Printable version of the Argumentative Synthesis Rubric (pdf)

Rubric Breakdown

Synthesis/Analysis (25% of the overall grade)

Grade Ranking

Essay effectively synthesizes course texts, providing specific evidence from the texts to support the argument and join the conversation.

B

Essay effectively synthesizes course texts, providing evidence from the texts to support the argument, but remains hesitant to join the conversation.

C

Essay synthesizes course texts, but analysis is general and evidence may be vague; contributes little to the conversation.

D

Essay is overly general and lacks critical depth due to inadequate support; fails to join the conversation.

F

Little to no evidence of analysis and/or synthesis of course texts in the body of the paper.

Argument/Thesis (25% of the overall grade)

Grade Ranking

Thesis offers an insightful, original, and intellectually ambitious argument grounded in careful analysis of the texts selected and awareness of the critical conversation.

B

Thesis offers an insightful, original argument grounded in careful analysis of the texts selected and awareness of the critical conversation.

C

Thesis engages with texts selected in their critical context but fails to offer an insightful or original argument.

D

Thesis lacks clarity or misrepresents texts selected or their context.

F

No discernible thesis or argument.

Organization & Development (20% of the overall grade)

Grade Ranking

Provides an effective organizational structure that includes sophisticated introductory and conclusion paragraphs.

All body paragraphs include well-developed analysis through strong topic sentences, effective sequencing of ideas, and smooth transitions.

B

Provides an organizational structure that includes an effective introduction and conclusion.

Body paragraphs include well-developed analysis with effective topic sentences, sequencing of ideas and transitions, though some development may be needed.

C

Includes an introduction and conclusion, though some development may be needed.

Body paragraphs include analysis, most containing recognizable topic sentences. Sequencing of ideas and transitions may be illogical or lacking at times.

D

Includes an introduction and conclusion, yet they contain ambiguities or irrelevant information.

Body paragraphs include some analysis, but may rely too much on summary, generalization, or personal  response; sequencing of ideas are illogical or hard to follow. Ineffective transitions.

F

The  essay lacks an organizational strategy at both paragraph and sentence levels.

Body paragraphs primarily rely on summary, generalization or personal response.

Style, Grammar, & Syntax (20% of the overall grade)

Grade Ranking

Tone is rhetorically effective, and ideas are clearly articulated using precise word choice and varied sentence structures.

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are conventionally. appropriate with very few errors, none of which interferes with coherence.

B

Tone is rhetorically effective and ideas are clearly articulated using precise word choice and varied sentence structures, though some sentences may include minor phrasing or word choice issues.

Contains no distracting patterns of grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors.

C

The essay has no pervasive pattern of sentence-level incoherence, but tone is inconsistent, sometimes lacking sentence variety and effective word choice.

Includes some distracting, but not serious, problems in grammar, spelling and punctuation.

D

The essay contains patterns of sentence-level incoherence and lacks sentence variety and effective word choice.

Includes many distracting errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

F

Serious sentence-level incoherence, no sentence variety and ineffective word choice.

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors obstruct meaning.

Format & Basic Requirements (10% of the overall grade)

Grade Ranking

Adheres to all assignment requirements regarding MLA formatting, length, and topic.

B

Adheres to assignment requirements concerning length and topic with very few MLA formatting issues.

C

Mostly adheres to assignment requirements concerning length and topic with few formatting issues.

D

Fails to adhere to essay length or topic requirements and includes consistent MLA formatting issues.

F

Fails to adhere to assignment requirements, the prompt, and/or includes plagiarism.