|3 – Exemplary||2 – Competent||1 – Marginal||0 – Unsatisfactory||N/A|
|Comprehension & Integration||Demonstrates solid understanding of the major themes of the course, using readings and lectures to define concepts. Argument is placed within the broad discussions outlined in the course.||Concepts are defined, but the author does not demonstrate a solid understanding of the major themes of the course relevant to the argument.||Course readings are used. Concepts are left undefined or poorly defined. Little broader framework is used.||Paper mentions course readings but there is little or no demonstration of how the paper relates to the course.|
|Thesis & Scope||Thesis is debatable and clearly presented in the opening and concluding sections of the paper. The topic is focused narrowly enough for the scope of the assignment.||Thesis is debatable and is evident in the argument but is not clearly stated. The topic is focused but lacks direction.||Thesis is unclear and it takes work for the reader to identify the argument. Or, thesis is self-evident and not debatable. The topic is too broad for the scope of the assignment.||No thesis evident. The topic is not clearly defined.|
|Argumentation||Argument is presented clearly and logically. Logical points build directly upon the thesis and prior points. Counterarguments are addressed, dismantled, and folded into the main argument of the paper.||Argument is presented clearly and logically, but points do not necessarily build on each other. Counterarguments are addressed but many are left hanging or are dealt with inadequately.||Argument is rambling and there are contradictions left unaddressed. Counterarguments may be presented but are left unaddressed||There is no discernable argument or no alternative interpretation is presented.|
|Support||Provides substantial, well-chosen evidence (research or textual citations) that is used strategically.
Each logical point is backed up by one or more examples. Potential counterarguments are accounted for and addressed with evidence.
|Provides sufficient and appropriate evidence and makes effort to contextualize it.
Each logical point is backed up by one or more examples. Potential counterarguments are accounted for but may not be sufficiently addressed with evidence.
|Provides some evidence but not always relevant, sufficient, or integrated into the response.||Little or no evidence cited to support the main argument.|
|Creativity||Argument is original and creative. Goes substantially beyond points raised in lecture and readings. Concepts are related to each other in interesting and creative ways.||Argument is strong and interesting but anodyne and does not push boundaries. Concepts are put in conversation with each other.||Argument is expository rather than analytical. Concepts are described but dealt with separately and not explicitly related to each other.||Argument is derivative, weak, and/or incoherent.|
|Organization & Style||Responses contain appropriate, clear and adequate transitions between sentences and paragraphs. Apt and precise diction, syntactic variety, clear command of language.||Responses coherently arranged; occasional weakness in transitions between sentences, paragraphs or thoughts. Some mechanical difficulties; occasional problems with word choices or syntax errors; few grammatical errors; some wordiness.||Responses are uneven; paragraphs sometimes effective, but others are brief, weakly unified, or undeveloped; some awkward or missing transitions between thoughts. Occasional grammatical errors; occasional imprecise diction; awkward syntax; wordiness.||Responses are arbitrary or not structured, illogical or not coherent. Numerous grammatical errors and stylistic problems; errors in most or every sentence.|