Written Communication Rubric


Line of Reasoning* Organization and Structure Content Language/Prose/Syntax

• Composes a well-defined thesis that is supported by coherent and relevant arguments.

• Argument is coherent and develops a clear line of logical reasoning.

• Organization of ideas/information is well planned, and organized; structure enhances the message or argument.

• Paragraphs are well-developed, and paragraph breaks enhance the main points.

• Exhibits original insight into the content

• Content illuminates the argument and/or message

Uses grammatically correct prose that is highly appropriate to the audience; paper successfully utilizes complex sentence structures; prose is articulate and sophisticated.

• Constructs an identifiable thesis with some gaps or inconsistencies in reasoning.

• Minor gaps in logic but the overall argument is linear and coherent.

• Some organizational problems evident.

• Paragraphs are developed but exhibit a few inappropriate breaks, or transitions between paragraphs are awkward.

• Content is adequately addressed

• Content generally supports main argument.

Minor problems with grammar or punctuation, but sentences generally make sense; sentence structure is simplistic; prose may be conversational or somewhat inappropriate for purpose of the assignment or the audience.

• Thesis is weak, unclear or too broad for assignment, but has some relevance to the body of essay or presentation.

• Paper utilizes only marginally coherent set of ideas; connections between some ideas and arguments are missing or underdeveloped.

• Some attempt at organizing ideas/information but reasoning for that ordering is not apparent.

• Paragraphs are underdeveloped or and/or transitions between them are problematic.

• Content is only superficially addressed.

• Content does not fully support main argument.

Exhibits grammatical problems but overall meaning of sentences is not totally obscured; prose may not reflect an understanding of standard English; may lack an understanding of the purpose of the assignment or the audience.
• No discernible thesis (unable to construct an argument).

• The paper is a collection of unrelated ideas.

• Paragraphs are or appear nonexistent.

• Transitions between paragraphs are non-existent.

• Content is not appropriate to the assignment or minimally used.

• Content does not relate to the argument being made.

Prose is largely incomprehensible; major grammatical and punctuation problems; major syntax problems at the sentence level.

* This column is used to simultaneously assess critical thinking

Download PDF: Written Communication Rubric (Undergraduate)