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Rubric for Final Essay

Rubric for Final Essay
Attributes Not Acceptable Emerging Developing Proficient
Title Insignificant. Logical, but dull. Indicative or suggestive of content of paper. Interesting, powerful and suggestive of content of paper.
Thesis statement/Controlling event or issue Lacks a thesis statement or clear controlling event or issue. Has a weak thesis statement or vague controlling event or issue. Establishes a thesis statement  but strays from controlling event or issue at times. Has a strong thesis statement and clearly focuses on controlling event or issue.
Support of main thesis/controlling ideas Fails to support thesis/ideas with details, examples, analysis or generalization. Limited, inconsistent or very weak support of thesis/ideas. Adequate support of thesis/ideas with details, examples, analysis or generalization. Thoughtfully supports  thesis/ideas with details, examples, analysis or generalization.
Variety & appropriateness of information sources selected Sources selected did not represent a reasonable variety. Criteria for selection not mentioned. Criteria for selection were superficial. Choices weak. Choices logical. Only partially or superficially explained criteria in terms of perspective, purpose, tone or discipline. Excellent choices. Fully articulated criteria in terms of perspective, purpose, tone or discipline.
Demonstrated level of understanding of different perspectives in sources Does not demonstrate an understanding of different perspectives in sources & often misinterprets or misrepresents perspectives. Demonstrates some understanding of different perspectives in sources, but occasionally misinterprets or misrepresents perspectives. Demonstrates a fair grasp of the different perspectives in sources. Demonstrates a consistent, deep and broad understanding of all perspectives represented by sources.
Discussing connections & relationships among the information sources Does not make connections or discuss relationships among the sources. Makes some attempt at connecting and relating the sources, but overall effort is ineffective or lacking in clarity. Discusses multiple connections and relationships among the sources, but with minor weaknesses or limitations in arguments or conclusions. Discusses multiple connections and relationships, drawing interesting conclusions with supporting evidence.
Relating book/biography reading to research discoveries Does not make any connections. Makes some connection but not in a substantive or meaningful way. Makes a good attempt at connecting book/biography and research discoveries. Connection between book/biography and research discoveries is clear & meaningful.
Organizing argument logically into coherent paper Reader cannot follow. Paper is not coherent or logically organized. Evidence of overall plan, but lacks either clear transitions or coherence. Clear overall plan but some minor problems with either coherence or transitions. Coherent argument, logically organized with clear smooth transitions.
Syntactic control and style Serious problems with clarity, diction, vocabulary, syntax, grammar and/or mechanics. Some problems with clarity, diction, syntax, grammar and/or mechanics. Little variety.  Control of syntax, grammar and diction but lacking in precision and variety. Precision of diction with syntactic variety and complexity.
Effective academic voice
 
Voice is inappropriate or inconsistent, too formal or informal; often overly vague or preachy. Voice sounds like a “skool” essay, written to fulfill an assignment, proficient and fluent but not engaged or unique. May sound canned, arrogant or close-minded. Voice is a good attempt at being fair and open-minded, ethically-aware, questioning, intellectually hard-working, engaged. Voice is curious, fair and open-minded, ethically-aware, questioning, intellectually hard-working, engaged.
Integrating sources No evidence or misuse of quotation, paraphrase and/or summary to support main argument. Problems with using quotation, paraphrase and/or summary to support main argument. Demonstrates competence in using quotation, paraphrase and summary. Makes sophisticated use of quotation, paraphrase and summary to support main arguments.
Citing sources in MLA style Source list incomplete, errors are major and numerous. All sources cited but there are numerous and major errors. All sources cited but there are numerous minor errors. Source list is complete and only minor errors.
 
Santa Clara University
Jill Goodman-Gould, Gail Gradowski                                                                               9 June 2011