Rubric for Final Paper



A-level qualities


B-level qualities


C-level qualities

1 or 0

D- or F-level qualities
(60–69 or below 60)





Paper is tightly focused on the assignment details and addresses all elements in a sophisticated and thorough manner. Paper is appropriately focused on the assignment details and addresses all elements effectively. Paper sometimes fails to maintain a focus on the assignment details and addresses elements in a cursory or superficial manner. Paper lacks focus or fails to address most of the elements of the assignment.  

Depth of Treatment

Student provides a deep and insightful analysis of the topic; text readings as well as outside sources are used very effectively. Student provides an effective analysis of the topic; text readings provide excellent support and outside sources may be used. Student provides a superficial analysis that shows understanding but not a great deal of insight; resources are not fully used. Student provides no original analysis and does not use sources, even the textbook, to provide backing for the ideas stated.  

Critical Thinking

Student's critical analysis is superior. Student's critical analysis is effective. Student attempts a critical analysis of the topic but does not provide much insight. Student demonstrates vague or minimal critical understanding of the topic.  

Length, Organization, and Clarity

Paper is of the proper length and is extremely clear, coherent, and well organized. Paper is of adequate length, is easily understood, and is coherent and effectively organized. Paper is slightly too long or too short; the thrust of the paper can be understood but overall the paper lacks coherence and organization. Paper does not meet length requirements and/or is incoherent or lacks unity.  
Use of Resources Paper uses appropriate resources in a way that enlightens the reader; resources are paraphrased and their content synthesized by the student. Paper uses appropriate resources; resources are generally synthesized by the student although the paper may include some quotations that could be better integrated. Paper uses resources but too often quotes directly from them instead of paraphrasing or synthesizing material. Paper either does not make use of resources, plagiarizes them, or lifts large chunks of material with no attempt at synthesizing it.  

APA Format

Paper uses APA format accurately and consistently. Paper uses APA format with only minor violations. Paper reflects incomplete knowledge of APA format. Paper does not use APA format.  

Written communication

There are few spelling or grammatical errors, none of which seriously detract from the paper. There are some spelling or grammatical errors, few of which detract from the paper. Student makes a number of spelling or grammatical errors, several of which seriously detract from the paper. Student makes many spelling or grammatical errors, which seriously detract from the paper.  



Note: Criteria are evaluated on a 4-3-2-1-0 basis. Total rubric points are converted first to a letter grade and then to a numerical equivalent based on a 0–100 scale: 26–28 = A (93–100); 25 = A– (90–92); 24 = B+ (88–89); 20–23 = B (83–87); 19 = B– (80–82); 18 = C+ (78–79); 13–17 = C (73–77); 12 = C– (70–72); 6–11 = D (60–69); 0–5 = F (below 60).