Sample Rubrics

Here are examples of rubrics that can be used for grading (summative assessment of final skill level achieved) and/or skills development (formative, so used to improve before final assessment). When used formatively, they can help students to understand where they need to improve in their skills. When used as part of a bigger assessment rubric, they can help to keep language from overshadowing those elements where students are successful, and instructors can choose to give whatever weight to the language criteria that they feel is appropriate for a particular assignment.

Sample Language Rubric for Formative or Summative Purposes

Excellent (A)

• Excellent use of academic language; highly appropriate style and effective choice of register for audience and purpose
• Clarity and fluency throughout
• Clear, varied, and precise use of vocabulary
• Sentence structure is varied and used for effect
• Excellent control of paragraph format, accurate and effective use of punctuation, spelling and capitalization in complex sentences according to purpose

Good (B)

• Good use of academic language; appropriate style, suitable choice of register for audience and purpose
• Mostly clear and fluent
• Clear and accurate use of vocabulary
• Sentence structure is varied
• Control of paragraph format, punctuation, spelling and capitalization in complex sentences

 Adequate (C)

• Adequate use of academic language; style and register generally appropriate for audience and purpose
• Generally clear and fluent
• Generally clear use of vocabulary
• Sentence structure mistakes rarely impede meaning
• Control of paragraph format, punctuation, spelling and capitalization in simple and compound sentences

Poor (D)

• At times struggles with academic language; register is too casual for audience and purpose
• Often lacks clarity and fluency
• Some incorrect use of vocabulary interferes with understanding
• Some sentence structure mistakes impede meaning
• Some recurrent errors in spelling, mechanics, grammar and conventions impede meaning
• Little control of paragraph format

Sample as Part of a Complete Writing Assessment Rubric

Criteria 1: Knowledge and Understanding (20%) 
How accurate are the information and ideas that are presented?
Is the author’s argument(s) clearly addressed?
A: Presents consistently accurate information and insightful ideas about what is expressed in the text
B: Presents accurate information and insightful ideas about what is expressed in the text
C: Presents some accurate information and ideas about what is expressed in the text
D: Presents incomplete or inaccurate information and ideas about what is expressed in the text

Criteria 2: Interpretation and Analysis (40%)
Has the student demonstrated skills of interpretation and analysis?
How well are examples from the text linked to the student's own ideas/arguments?
A: 
Sophisticated interpretation of the text; examples from the text are effectively connected to the student’s own ideas/arguments
B:  Good interpretation of the text; examples from the text are effectively connected to the student’s own ideas/arguments
C: Some interpretation/analysis; examples from the text are somewhat connected to the student's own ideas/arguments
D: Paraphrases with little to no interpretation or analysis; examples from the text are poorly chosen and do not connect to the student's arguments

Criteria 3: Organization and Development (20%)
How well organized is essay? (clear paragraphs, intro, thesis, body paragraphs, conclusion)
How coherent is the structure? (clear thesis, ideas/arguments presented and supported within organized paragraphs, conclusion is insightful, not repeating thesis)
A: The essay is effectively organized with focused paragraphs; the structure is coherent and effective; the development of the argument is clear, logical, and easy to follow
B: The essay is organized with clear paragraphs; the structure is coherent and the development of the argument makes sense
C: Some organization is apparent; the essay has some structure, but the development of the argument is not always clear or logical
D: Little organization is apparent; the essay has little structure; it is hard to understand or follow the argument or see its development

Criteria 4: Language and Style (20%)
A: 
The language is very clear and entirely appropriate; there is a high degree of accuracy in grammar and sentence construction; the register and style are consistently effective and appropriate to the task
B: The language is clear and appropriate; there is a good degree of accuracy in grammar and sentence construction and few errors interfere with meaning; the register and style are effective and appropriate to the task
C: The language is sometimes clear and appropriate; the grammar and sentence construction are generally accurate, though some errors interfere with meaning; the register and style are somewhat appropriate to the task
D: The language is rarely clear and appropriate; there are many errors in grammar and sentence construction that interfere with meaning; there is little awareness of register or style appropriate to the task