4-Point Rubric for Novel Study Plot Summary
Use this rubric for guiding and assessing the plot summary for the novel study. Refer to it to help evaluate and
improve writing of the summary.
4 – The summary clearly states the conflict(s) of the novel (thesis) and uses textual evidence to support the
3 – The conflict(s) are not clearly identified; more textual support is needed.
2 – The conflict(s) are not clearly identified and no textual support is provided.
1 – The conflict(s) are not identified – there is no clear focus for the paper.
4 – The beginning is interesting and the middle supports the thesis. The ending explains how the conflict is
resolved and gives the writer’s opinion. Transitions are used.
3 – The paper has a beginning, middle, and ending that supports the thesis most of the time. Some transitions are
2 – The beginning or ending is weak. Not enough textual support is provided to support the thesis. More transitions
1 – There is no clear division between the beginning, middle and ending. The paper lacks proper organization.
Transitions are not used.
4 – The writer’s voice sounds knowledgeable and confident. He/she effectively uses facts and quotations and
maintains active voice. It suits the audience.
3 – The writer’s voice sounds knowledgeable most of the time and fits the audience. Writer uses some facts and
quotations. Writer uses active voice appropriately with one or two exceptions.
2 – The writer sounds unsure. It is unclear as to whether he/she understood the assignment. Few facts or
quotations are used. Writer slips into passive voice unnecessarily.
1 – The writer does not understand the use of voice. He/she uses the passive voice unnecessarily.
4 – Writer uses specific nouns and verbs which make the summary interesting and lively; clear and informative.
3 – Writer uses some specific nouns and verbs, but overuses certain words. Writer should use more variety.
2 – Specific nouns and verbs are needed. Certain words are trite and lack freshness. General or missing words
make the summary difficult to read.
1 – The writer needs help finding specific words.
4 – Sentences have flair and elegance. They are easily read and make the summary enjoyable.
3 – Most of the sentences are easily read, but some are short and choppy; others are run-on or fragments.
2 – Many sentences are short and choppy, run-ons or fragments and need to be rewritten.
1 – Most sentences need to be re-written.
4 – The paper is error free and correctly formatted using MLA style.
3 – The paper has some errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar or formatting.
2 – The paper has many errors which make it difficult to read.
1 – Help is needed to make corrections.
Sheila Hadden – Adapted from Great Source 4-Point Rubric for Expository Writing.