Extended and Advanced Undergraduate Scoring Rubrics

Reflective essay

Accomplished (7 to 9 points)Competent (4 to 6 points)Developing (1-3 points)
Information evaluation:

Clearly describes and consistently utilizes an array of criteria for the evaluation and selection of source materials such as:
  • RelevanceAuthority/credibility
  • Scope/coverage
  • Accuracy
  • Currency
  • Context of source’s creation
  • Particular viewpoints
Articulation of criteria for evaluation and selection of sources incomplete or unclear, or inconsistently used.
  • Expresses limited understanding of the source’s context.
  • Limited discussion of varying viewpoints or interpretations.
Does not clearly identify criteria for evaluating information sources.
  • May use evaluation criteria without articulating this approach or may use criteria regardless of its importance.
  • No discussion of context as an influence on the creation of information or its utility.
  • No discussion of differing viewpoints or interpretation.
Search strategies:

Search strategies are described addressing such aspects as:
  • Identifying types of information needed
  • Various research tools used (books, articles, websites, etc.)
  • Use of flexible and creative search terms and strategies
  • Adjustments to search strategies in response to success/failure
Search strategies described generally; examples follow:
  • Identifies standard finding aids and services (e.g., librarians and databases) but omits other appropriate resources
  • Uses simple search strategies (e.g., check boxes for peer reviewed literature)
  • No discussion of responses to failure
Search strategies omitted or very general, for example:
  • Does not display evidence of appropriate search strategies and services
  • Does not identify appropriate finding aids and tools for given context. Limits search to general tools (e.g., Academic Search Premier or Google searches).
Scholarly conversation:

Demonstrates an awareness and investigation of different viewpoints, even if it challenges student’s value system or counters their thesis argument.
Discusses differing positions on an issue as presented in the literature, but there is no effort to reconcile these.
Utilizes only sources that are consistent with original thesis, assertions, or point of view. No discussion of conflicting information.
Advanced research:
  • Persistence and initiative gaining access to appropriate sources
  • Specific investigative techniques unique to a discipline
  • Relevant sources not locally available are identified, but not acquired
  • Investigative methods appropriate to the discipline described but not utilized
  • No discussion of seeking sources beyond locally available materials
  • Has no clear methodology for gathering discipline specific information.

Distinguishes own new interpretation or original contribution from the writings and ideas of others

Identifies own ideas and assumptions but does not distinguish from or relate to contributions of others.

Does not articulate or evaluate own assumptions. No analysis of ideas encountered in the literature.


Accomplished (7 to 9 points)Competent (4 to 6 points)Developing (1 to 3 points)

Clearly communicates, organizes and synthesizes information from sources in support of the argument or thesis in a manner that supports project purposes

Selects appropriate content to support project purposes or thesis, but content is poorly organized and some claims or assertions lack references

Information from sources is poorly organized and integrated, or insufficient to support project or thesis (i.e., unsupported claims or assertions)
Quotation usage:

Quotations and acquired ideas are well selected and integrated conceptually and rhetoric

Occasional use of inappropriate quotes or quotes poorly integrated into argument
Poor selection of quotes (e.g., fail to address point in question)
Research question:

Research question is:
  • Clearly defined
  • Positioned within existing research
  • Of appropriate scope for the paper.
If a project rather than a paper:
Formulates questions relating to the purpose, development, and presentation of the research project

Research question is:
  • Not well defined, but identifiable
  • Not explicitly situated within existing research
  • Too narrow/broad in scope for the paper.
If a project rather than a paper:
Formulates questions relating to the purpose of the research project, but does not follow through with questions addressing the development and presentation
Research question is:
  • Not stated
  • Not situated within existing research
  • Too broad/narrow in scope
If a project rather than a paper:
Does not identify questions relating to the purpose, development, or presentation of the research project


Accomplished (7 to 9 points)Competent (4 to 6 points)Developing (1 to 3 points)
Source selection:

Uses wide range of resource types appropriate to the discipline and information need (e.g., primary and secondary sources, scholarly and popular literature, data, books, articles, critical/performance editions, original compositions, arrangements, transcriptions, sound or video recordings, models, plans, computer models)
Cites different types of resources appropriate to the project, but does not show great depth or breadthScope of source types is limited to conventional formats. Uses basic general knowledge resources (e.g., websites, newspaper articles), rather than subject specific

Consistently provides accurate, complete citations to sources in format/style appropriate to the discipline
Sources cited in standard format but contain errors or some missing elements
Sources not cited in standard and consistent way. Numerous errors and/or omissions of citation elements

Supporting letter

Accomplished (4 to 5 points)Competent (3 points)Developing (1 to 2 points)
Explains how project addresses significant questions within the discipline and clearly articulates the stakes.Indicates that the student’s argument takes familiar path with some originality. Or that the argument is original but stakes are low.Points to little or no originality in topic/approach or indicates that the question is no or low stakes.

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