Travel Journal Grading Rubric
“A” (WOW) Journals:
In an interesting personal voice and style. It feels as though the writer is “in the story” and
reacting to people, places, and events. The unique culture of the Ibo is captured (their
religion, traditions, social relationships, language, etc.) The people are humanized. You are
living with them. You are informed as well as entertained. The journal is typed and while
spelling, punctuation, and grammar are not expected to be perfect, too many errors in
language affect your reader’s ability to enjoy the journal and may lead to a GOOD “B” rather
than a WOW “A” grade. This journal carries the reader from the beginning of Part ONE to
the end of the novel Remember, the WOW journal includes enough to information to capture
the culture, but does not include so much as to “rewrite” the novel. No one wants to read 15
pages. There is a WOW balance.
Your final entry covers Part TWO. It is an addendum that gives your feelings about what
happened to the Ibo people after you return to visit years later. Are you surprised at the
changes? How do you personally feel about what you see now? Your reactions are insightful!
You love this Wow journal because of its overall excellence!
“B” (GOOD) Journals:
This journal is good and accurate. It might feel a little less “personal” in its approach and
therefore, a little less interesting to the reader. While the Ibo culture is covered very well, it
feels more like a plot summary and the journal writer is not part of the story. Perhaps, it
covers Part One completely, but a little is a little less informative. Or, you might have the
sense the writer is unsure of what to include in the journal and so is including everything, and
you feel that the retelling is not catching the essence of the Ibo people. Part Two does not
express as insightful a reflection about what happens to the Ibos. The journal writer might
express sadness, but not express reasons for their feelings. It is good, but not as insightful.
Overall, this journal is still good, it may be a little less clear or a little less entertaining.
You recognize this journal as a good job, but it does not wow you.
“C” (Average) Journals:
Average journals lose their personal narrative style. You feel it is more of a plot summary
account. It may be shorter and skimpier. Too many important aspects of the Ibo culture are
and daily events have been left out. You see many writing errors, awkward wording, and
clarity problems that affect your enjoyment. You may feel they did not quite finish all of Part
One or capture the total essence and human qualities of the Ibo culture. Part Two has no
feelings or insights, but simply reports what happened.
This is an okay journal, but it lacks key aspects that would make it good.
“D” (Weak) Journals:
Very short. No personal voice. A simple plot outline. Incomplete/or “random” ideas with no
feeling of purpose. Not completely finished (Part Two is missing). Endless writing errors.
“F” (Why Bother?) Couple of pages. Covers only a few chapters. Last minute effort.