Essay Grading Rubric

STUDENT:                                                               ESSAY:                                                                    








Excellent to Very Good: There is one clear, well-focused thesis. Excellent command of subject matter. Evidence of independent thought. Supporting arguments relate to main claim & are well organized. Thesis stands out and is supported by details. Relevant, telling, quality details give important information, going beyond the obvious or predictable.
32-25 Good to Adequate: Thesis is clear but supporting information is general. A reasonable command of subject matter. A capacity for independent thought, though not fully realized. Sufficent substantiation of claim. Supporting details are relevant, but one or more key issues is unsupported.
24-17 Fair to Poor: Thesis is somewhat clear but more supporting details are needed. Relative absence of independent thought. Inconsistent substantiation of claim. Supporting details and information are somewhat relevant, but key points are unsupported.
16-0 Failing: Vague or unclear thesis. Inadequate command of subject matter. Unexamined, cliched thinking. Inadequate substantiation of claims. Supporting details are a seemingly random collection of information, unclear, or not related to the topic.




Excellent to Very Good: Clear Organization. Introduction is inviting, states the thesis, and previews the structure of the paper. Details are in logical order. Conclusion is strong and states the point of the paper.
24-19 Good to Adequate: Clear organization.  Introduction clearly states thesis and previews structure, but is not particularly inviting to reader. Details are in logical order, but may be presented in less interesting ways. Conclusion is recognizable and ties up almost all loose ends.
18-13 Fair to Poor: Significant lapses in organization. Introduction states thesis but does not adequately preview the structure, nor is it particularly inviting.  Some details not in logical or expected order and this is distracting. Conclusion is recognizable, but does not tie up all loose ends.
12-0 Failing: Poor, hard-to-follow organization. There is no clear introduction of the main topic or structure of the paper.  There is no clear conclusion, the paper just ends. Little or no employment of supporting evidence - reader left to fill in gaps; thesis meagerly (if at all) established and introduction vague or too brief + weak or non-existent conclusion = seeming total disregard for progression of ideas




Excellent to Very Good: Extremely fluent and articulate relation of ideas; effective, powerful tone and language use; quotes, paraphrases and summaries expertly woven into own writing; structural design versatile and complex. A variety of thoughtful transitions show how ideas are connected. Pacing is well-controlled. 
17-14 Good to Adequate: Reasonably fluent relation of ideas ; attempt at tone and language use somewhat effective; quotes, paraphrases and summaries left wholly or partially disconnected, and/or repetitiously or formulaically set up; structure lacks variety and/or complexity. Transitions clearly show how ideas are connected, but there is little variety. Pacing is well-controlled, but there is a lack of elaboration in some areas. 
13-10 Fair to Poor: Problematic written voice (possibly halting, blunt, confusing, nonacademic) - ideas unclear; inappropriate and/or mundane tone & language use; quotes, paraphrases and summaries few and not employed properly ("stranded"); no attempt at sentence variability; generally repetitious tone and language. Some transitions work well; connections between other ideas are fuzzy. Pacing is well-controlled, but sometimes the same point is repeated.
9-0 Failing: incoherent relation of ideas; essentially no thought behind tone and language use; few or no appropriate quotes, paraphrases or summaries; faulty and/or inappropriate structural makeup and grammatical sense. Inadequate transitions between ideas and paragraphs. Pacing is uneven, same point repeated, or too much time on details.




Excellent to Very Good:  Few errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence stucture and grammar.
8-7 Good to Adequate: Occasional errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure and grammar, but meaning is not obscured.
6-5 Fair to Poor: Frequent errors of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure and grammar; meaning confused or obscured.
4-0 Failing: Dominated by errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure and grammar; meaning at times unidentifiable.
Total Score Overall Comments