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Writing Skills Rubric

Unacceptable Beginning Competent Skilled Exemplary

1 2 3 4 5
Overall Overall position Overall Overall position Overall position
position is not is evident, but position is is clear and is well
evident. Topic often too clear with a developed. articulated and
as expressed is simplistic. sense of Topic is thoroughly

superficial or Topic is also developed interesting, developed.

undeveloped. simplistic and ideas. significant, and Topic is
one- Topic is is engaged from interesting,
dimensional. interesting several angles. significant, and
and significant, intellectually
but challenging
not deeply with multiple
explored facets
in needed addressed.
No Argumentative Argumentative Argumentative Argumentative
argumentative structure is structure is structure is structure is
structure is rudimentary. evident but evident. clearly evident.

evident. Claims are sometimes Objections are Objections are

Ideas are repeated rather simplistic. taken seriously taken seriously
unconnected. than developed. Objections are and typically and addressed
Few objections addressed but addressed fair- fair-mindedly
are addressed formulaically. mindedly. with great skill.
and may be
Claims are not Some claims Claims are Claims are Claims are
supported by are supported typically almost always supported by
reliable by valid, supported by supported by reliable, valid
evidence from reliable valid, reliable valid, reliable evidence from

credible evidence, but evidence from sources, so that credible

sources, support is credible the paper is sources and
making the inconsistent, sources, generally effectively
paper making the making the convincing. synthesized in
unconvincing paper less than paper for the a very
convincing. most part convincing
convincing. manner.
Ideas appear The paper is The The The
unconnected. organized, introduction introduction introduction
Several though provides some sets the context skillfully
paragraphs are simplistically. context for the for the paper captures
incoherent, Paragraphs are paper and and states a reader
lacking clear occasionally states a thesis, clear thesis. attention while
topic sentences incoherent, though in a Nearly all establishing
and developed without strong predictable paragraphs are the context for
by topic sentences way. coherent with the paper. All
restatement; and clear Paragraphs are strong topic paragraphs are
they may development. usually clear sentences, coherent with
contain An introduction with developing apt topic
irrelevant and conclusion serviceable systematically sentences,
information. are attempted topic so that meaning developed so

Paper shows but are sentences, is clear. Main the meaning is

serious lack of perfunctory or development, points are clear exceptionally
unity and formulaic. The and and logically clear and easy
coherence. introduction information. structured. to follow. All
Introduction may be overly Main points are Transitions the main ideas
and/or general and the logically provide a sense are clear and
conclusion may conclusion may structured. of coherence. logically
be weak, trite, simply restate Transitions The conclusion structured.
or nonexistent. the thesis. provide summarizes the Transitions
coherence, but paper and provide a
may be makes some strong sense of
formulaic. The effort to explore coherence. The
conclusion implications and conclusion
summarizes significance. summarizes
the paper but and explores
does not implications
explore and
implications or significance.
Awkward Awkward Phrasing is Clear phrasing, Skillful
phrasing, phrasing, generally appropriate phrasing, adept
unskillful or unskillful or effective; management of management of
inappropriate inappropriate voice/tone and voice and tone, voice and tone,

voice/tone, and voice/tone, and vocabulary are and vocabulary and apt word
unsophisticate unsophisticated generally enhance the choice create
d and/or and/or suitable for the papers ideas. an inviting
imprecise imprecise papers ideas paper.
vocabulary vocabulary and only
hinder distract from occasionally
understanding. the papers work against
ideas. its ideas.
Numerous Several errors Errors in There are There are very
errors in in grammar, grammar occasional few or no
grammar, usage, spelling, usage, spelling, errors in mechanical
usage, spelling and punctuation and grammar, errors in the

and distract the punctuation usage, spelling, paper.

punctuation reader and are noticeable, and punctuation Documentation
seriously impede but do not that do not of sources is
impede meaning. seriously impede the correct.
meaning. Problems with impede the reader.
Necessary needed reader. Documentation
documentation documentation Documentation of sources is
is missing. exist is usually correct.
The writer The writer The writer The writer The writer
struggles in presents a presents a presents a presents a
constructing significant significant significant and significant and
and presenting position that position that is thoughtful interesting
a significant falls shy of generally position that is position that is
position. being convincing, but for the most convincing and
Paragraphing convincing. has some part convincing. thought
and overall Overall weaknesses. Paragraphs are provoking.
organization organization Paragraphs are well organized Paragraphs are
hinder and support typically and contribute skillfully
effectiveness. need significant organized and to the organized and

Ideas are development. add to the development of add to the

asserted rather Frequent development of ideas. Support development of
than developed though not ideas. Support is good with ideas. Support
or are largely pervasive is good, but infrequent weak is sound with
underdevelope problems at the sometimes areas. rare or no
d. Language sentence-level. inadequate. Organization is weak areas.
suffers from Paragraphing is Organization is clear. Sentence-level
distracting inconsistent. evident but Sentence-level errors are rare
errors at the Marginal sometimes errors are to non-existent.
sentence level. college-level undeveloped. infrequent. Exemplary
Falls short of writing. There are Good college- college-level
college-level occasional but level writing. writing.
writing. not overly