Rubric for research paper

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					Rubric – Research Paper (Academic and Technical Options)

Criteria             Exemplary               Good                    Acceptable                Unacceptable
Purpose (Thesis)     The writer’s central    The writing has a       The central purpose       The purpose or
                     purpose or              clear purpose or        or argument is not        argument is
                     argument is readily     argument, but may       consistently clear        generally unclear.
                     apparent to the         sometimes digress       throughout the
                     reader.                 from it.                paper.
Content              Balanced                Information             Information supports      Central purpose or
                     presentation of         provides reasonable     a central purpose or      argument is not
                     relevant and            support for a           argument at times.        clearly identified.
                     legitimate              central purpose or      Analysis is basic or      Analysis is vague or
                     information that        argument and            general. Reader gains     not evident. Reader
                     clearly supports a      displays evidence of    few insights.             is confused or may
                     central purpose or      a basic analysis of a                             be misinformed.
                     argument and            significant topic.
                     shows a thoughtful,     Reader gains some
                     in-depth analysis of    insights.
                     a significant topic.
                     Reader gains
                     important insights.
Organization and     The ideas are           The ideas are           In general, the writing   The writing is not
Outline              arranged logically      arranged logically      is arranged logically,    logically organized.
                     to support the          to support the          although occasionally     Frequently, ideas fail
                     purpose or              central purpose or      ideas fail to make        to make sense
                     argument. They          argument. They are      sense together. The       together. The reader
                     flow smoothly from      usually clearly         reader is fairly clear    cannot identify a line
                     one to another and      linked to each          about what writer         of reasoning and
                     are clearly linked to   other. For the most     intends.                  loses interest.
                     each other. The         part, the reader can
                     reader can follow       follow the line of
                     the line of             reasoning.
Quality of Writing   The writing is          The writing is          The writing is dull and   The writing has little
(Voice)              compelling. It          generally engaging,     unengaging. Though        personality. The
                     hooks the reader        but has some dry        the paper has some        reader quickly loses
                     and sustains            spots. In general, it   interesting parts, the    interest and stops
                     interest                is focused and          reader finds it           reading.
                     throughout.             keeps the reader’s      difficult to maintain
                                             attention.              interest.
Tone                 The tone is             The tone is             The tone is not           The tone is
                     consistently            generally               consistently              unprofessional. It is
                     professional and        professional. For       professional or           not appropriate for
                     appropriate for an      the most part, it is    appropriate for an        an academic or
                     academic research       appropriate for an      academic or technical     technical research
                     paper or for a          academic or             research paper.           paper.
                     technical one.          technical research
Sentence Structure   Sentences are well-     Sentences are well-     Some sentences are        Errors in sentence
                     phrased and varied      phrased and there       awkwardly                 structure are
                     in length and           is some variety in      constructed so that       frequent enough to
                     structure. They         length and              the reader is             be a major
                     flow smoothly from      structure. The flow     occasionally              distraction to the
                     one to another.         from sentence to        distracted.               reader.
                                             sentence is
                                             generally smooth.
Rubric – Research Paper (Academic and Technical Options)

Word Choice             Word choice is         Word choice is         Word choice is            Many words are
                        consistently precise   generally good. The    merely adequate, and      used inappropriately,
                        and accurate.          writer often goes      the range of words is     confusing the reader.
                                               beyond the generic     limited. Some words
                                               word to find one       are used
                                               more precise and       inappropriately.
Grammar, Spelling,      The writing is free    There are              The writing has many      There are so many
Writing Mechanics       or almost free of      occasional errors,     errors, and the reader    errors that meaning
(punctuation,           errors.                but they don’t         is distracted by them.    is obscured. The
italics,                                       represent a major                                reader is confused
capitalization, etc.)                          distraction or                                   and stops reading.
                                               obscure meaning.
Length                  Paper is the                                                            Paper has more or
                        number of pages                                                         fewer pages than
                        specified in the                                                        specified in the
                        assignment.                                                             assignment.

Use of References       Compelling             Professionally         Although attributions     References are
and Parenthetical       evidence from          legitimate sources     and citations are         seldom cited to
Citations               professionally         that support claims    occasionally given,       support statements.
                        legitimate sources     are generally          many statements
                        is given to support    present and            seem
                        claims. Attribution    attribution and        unsubstantiated. The
                        and citations are      citations are, for     reader is confused
                        clear and fairly       the most part, clear   about the source of
                        represented.           and fairly             information and
                                               represented.           ideas.
Quality of              References are         Although most of       Most of the               There are virtually no
References              primarily peer-        the references are     references are from       sources that are
                        reviewed               professionally         sources that are not      professionally
                        professional           legitimate, a few      peer-reviewed and         reliable. The reader
                        journals or other      are questionable       have uncertain            seriously doubts the
                        approved sources       (e.g., trade books,    reliability. The reader   value of the material
                        (e.g., government      internet sources,      doubts the accuracy       and stops reading.
                        documents, etc.).      popular magazines,     of much of the
                        The reader is          …). The reader is      material presented.
                        confident that the     uncertain of the
                        information and        reliability of some
                        ideas can be           of the sources.
Use of MLA Style        MLA format is used     MLA format is used     There are frequent        Format of the
Manual (academic)       accurately and         with minor errors.     errors in MLA format.     document is not
or                      consistently in the    Technical papers       Technical papers          recognizable as MLA.
Sources, notes, and     paper and on the       include some, but      include few sources       For technical papers,
information             “Works Cited”          not all, sources and   and few notes.            no source sheets or
(technical)             page. Source           notes.                                           notes are available
                        sheets are available                                                    for review.
                        for technical

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