Note: If you mention the name of your source's author in the sentence containing the in-text citation, you don't have to repeat the name in that citation.
Create a Works Cited page. The Works Cited listings contain more specific and detailed information than in-text citations.
RESEARCH PAPER Grading Rubric
Criteria 5 4 3 2 1
Purpose and Voice The research paper does an outstanding job of fulfilling its purpose of taking a stance on a literary topic and providing substantial information on the chosen topic. The writer's voice is clear and shows interest in the topic. The details provided are complete and cover the topic fully. There is no irrelevant information present. Readers are not left with lingering questions about the topic. The research paper does a good job in fulfilling its purpose of taking a stance on a literary topic and providing information on the chosen topic, but the topic could be developed more fully. The writer's voice is consistent and shows interest in the topic, but some information presented may be irrelevant to the topic. The purpose of taking a stance on a literary topic is not entirely clear because the writer's voice is hard to find. The research paper provides some information on the topic, but gaps in information leave readers with questions. The inclusion of irrelevant information makes readers question what the main purpose of the paper is. The research paper does not fulfill its purpose of taking a stance on a literary topic and providing information. The writer's voice is lacking, and the stance may be unclear and/or the information on the topic is sparse. The paper lacks significant details and may also contain irrelevant information. The purpose of the research paper is not clear. The writer's voice is inconsistent or missing. The writer did not take a stance on a literary topic and did not do appropriate research. There is not enough information on the stated topic, or the information is not about the stated topic.
Ideas and Content The research paper is on a literary topic that interests the writer. The topic is sufficiently narrow to cover well, and a thesis statement provides a clear focus for the paper. The topic is fully researched and very well developed with facts, evidence, and quotations from cited sources that include at least four sources, one of which should be a print source. The research paper includes a comprehensive Works Cited page. The research paper is on a literary topic that is sufficiently narrow and that interests the writer. Although the paper contains a thesis statement, it does not focus the paper as well as it could. A great deal of research is present, but because the thesis statement is not focused well, the writer does not answer all pertinent questions and includes extraneous information. The research paper contains facts, evidence, and quotations from cited sources including at least four sources, one of which should be a print source. It also has a Works Cited page. It is unclear whether the topic of this research paper interests the writer. The thesis statement is vague, and the research is inadequate even though the topic may be sufficiently narrow. The paper contains facts and quotations, but sources are not always cited. The writer relies heavily on websites and does not include enough research from print sources. The research paper includes a Works Cited page, but it is not complete. The writer does not appear interested in this topic, and many questions are left unanswered. There is no clear expression of a thesis statement. The research is insufficient, unsubstantiated, or relies upon faulty sources. It does not contain quotations and facts cited from valid sources. The Works Cited page is either incomplete or missing. The topic of this research paper does not lend itself to academic research. There is no thesis statement that focuses the paper, and there are no cited facts and quotations from appropriate sources, so the research is negligible. There is no Works Cited page.
Structure and Organization The research paper has a clear structure with an introductory paragraph or paragraphs that grab the reader's attention and clearly state the thesis. Each body paragraph contains reasons or evidence in the form of facts and quotations that support the thesis. The conclusion tells readers what the writer has learned or leaves readers with something to think about. The writer uses an appropriate pattern of organization that fits the topic and thesis. Transitions are used to clarify ideas and to move smoothly within and between paragraphs. The paper includes thought-provoking and specific headings, interesting and informative graphics, and an instructive multimedia component that aids comprehension. The research paper has a clear structure—introduction with a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion—although one part of the structure may not be developed well. The writer occasionally strays from a logical presentation of ideas, but transitions are generally used effectively. The paper includes useful headings, most of which are specific, relevant graphics, and a multimedia component that aids in comprehension. The structure of the research paper is usually clear, with an introduction, thesis statement, body, and a conclusion. However, the writer does not always use a new paragraph for a new idea. The organization is not always clear, but readers can usually follow the ideas. The writer uses some transitions, but more are needed to make content flow more smoothly. The paper includes headings and graphics, though some may be generic or not entirely connected to the paper’s subject matter, and a multimedia component. The structure of the research paper is somewhat clear. There seems to be an introduction, body, and a conclusion, but the writer does not use paragraphing well. The organization is somewhat unclear, and the writer tends to jump around. Minimal transitions are used to connect ideas. The paper is missing headings, graphics, or a multimedia component, or it uses one or more of these elements in ways that detract from the writing of the piece. The structure of the research paper is almost nonexistent. There may be only one or two long paragraphs, and there are few or no transitions between ideas. The paper has neither headings, nor graphics, nor a multimedia component.
Language and Word Choice The student considers purpose and audience in the language, word choice, and tone of the research paper. The student uses formal language that is powerful and clear, several domain-specific words, and several literary techniques such as similes, metaphors and analogies to explain concepts and provide clear information. The tone is serious and consistently objective, with no personal opinions offered. The student usually considers purpose and audience in the language, word choice, and tone of the research paper. The student usually employs formal language, uses at least one domain-specific word, and includes at least one simile, metaphor, or analogy to explain concepts and provide clear information. The tone is serious and usually objective, although sometimes the student might state an opinion. The student attempts to consider purpose and audience in the language, word choice, and tone of the research paper. However, the student sometimes loses sight of one of these aspects and includes inappropriate language or vague words, misses opportunities to incorporate domain-specific words, or fails to use literary techniques such as similes, metaphors, or analogies to explain concepts and provide clear information. Imprecise language is sometimes confusing, but readers can usually figure out the meaning. The tone of the paper is serious, but some of the language is inform and not always objective. The student's opinions are present. The student does not seem to consider purpose and audience when selecting language, word choice, and tone. There are several instances of inappropriate language or wording being used, the student does not incorporate domain-specific vocabulary, or the attempts to use literary techniques such as similes, metaphors, or analogies to explain concepts or provide clear information only serve to muddle the paper’s message. The language and word choices tend to be informal and imprecise, leaving readers trying to figure out the meaning. The tone is not consistently serious, and the research paper contains many opinions. There is little consideration for purpose and audience in the student's choice of language, word choice, and tone. The paper lacks any domain-specific vocabulary and contains no literary techniques that might explain concepts or provide clear information to readers. The research paper contains personal opinions, comments, and exclamations. The research paper contains informal language, including slang and other inappropriate expressions. The tone is inconsistent.
Sentences and Mechanics Each sentence expresses a complete thought, and sentence beginnings and structures are varied. Quotations contain the exact words of the source and are punctuated correctly. All citations within the research paper and on the Works Cited page are in proper citation format. There are extremely few errors in grammar, in usage, and in mechanics, and those errors that exist do not impede readers’ understanding. Most sentences contain complete thoughts, and sentences are varied. Quotations are used for the exact words of a source, but sometimes they are not punctuated correctly. Most citations within the paper and on the Works Cited page are in proper citation format. There are few errors in grammar, in usage, and in mechanics, and those errors that exist rarely interfere with readers’ ability to understand. Sentences do not all contain complete thoughts although there may be some sentence variety. There are several unintentional fragments and run-ons. Some quotations are not punctuated correctly, and not all citations are in proper citation format. There are errors in grammar, in usage, and in mechanics that sometimes interfere with readers’ ability to understand. Some sentences are incomplete, and sentence beginnings rarely vary. It is often difficult to know where quotations begin and end. Many citations are in improper citation format. There are errors in grammar, in usage, and in mechanics that make the paper difficult to understand. Most sentences contain errors in structure. Quotations, if used, may be incorrectly punctuated. Most citations, if present, are in improper citation format. Multiple errors in grammar, in usage, and in mechanics make the paper difficult to understand.