Rubric for Written Work

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Rubric for Written Work





Governing Claim

(very important)

Paper has a clear, non-obvious, interesting claim that neither restates the question nor asks one without answering it

Paper has a clear claim but it may be obvious or a simple restatement of the question

Paper makes no clear claim


Topic is clearly defined and limited

Topic is defined but limits aren’t clear

Topic is either undefined or tries to do too much

Topic sentences

Each paragraph has a topic sentence that clearly links back to the thesis

Paragraphs have topic sentences but relationship to thesis is not always clear

No or few topic sentences; paragraphs not logically ordered


Choice of evidence

(very important)

Claim is supported with evidence drawn from the text that is analyzed creatively and thoughtfully

Claim is supported with textual evidence but analysis is minimal or evidence is obvious

Claim is either unsupported or evidence is irrelevant


Quotations are smoothly integrated into the text

Not all quotations fully integrated; some awkward moments

Quotations not integrated into sentences, introducing grammatical or logical errors


Each quotation is preceded or followed by analysis—at least 2 lines per quotation

Quotations are analyzed but some logical breaks or missing steps

Limited to no analysis of quotations; analysis never moves beyond paraphrase

Academic Integrity (pass/fail)

Sources are properly referenced

Essay lacks attribution for sources, whether course materials, online sources, or others



Paper has been copy-edited and has no grammatical or spelling errors

Paper is largely error-free but some errors remain

Paper has not been copy-edited


Writing is clear and graceful

Paper is usually clear and readable

Paper is awkward, repetitive, or hard to read.


(very important)

Paper is concise and diction is well-chosen; style shows attention to revision

Paper is generally concise, though some wordiness may remain

Paper is wordy and vague

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