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College-Level Writing Rubric

Argumentative Essay
Masterful

Skilled

Able

Developing

Novice

Introduction and Thesis

(20)
Engaging and full development of a
clear thesis as appropriate to
assignment purpose.

(10)
Mostly strong ideas; thesis
is weak, unclear, too broad,
or only indirectly
supported.

Development and
Support (Evidence)

(20)
Consistent evidence with originality
and depth of ideas; ideas work
together as a unified whole; main
points are sufficiently supported (with
evidence); support is valid and
specific.
(20)
Organization is sequential and
appropriate to assignment; paragraphs
are appropriately divided; ideas
linked with effective transitions.
(10)
The writer does an outstanding job of
arguing a clear point. The writer uses
different strategies to make
persuasive and convincing points.
(10)
Each sentence structured effectively,
powerfully; rich, well-chosen variety
of sentence styles and length.

(15)
Competent and welldeveloped thesis; thesis
represents sound and
adequate understanding
of essay topic.
(15)
Ideas supported
sufficiently; support is
sound, valid and
logical.

(5)
Mostly simplistic and
unfocused ideas that lack
depth; little or no sense of
purpose or control of
thesis.
(5)
Insufficient, non-specific,
and/or irrelevant support.

(1)
Ideas are extremely
simplistic, showing signs of
misunderstanding the
prompt. Thesis is missing or
not discernable.
(1)
Lack of support for main
points; frequent and
illogical generalizations
without support.

(15)
Competent organization
and paragraph structure;
lacking effective
transitions.
(8)
The writer successfully
argues a clear point.
Most of the points are
convincing.
(8)
Effective and varied
sentences.

(5)
Organization is
unsuccessful. Paragraphs
were disconnected and
lacked transitions.
(4)
Though the writer makes a
couple of argumentative
statements, most of the
paper is summary.
(4)
Sentences show errors of
structure; little or no
variety; no grasp of
sentence flow.
(4)
Contains many
punctuation, spelling,
formatting, and/or
capitalization errors.
(4)
Errors of diction, and
usage, are evident.

(1)
Organization, if evident at
all, is confusing and
disjointed; paragraph
structure is weak.
(1)
The entire paper is
summary.

Developing

Novice

Structure, Organization

Purpose

Sentence Structure
(Grammar)
Mechanics and
Presentation
(MLAStyle)
Vocabulary and Word
Usage

(10)
Main points and ideas are
only indirectly supported;
support isnt sufficient or
specific, but is loosely
relevant to main points.

(10)
Virtually free of punctuation,
spelling, capitalization errors;
appropriate MLA format and
presentation for assignment.
(10)
Exceptional vocabulary range,
accuracy, and correct and effective
word usage.

(8)
Contains only
occasional punctuation,
spelling, and
capitalization errors.
(8)
Good vocabulary range
and accuracy of usage.

(10)
Limited attempts to
organize around a thesis;
paragraphs with weak or
non-evident transitions.
(6)
The writer does an adequate
job of arguing a point. In
some spots the writer
mistakenly summarizes.
(6)
Formulaic or tedious
sentence patterns; shows
some errors in sentence
construction.
(6)
Contains several
punctuation, spelling,
formatting, and/or
capitalization errors.
(6)
Ordinary vocabulary range,
mostly accurate.

Masterful

Skilled

Able

(1)
Simplistic sentences used
throughout; serious erros of
sentence structure (run-ons,
fragments) throughout.
(1)
Excessive spelling,
capitalization punctuation,
and /or formatting errors.
(1)
Extremely limited
vocabulary; choices lack
grasp of diction.

Submitted accompanying material (Draft, Peer Response Sheets) Missing accompanying material (Draft, Peer Response Sheets)

Comments:
Score: