NOTE: Information in italics is explanatory.
No discernable argument /
issue identified, representing an inadequate response to the assignment or prompt.
|Vague, confusing, overly general, unoriginal argument / issue identified, representing a simplistic response to the assignment or prompt.
|Adequate, appropriate argument / issue identified, representing a reasonable response to the assignment or prompt.
|Sophisticated, complex, insightful argument / issue identified, representing a nuanced, creative response to the assignment or prompt.
Quality of Source
We are trying to assess whether or not the student succeeded in searching/ finding/ selecting quality sources. We are attempting to assess their SEARCH skills here.
|Selection of sources was poor / weak.Most sources are of poor, unreliable, or indeterminate quality and authority, OR most sources are not adequately related to the topicOR sources fail to represent a reasonable variety appropriate to the topic.
|Selection of sources was inconsistent.Many sources are of marginal quality and authority, OR most sources are marginally related to the topicOR sources represent some attempt at variety, but large gaps are obvious, major sources missed.
|Selection of sources was adequate.Most sources appear reliable and of good quality and authority, and most sources are adequately related to the topic and sources represent major, obvious angles and perspectives appropriate to the topic.
|Selection of sources was sophisticated.Sources appear reliable, authoritative and of good or high quality, and sources are unambiguously related to the topic and, in their variety, represent all relevant and significant perspectives.
We are trying to assess whether or not the student can USE sources to produce something new.
Fails to use paraphrasing, summarizing, or quotations from sources / evidence in support of main ideas / arguments OR use of sources is consistently awkward or poorly done.
We will be getting papers occasionally where there was very little, or even no, research required so these will fall here! Generally, these authors will have failed to support their arguments with evidence.
Makes minimal, weak, inconsistent, or sporadic use of sources / evidence in support of main ideas / arguments or relies excessively on one or two sources.
At this level we will probably see some over reliance on 1 or 2 sources, maybe excessive quoting from a source, or only weak use of evidence in support of ideas. This is also where we will see the most "patchwriting," strings of quotes and paraphrases.
Adequate and generally appropriate use of sources / evidence to support most ideas / arguments.
At this level should see SOME excellent uses of evidence / sources alongside some awkward uses and/or some gaps in use or maybe a few places where additional sources or evidence was needed.
Consistent and sophisticated use of sources / evidence to support all main ideas / arguments.
At this level the "mechanics" of paraphrase, summary and quotation need to be virtually flawless and smooth. But, both the QUALITY & QUANTITY of the supporting sources needs to be there as well. Support has to be balanced and adequate to the argument.
Source / Evidence
We are trying to determine whether or not the student understands the nature of the information sources used. We are trying to measure their ability to evaluate their sources. HOW this will look in the student product can vary dramatically depending on the nature of the writing and the academic discipline.
|Fails to introduce, situate, or describe all or almost all of the sources / evidence.
Trivial, inaccurate or random introduction, contextualization, or situation of sources / evidence.
For example, student might preface a quote by simply saying it came from a scholarly article or say the author was a critic or researcher with no further contextualization or explanation of the relevance of that information. But there has to be some real effort along those lines, more than just a single example or incident to rise to Level 2.
Basic, accurate, yet unsophisticated introduction, contextualization, or situation of sources / evidence.
At this level we would expect to see the MOST IMPORTANT and OBVIOUS sources clearly contextualized, demonstrating that the author clearly understood the nature of the sources used as evidence. The difference between this and Level 4 is the completeness of the mastery. At this level not all sources will be accurately or completely contextualized. We will still be wondering whether or not the student fully understands what all the sources are.
Detailed, sophisticated, and accurate introduction, contextualization, or situation of sources / evidence.
At this level one would expect virtually all sources used as evidence to be contextualized in a manner appropriate to the rhetorical situation.
|Most sources are not completely cited and/or there is no evidence of a citation style.
|Most sources are sufficiently cited and there is some evidence of a citation style.
|Majority of sources are cited using a consistently applied citation style.
|All sources used in the body of the text are cited completely using a recognized citation style with few or no errors.