Myths and Realties

When Not to Respond

Designing Writing Assignments

Commenting: Margins and End

Commenting on Drafts


Helping Students Learn Editing

Helping Students Learn to Fix Errors

Overview of Rhetorical Context

Discipline Specific Resources

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Authors & Contributors

Scoring Rubric for Projects, Consulting-Style Reports, and Reports on Technical Topics

(From Jon A. Leydens and Paul Santi, "Optimizing Faculty Use of Writing as a Learning Tool in Geoscience Education," [in press] The Journal of Geoscience Education.)


1 - Exemplary

2 - Proficient

3 - Apprentice

4 - Novice

Format / layout / organization

Report tells a very clear, coherent story with excellent transitions

Report is clear and tells a coherent story, strong throughout

Report has some gaps in story, some weak sections

Report is poorly organized, missing key sections

Writing mechanics

Report is virtually error-free, and contains few if any reader distractions

Report is logical and easy to read, and may contain a few errors causing minimal reader distraction

Report is generally clear, but distracting errors and flow make it difficult to follow at times

Report contains many distracting mistakes, making it generally difficult to follow

Persuasive writing

Every idea or conclusion is logically supported by relevant facts, and includes judgment of the reliability of data

Every idea or conclusion is logically supported by relevant facts

Relates ideas and conclusions to facts or concepts taught as fact

Opinion and fact not clearly separated.  Basis for opinions is unclear at times.

Figures / Tables

All figures and tables are easy to understand, and are clearly linked to the text.

Story can be told almost entirely through figures.

All figures and tables can be understood with information given and are linked to text.  One or more need improvement.
May need more figures to tell the story.

Figures and/or tables are hard to understand, are not all linked to text.  Several need improvement.

Several more figures are needed to tell story.

Figures are hard to understand, and are not adequate to advance the story.

Tables are not useable as presented.


All sources identified and referenced appropriately.  Evidence of careful and thorough research for outside information.

All sources identified and referenced appropriately.  Includes mostly readily available works.

All sources identified.  Only readily-available works included.  Some weaknesses in referencing, such as missing publisher information.

Sources not identified, not sufficiently thorough, not referenced properly, or not used.

Typical Grade (average):