Article Response Paper rubric
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rubric code: 3M-FSPA

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  Level 1
(strongest)
Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
(weakest)
Thesis
sentence-level
  • - Not bad. Could be focused in a bit tighter, but it works.
  • - Not bad. It could be a bit more declarative to clearly tell the reader what you're arguing for and why it matters.
  • - Strong claim but needs the "So what?" to really be compelling and interesting.
  • - Lacks the "So what?" This is more of an introductory claim than an overall thesis.
  • - Not much of a thesis. Offers no hint as to why you're making this argument or why the reader should care.
  • - Is this your thesis? It's hard to tell. Remember that bolding your thesis is an assignment requirement.
  • - I doubt this is really your thesis.
  • - This IS a claim, but it isn't what you're arguing for in this paper. It isn't your thesis.
Article quote
sentence-level
  • - Solid choice. Evidence backs up your argument.
  • - Decent selection of evidence, though its connection to your point is a little weak.
  • - Only adds a little to your argument.
  • - Need the actual quotation. Paraphrasing won't suffice here.
  • - No quotation plops!! You have to integrate the quotation into the flow of your paragraph! This is just a cut-and-paste dump-in!
Class discussion quote
sentence-level
  • - Strong evidence that supports your argument.
  • - Decent evidence. It does speak to your point, though I think you probably could have found something a little stronger.
  • - Evidence seems only tangentially related to the point you're trying to make.
  • - Quotation is good, but too long. Just take the most important pieces.
  • - Quotation doesn't add much to your argument.
  • - This quotation is WAY too long. The quotations are supposed to back up your claims, not completely take over entire paragraphs. Try to limit yourself to only 1-3 sentences per quotation.
  • - No quotation plops!! You have to integrate the quotation into the flow of your paragraph! This is just a cut-and-paste dump-in!
Topic sentence
sentence-level
  • - Not bad. Clear statement of what you're arguing for in this paragraph.
  • - You do state a clear direction for the paragraph, but it could really use the "So what?" - it's not clear why this is important to your argument.
  • - Strong topic sentence, but might be taking on too much. Consider breaking this into two paragraphs.
  • - The reader can sort of guess where this paragraph is going but not exactly how or why it fits into your overall argument. Need to be a lot more clear in each topic sentence.
  • - Too vague and comes too late in the paragraph to be your topic sentence.
  • - Topic sentence comes way too late. Needs to be the first or second sentence in your paragraph.
  • - This is a statement, but not a topic sentence. It gives the reader no indication of what this paragraph is about.
  • - This is a trivial fact. It doesn't advance your argument nor does it tell the reader where this paragraph is headed.
Paragraph focus (  )
paragraph-level
  • - Pretty good focus overall.
  • - Really strong focus. Well done.
  • - Decent focus. A slightly stronger topic sentence would have helped the paragraph's focus.
  • - Decent focus despite the weak topic sentence.
  • - Good focus, but evidence would make the paragraph stronger.
  • - No glaring errors but I'm just lukewarm on this paragraph.
  • - Focus was okay, but without evidence it isn't convincing.
  • - The paragraph is overwhelmed by the quotation; there isn't enough of your own voice in there to move your argument forward.
  • - Focus is kind of irrelevant when the topic sentence is this weak.
  • - Without any real evidence, there just isn't much to focus on in this paragraph; it isn't convincing.
  • - Decent focus, but your topic sentence doesn't match what you're arguing.
  • - Paragraph seems incomplete - you didn't fully explore this phase of your argument.
  • - This is a jumbled mess. Needs to be edited and focused.
  • - I get where you're going here, but this paragraph needs more work to get focused on your point.
  • - One giant paragraph? Really? You know that is NEVER acceptable!
  • - Never start a paragraph with a quotation! Always set it up first with a strong topic sentence, then go into the evidence.
Attention to audience
whole document
  • - You do keep your focus on your audience and tailor your argument to appeal to them. Well done.
  • - You do try to keep the focus on your audience, but it begins to drift and isn't as directly relevant as it could be.
  • - You are trying to keep the focus on your audience, but your word choice makes this pointed toward a more general audience.
  • - It's not clear who your audience is; you don't seem to be writing to anyone in particular.
  • - Only a token effort to speak to your audience. Most of this is written to a non-existent, totally generic audience.
Organization
whole document
  • - There is an underlying organization present, but each paragraph needs to get more focused to clearly advance each phase of the argument.
  • - The basic structure is there. A bit more work and the organization will be very clear to the reader.
  • - There's just enough organization for it to hold together from paragraph to paragraph. Think about it in terms of an outline; is each paragraph really building toward your overall point? I think you'll see that the organization is somewhat random.
  • - There is organization, but it isn't quite flowing and connecting together as well as it should.
  • - The organization may or may not be okay, but it's hidden under the messy individual paragraphs. They make it impossible for this to seem like a well-structured argument.
  • - Without paragraph breaks it's impossible to discern much organization here.
  • - I have no clue what's going on here.


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