Grading Rubrics

Grading Rubric for the Formal Essay (6-8 pages)

 

F to D+: Limited effort, no clear argument, failure to offer any interpretation.

C: The essay offers some kind of interpretation of the text and demonstrates a reasonable grasp of grammatical rules; some ideas are clearly expressed.

C+: The essay contains a clear argument and a plausible interpretation of the text; some paragraphs have an identifiable focus; some ideas are clearly expressed, and a significant portion of the essay is grammatically correct. The essay contains some accurate citations of outside sources.

B-: The essay contains a clear thesis and a convincing interpretation of the text; all of the paragraphs have a clear focus and most of them have topic sentences; most of the ideas are clearly expressed; some of the assertions are supported with evidence from the text; most of the sentences obey grammatical rules. The essay introduces ideas from outside sources.

B: The essay contains a clear thesis and a convincing and interesting interpretation of the text; all of the paragraphs have a clear focus and most of them have topic sentences; most of the ideas are clearly expressed; the essay support many of its assertions with evidence from the text; almost all of the sentences follow grammatical rules; the style of the essay is smooth and easy to read. The essay offers relatively clear explanations of points made by other critics.

B+: The essay contains a clear thesis and a convincing and interesting interpretation of the text; some of the arguments demonstrate serious thought; all of the paragraphs have a clear focus; almost all of the ideas in the essay are clearly expressed; the essay supports almost all of its assertions with evidence from the text; there are no significant grammatical mistakes; the style is smooth and engaging. The essay offers lucid explanations of the arguments made by outside sources and uses these arguments to supports its thesis.

A-: The essay contains a clear and provocative thesis and a compelling and interesting interpretation of the text; many of the arguments demonstrate considerable thought; the essay reveals an ability to move beyond clichés and commonplace assumptions; the essay is well-organized; all of the ideas are clearly expressed; all of the assertions are supported with evidence from the text; the essay demonstrates an ability to interpret particular passages closely, with attention to the passages’ connotations and multiple meanings; there are no major grammatical mistakes; the style is smooth and involves a creative use of language.  The essay offers lucid explanations of the arguments made by outside sources and engages with these arguments in an intelligent fashion.

A: The essay offers an original or surprising perspective on the text and demonstrates careful critical thought; the essay is well organized; all of the ideas are clearly expressed; all of the assertions are supported with evidence from the text; the essay demonstrates an ability to interpret particular passages closely, with attention to the passages’ connotations and multiple meanings; there are no major grammatical mistakes; the style is smooth, very engaging, and involves a creative use of language. The essay offers lucid explanations of the arguments made by outside sources and engages with these arguments in a rigorous and careful manner.  

Grading Rubric for the short Response Papers (in-class and take-home)

F to D+: Limited effort, no clear argument, failure to answer the assigned question.

C: The essay offers an interpretation of the text and demonstrates a reasonable grasp of grammatical rules; some ideas are clearly expressed.

B- to B: The essay contains a clear argument and a convincing interpretation of the text; most of the ideas are clearly expressed; some of the assertions are supported with evidence from the text; most of the sentences obey grammatical rules.

B+ The essay contains a clear argument and a convincing and interesting interpretation of the text.  The analysis shows signs of serious thought.  Almost all of the ideas in the essay are clearly expressed; the essay supports almost all of its assertions with evidence from the text; there are no significant grammatical mistakes; the style is smooth and engaging.

A- to A: The essay contains a clear and provocative interpretation of the text, one that moves beyond clichés and commonplace assumptions and offers a surprising or original perspective.  All of the ideas are clearly expressed; all of the assertions are supported with evidence from the text.  The essay demonstrates an ability to interpret particular passages closely, with attention to the passages’ connotations and multiple meanings; there are no major grammatical mistakes; the style is smooth and involves a creative use of language.