Across the Curriculum Rubrics from Other Institutions

Consider developing a rubric with your class as part of your in-class writing instruction. If you want more control, define some or all of the categories and then have students work on the skill-level descriptions.

Emphasize what you value. If it’s ideas, make sure the rubric doesn’t dwell disproportionately on surface correctness. As assignments vary, so will rubrics, and the more specific you make your rubric, the more clearly you convey your expectations.

Hand out the rubric with the assignment—or at least early in the process.

Use your rubric as a grading shortcut. MU’s Bess Fox uses a highlighter on sentences in her rubric: where the bulk of the color falls signals to her and her students exactly why they earned a particular grade. She can then focus her comments on ideas and content rather than grade justification. Repeated use of rubrics helps students see patterns across papers in their strengths and weaknesses.

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