W. Mercurio-Pataky

LHS Social Studies Dept

Research Paper Rubric

 

Criteria

Above Mastery

Mastery

Proficient

Below Proficiency

Thesis

Thesis is clear and thoughtful; the writers argument is readily apparent to the reader

The writing has an argument, but may sometimes digress from it

The argument is not consistently clear throughout the paper

The argument is generally unclear

Content

Balanced presentation of relevant and legitimate information that clearly supports the thesis and shows thoughtful, in-depth analysis of the topic. Reader gains important insights.

Information provides reasonable support for thesis and displays evidence of a basic analysis of the topic. Reader gains some insights.

Information supports the thesis at times. Analysis is basic or general. Reader gains few insights.

Thesis is not clearly identified. Analysis is vague or not evident. Reader is confused or may be misinformed.

Organization

The ideas are arranged logically to support the purpose or argument. They flow smoothly from one to another and are clearly linked to each other. The reader can follow the line of reasoning.

The ideas are arranged logically to support the central purpose or argument. They are usually clearly linked to each other. For the most part, the reader can follow the line of reasoning.

In general, the writing is arranged logically, although occasionally ideas fail to make sense together. The reader is fairly clear about what the writer intends.

The writer is not logically organized. Frequently, ideas fail to make sense together. The reader cannot identify a line of reasoning and loses interest.

Tone

The tone is consistently professional and appropriate for an academic research paper.

The tone is generally professional. For the most part, it is appropriate for an academic research paper.

The tone is not consistently professional or appropriate for an academic research paper.

The tone is unprofessional. It is not appropriate for an academic research paper.

Sentence Structure

Transitional sentences are polished and effectively connect back to the thesis.

Transitional sentences are polished and generally connect back to the thesis.

Transitional sentences are awkwardly constructed with little or no connection to thesis.

Transitional sentences are not present in research paper.

Grammar, Spelling, and Writing Mechanics

The writing is free or almost free of errors.

There are occasional errors, but they don’t represent a major distraction or obscure meaning.

Writing has many errors, and the reader is distracted by them.

There are so many errors that meaning is obscured. The reader is confused and stops reading.

Use of MLA

MLA format is used accurately and consistently in the paper and on the Work Cited page.

MLA format is used with minor errors.

There are frequent errors in the MLA format.

Format of the document is not recognizable as MLA.

Length

 

 

Paper is the number of pages specified in the assignment.

Paper has more or fewer than specified in the assignment.

 

 

 

Note:

Analysis, the “how” and “why” of your argument, is what separates a research paper from a report.  Without critical analysis of your topic, your paper will fall short of the literary criticism needed for exceptional thesis driven writing.