Junior High Research Paper Rubric High School

Grading rubrics can be of great benefit to both you and your students. For you, a rubric saves time and decreases subjectivity. Specific criteria are explicitly stated, facilitating the grading process and increasing your objectivity. For students, the use of grading rubrics helps them to meet or exceed expectations, to view the grading process as being “fair,” and to set goals for future learning.

In order to help your students meet or exceed expectations of the assignment, be sure to discuss the rubric with your students when you assign an essay. It is helpful to show them examples of written pieces that meet and do not meet the expectations. As an added benefit, because the criteria are explicitly stated, the use of the rubric decreases the likelihood that students will argue about the grade they receive. The explicitness of the expectations helps students know exactly why they lost points on the assignment and aids them in setting goals for future improvement.

  • Routinely have students score peers’ essays using the rubric as the assessment tool. This increases their level of awareness of the traits that distinguish successful essays from those that fail to meet the criteria. Have peer editors use the Reviewer’s Comments section to add any praise, constructive criticism, or questions.
  • Alter some expectations or add additional traits on the rubric as needed. Students’ needs may necessitate making more rigorous criteria for advanced learners or less stringent guidelines for younger or special needs students. Furthermore, the content area for which the essay is written may require some alterations to the rubric. In social studies, for example, an essay about geographical landforms and their effect on the culture of a region might necessitate additional criteria about the use of specific terminology.
  • After you and your students have used the rubric, have them work in groups to make suggested alterations to the rubric to more precisely match their needs or the parameters of a particular writing assignment.

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This rubric may be used for self-assessment and peer feedback.

CATEGORY Exemplary Proficient Partially Proficient Incomplete POINTS
Research Questions

3 points

2 points

1 point

0 points

___/3
Wrote thoughtful, creative, well-worded specific questions that were relevant to the assigned topic. Wrote well-worded, specific questions that were relevant to the assigned topic. Wrote questions which lacked focus, were poorly stated, and were not entirely relevant to the assigned topic. Wrote questions which lacked a specific focus, were poorly stated, and not relevant to the assigned topic.
Selection of Sources

3 points

2 points

1 point

0 points

___/3

Identified highly appropriate sources in a variety of formats (books, journals, electronic sources).

Identified mostly appropriate sources in a variety of formats (books, journals, electronic sources).

Identified a few appropriate sources but made little attempt to balance format types.

Identified no appropriate sources in any format.

Note-taking & Keywords

3 points

2 points

1 point

0 points

___/3
Extracted relevant information. Extracted mostly relevant information. Extracted a lot of information which wasn’t relevant. Extracted irrelevant information.
Brainstormed keywords, categories, related terms that were effective in researching the questions. Selected mostly effective keywords to use in researching the questions. Selected some keywords that were not effective in researching the questions. Selected no effective keywords to use in researching the questions.
Wrote notes including succinct key facts which directly answered all of the research questions and were written in the student's own words. Wrote notes which included facts that answered most of the research questions and were written in the student’s own words. Wrote notes which included irrelevant facts which did not answer the research questions. Some notes were copied directly from the original source. Wrote notes which included a majority of facts which did not answer the research questions. Most or all notes were copied word-for-word from the original source.
Organization and Synthesis

3 points

2 points

1 point

0 points

___/3
Presented content clearly and concisely with a logical progression of ideas and effective supporting evidence. Presented most of the content with a logical progression of ideas and supporting evidence. Presented content which failed to maintain a consistent focus, showed minimal organization and effort, and lacked an adequate amount of supporting evidence. Presented content which was unfocused, poorly organized, showed little thought or effort and lacked supporting evidence.
Selected an appropriate and effective format to creatively communicate research findings. Selected an appropriate format to structure and communicate research findings. Needed to select a more effective format to structure and communicate research findings. Failed to select an appropriate format to communicate research findings.
Citations/ Documentation

3 points

2 points

1 point

0 points

___/3
Cited all sources of information accurately to demonstrate the credibility and authority of the information presented. Cited most sources of information in proper format and documented sources to enable accuracy checking. Cited most sources of information improperly and provided little or no supporting documentation to check accuracy. Created citations which were incomplete or inaccurate, and provided no way to check the validity of the information gathered.
Used information ethically all of the time. Used information ethically most of the time. Failed to use information ethically some of the time. Failed to use information ethically.

TOTAL POINTS

 ___ /15

University of Wisconsin - Stout — Schedule of Online Courses, Online Certificate Programs, and Graduate Degree

Readings on Authentic Assessment
Examples of Other Rubrics

© COPYRIGHT 2011-2016 Karen Franker
All Rights Reserved.
Updated: Monday, November 16, 2015

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