SPHSC 308 Social-Cultural Aspects of Communication

Writing Grading Criteria Winter 2010

General Grading Criteria

The grading rubric that follows has three main sections:  content, power, and presentation.  Each is described briefly.  At the end you will see how papers are evaluated and points are assigned. 


            This criterion has to do with how complete your assignment is and how well you include the relevant and important content.  It includes range of information, appropriate detail, and accuracy.   


            This criterion has to do with how fully and convincingly you explore the concepts and communicate your ideas to the reader.  It also includes how well your examples serve to back up your ideas.  Writing that is powerful unfolds and makes sense to the reader because the author is "leading the reader along" with a logical, coherent flow.  The examples or other data deepen the reader's understanding because they are good quality and are clearly linked to the main ideas.  Ideas evolve and become integrated rather than existing like a series of beads on a chain.

            This criterion is not about writing per se, but creating a powerful/full paper is difficult without good writing.  Some of the elements of writing that contribute to power/fullness are:  organizing your ideas within and across paragraphs, using words that capture both the meaning and the tone you intend, using sentence structure to create emphasis and balance, and using language to build to and highlight the important points.  Including unnecessary words defeats power.  Writing vague ideas or omitting explanations defeats fullness. 


            This criterion has to do with surface characteristics of the paper, including writing and physical organization.  It includes basic organization, grammar, word selection, conciseness/directness, punctuation, and spelling.  It also includes following directions and creating a neat, proofread final product.


A criterion may be rated on a point scale that you will see on each assignments grading form.   The general characteristics of the scale are as follows:  (starting with a paper that gets all of the points and then gradually less to no points for work that does not meet minimal expectations). 

  • Outstanding work with few, if any errors or weaknesses.  
  • Very good work with scattered, weaknesses, or inconsistencies.
  • Good, basic work that meets the expectations of the assignment but has clear omissions, errors, or weaknesses.
  • Work that falls below basic expectations because of multiple weaknesses, a serious error or missions that compromises the paper, or off-task responses.  
  • Work that does not meet minimal expectations for the assignment.

More specific characteristics of each rating will depend on the nature of the assignment and the portion(s) being graded.