideas are adequate. Relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the reading and relevant sources to support and illustrate ideas are skillfully integrated. Relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the reading and relevant sources to support and illustrate ideas are not only selected and skillfully integrated but demonstrate deep use of the texts.

MLA Formatting and Documentation Skills

Chap 5: MLA
(170-182)
MLA format has not been used properly. Sources are not properly cited according to MLA format. Some MLA formatting has been used but is missing elements. Sources are properly cited using MLA format with occasional
lapses in usage.
Has properly used MLA format in title page, body of paper and page numbering. Sources are cited using MLA format with very few
lapses in usage.
Has properly used MLA format in title page, body of paper and page numbering. Sources are properly cited using MLA format correctly.
Sentence Style

Chap 13: Style
(320-349)
Sentences are either overly simplistic or confusingly worded. Sentences are not joined logically to show relationships between ideas. There is a lack of sentence variety. Sentences are solid but sometimes choppy. Sentences could be joined more logically to show relationships between ideas. There is minimal sentence variety. Sentences are clear and direct. Sentences are joined logically to show relationships between ideas. Sentences demonstrate syntactical maturity through varied sentence structure. Sentences are fluid and graceful and are joined logically to show relationships between ideas. Sentences effectively demonstrate syntactical maturity through varied sentence structure.
Grammar

Chap 14: Grammar
(350-439)
Essay has frequent errors in grammar, usage and spelling.
4 or more errors
per page.
Essay has some errors in grammar, usage and spelling.
3 or fewer errors per page.
Essay has occasional errors in grammar, usage and spelling. 2 or fewer errors per page. Essay has few, if any, grammatical or proofreading
errors. 1 or fewer errors per page.

Comments: further explanations behind the scoring choices along with revision advice (for more commenting space, insert electronically or attach additional page)

## Composition Essay Rubric

 For (author of paper): From (evaluator):

How to: Check the appropriate rubric boxes and provide explanations afterwards of the ratings.

Using the information: For areas where a writer receives “needs work” or “adequate,” review that area in the Rhetoric associated with that topic (link below) and use the advice when revising.

Criteria needs work adequate good excellent
Assignment Fulfillment
Does the essay respond to all parts of the assignment and effectively fulfill all the requirements? Is the essay an analysis of/argument about the text(s)? www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/3Papertopics.htm

Thesis/Controlling Idea
Is the thesis a controlling idea for the essay? Is it clear and arguable? Does it have a clear “so what?” stating a larger significance? Is the thesis a response to and an analysis of the text(s)?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/7Thesis.htm

Organization/Coherence/Focus
Is the introduction quick to capture reader interest and strongly orient the reader? Is there a logical order of ideas with clear transitions? Are there strong topic sentences? Does the writer stay on topic within each paragraph? Does the conclusion lead to larger implications and/or significance? Is the overall essay unified around one clear argument? www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/9Paragraphs.htm
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/8Introductions-Conclusions.htm

Development/Support
Are the arguments fair, reasonable, and logical? Is the evidence in the body paragraphs consistently focused on a clear supporting point? Are body paragraphs fully developed, insightful, and convincing? Is there a balance of textual support and the student’s own analysis?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/9Paragraphs.htm

Use of Text
Are relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the text skillfully integrated to support and illustrate ideas? Do they demonstrate sophisticated use of the text(s)?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/10IntegratingSources.htm

MLA Formatting and Documentation Skills
Has MLA format been used including title page and page numbers?
Are the sources cited within the essay and in the Works Cited done correctly according to MLA format?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/5MLA.htm

Sentence Style
Do the sentences flow well? Does the writer join sentences to show relationships between ideas? Is there sentence variety?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/13Style.htm

Grammar
Is the essay proofread paying attention to grammar, punctuation, and www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/14Grammar.htm
4 or more errors/page 3 or fewer
errors/page
2 or fewer
errors/page
1 or fewer
errors/page

Comments: further explanations behind the scoring choices along with revision advice (for more commenting space, insert electronically or attach additional page)

## Literature Essay Rubric

How to: Check the appropriate rubric boxes and provide explanations afterwards of the ratings.

Using the information: For areas where a writer receives “needs work” or “adequate,” review that area in the Rhetoric associated with that topic (link below) and use the advice when revising.

Criteria needs work adequate good excellent
Assignment Fulfillment
Does the essay respond to all parts of the assignment and effectively fulfill all the requirements? Is the essay an analysis of/argument about the text(s)? www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/3Papertopics.htm

Literary Analysis
Has the essay included literary analysis and criticism? Has the essay effectively evaluated and analyzed literary theme(s) and techniques?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/12Literature.htm

Thesis/Controlling Idea
Is the thesis a controlling idea for the essay? Is it clear and arguable? Does it have a clear “so what?” stating a larger significance? Is the thesis a response to and an analysis of the text(s)?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/7Thesis.htm

Organization/Coherence/Focus
Is the introduction quick to capture reader interest and strongly orient the reader? Is there a logical order of ideas with clear transitions? Are there strong topic sentences? Does the writer stay on topic within each paragraph? Does the conclusion lead to larger implications and/or significance? Is the overall essay unified around one clear argument? www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/9Paragraphs.htm
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/8Introductions-Conclusions.htm

Development/Support
Are the arguments fair, reasonable, and logical? Is the evidence in the body paragraphs consistently focused on a clear supporting point? Are body paragraphs fully developed, insightful, and convincing? Is there a balance of textual support and the student’s own analysis?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/9Paragraphs.htm

Use of Text
Are relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the text skillfully integrated to support and illustrate ideas? Do they demonstrate sophisticated use of the text(s)?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/10IntegratingSources.htm

MLA Formatting and Documentation Skills
Has MLA format been used including title page and page numbers?
Are the sources cited within the essay and in the Works Cited done correctly according to MLA format?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/5MLA.htm

Sentence Style
Do the sentences flow well? Does the writer join sentences to show relationships between ideas? Is there sentence variety?
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/13Style.htm

Grammar
Is the essay proofread paying attention to grammar, punctuation, and spelling? www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/14Grammar.htm
4 or more errors/page 3 or fewer
errors/page
2 or fewer
errors/page
1 or fewer
errors/page

Comments: further explanations behind the scoring choices along with revision advice (for more commenting space, insert electronically or attach additional page)

## Composition Essay Rubric with Integrated Comments

 For (author of paper): From (evaluator):

How to: Check the appropriate rubric box and provide an explanation of the ratings by answering the questions below. Fill out each section thoroughly to provide thoughtful and comprehensive feedback.

Using the information: For areas where a writer receives “needs work” or “adequate,” review that area in the Rhetoric associated with that topic (link below) and use the advice when revising.

 I. Assignment Fulfillment Does the essay respond to all parts of the assignment and effectively fulfill all the requirements? Is the essay an analysis of/argument about the text(s)? Comments:
Assignment Fulfillment needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/3Papertopics.htm

 II. Thesis/Controlling Idea Is the thesis a controlling idea for the essay? Is it clear and arguable? Does it have a clear “so what?” stating a larger significance? Is the thesis a response to and an analysis of the text(s)? Comments:
Thesis/Controlling Idea needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/7Thesis.htm

 III. Organization/Coherence/Focus Is the introduction quick to capture reader interest and strongly orient the reader? Is there a logical order of ideas with clear transitions? Are there strong topic sentences? Does the writer stay on topic within each paragraph? Does the conclusion lead to larger implications and/or significance? Is the overall essay unified around one clear argument? Comments:
Organization/Coherence/Focus needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/8Introductions-Conclusions.htm
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/9Paragraphs.htm

 IV. Development/Support Are the arguments fair, reasonable, and logical? Is the evidence in the body paragraphs consistently focused on a clear supporting point? Are body paragraphs fully developed, insightful, and convincing? Is there a balance of textual support and the student’s own analysis? Comments:
Development/Support needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/9Paragraphs.htm

 V. Use of Text Are relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the text skillfully integrated to support and illustrate ideas? Do they demonstrate sophisticated use of the text(s)? Comments:
Use of Text needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/10IntegratingSources.htm

 VI. MLA Formatting & Documentation Skills Has MLA format been used including title page and page numbers? Are the sources cited within the essay and in the Works Cited done correctly according to MLA format? Comments:
MLA Formatting & Documentation Skills needs work adequate good excellent

 VII. Sentence Style Do the sentences flow well? Does the writer join sentences to show relationships between ideas? Is there sentence variety? Comments:
Sentence Style needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/13Style.htm

 VIII. Grammar Is the essay proofread paying attention to grammar, punctuation, and spelling? Comments:
Grammar needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/14Grammar.htm

## Literature Essay Rubric with Integrated Comments

 For (author of paper): From (evaluator):

How to: Check the appropriate rubric box and provide an explanation of the ratings by answering the questions below. Fill out each section thoroughly to provide thoughtful and comprehensive feedback.

Using the information: For areas where a writer receives “needs work” or “adequate,” review that area in the Rhetoric associated with that topic (link below) and use the advice when revising.

 I. Assignment Fulfillment Does the essay respond to all parts of the assignment and effectively fulfill all the requirements? Is the essay an analysis of/argument about the text(s)? Comments:
Assignment Fulfillment needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/3Papertopics.htm

 II. Literary Analysis Has the essay included literary analysis and criticism? Has the essay effectively evaluated and analyzed literary theme(s) and techniques? Comments:
Literary Analysis needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/12Literature.htm

 III. Thesis/Controlling Idea Is the thesis a controlling idea for the essay? Is it clear and arguable? Does it have a clear “so what?” stating a larger significance? Is the thesis a response to and an analysis of the text(s)? Comments:
Thesis/Controlling Idea needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/7Thesis.htm

 IV. Organization/Coherence/Focus Is the introduction quick to capture reader interest and strongly orient the reader? Is there a logical order of ideas with clear transitions? Are there strong topic sentences? Does the writer stay on topic within each paragraph? Does the conclusion lead to larger implications and/or significance? Is the overall essay unified around one clear argument? Comments:
Organization/Coherence/Focus needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/8Introductions-Conclusions.htm
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/9Paragraphs.htm

 V. Development/Support Are the arguments fair, reasonable, and logical? Is the evidence in the body paragraphs consistently focused on a clear supporting point? Are body paragraphs fully developed, insightful, and convincing? Is there a balance of textual support and the student’s own analysis? Comments:
Development/Support needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/9Paragraphs.htm

 VI. Use of Text Are relevant quotes, paraphrases and concepts from the text skillfully integrated to support and illustrate ideas? Do they demonstrate sophisticated use of the text(s)? Comments:
Use of Text needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/10IntegratingSources.htm

 VII. MLA Formatting & Documentation Skills Has MLA format been used including title page and page numbers? Are the sources cited within the essay and in the Works Cited done correctly according to MLA format? Comments:
MLA Formatting & Documentation Skills needs work adequate good excellent
www.skylinecollege.edu/skyenglish/5MLA.htm

 VIII. Sentence Style Do the sentences flow well? Does the writer join sentences to show relationships between ideas? Is there sentence variety? Comments:
Sentence Style needs work adequate good excellent