Rubric for response papers and informal writing assignments
No single focus or clear thesis; often plot summary or a series of assertions without
engagement with specific passages in the ancient texts; may be confused concerning factual
details; may not address the major issues laid out in the assignment.
Has a single focus, but may not include a provable assertion (thesis); there may be multiple
observations, but are not explicitly tied together into a unified point; not enough specific
evidence cited to support the author’s claims; may contain sentences that leave the reader
confused or distracted.
Has a thesis and some specific examples to support it, yet the thesis may remain general or
simple; may leave out other examples important for exploring the thesis; may not explain or
interpret the evidence sufficiently.
Clear attempt to answer an important question; the thesis is supported by specific examples
from the readings, clearly explained; the closing paragraph ties together important claims
made throughout the paper and is thematically related to the opening.
Brings together multiple strands of evidence into a coherent whole; sets each piece of
evidence into a clear context and interprets the evidence clearly, connecting it to the thesis;
attempts to explain what effect the choices made in the text has upon the audience.
excellent A thoughtful, complex, and nuanced analysis of the text(s); each section contributes to
overall argument, supported by appropriate evidence, clearly interpreted and explained;
includes all (or nearly all) the relevant evidence; the best papers may tie the evidence in the
text under discussion with other readings or themes of the course, may suggest new
implications for understanding the topic, or make connections with modern events or