Reaction Paper Grading Rubric


Bio 27 • A. Krakowski
Reaction Papers
A reaction paper is written in response to either a guest speaker, a film, or a field
trip. Any underlined item listed in the course schedule (see syllabus) represents a
topic on which you may write a reaction paper. It is recommended that you take
notes during each speaker, film, or field trip as though you were going to write your
paper on that presentation. This will help you get the most out of each
presentation and make it easier to write your reaction papers.
Due Date: Please refer to the course schedule in your syllabus for the due date.
Format (5 points)
Each paper should be 650 – 900 words. The text should be typed using 12-point
font, double-spaced, and 1-inch margins. Minimum length: 650 words (around two
full pages of writing (i.e. not including title, your name, etc.)).
Content (30 points)
• BACKGROUND (10 pts):
- How does the topic of the speaker or film fit into the context of the course
material that we are learning?
- Provide background information from the lecture notes and/or text to
explain the biology behind the speaker/film topic
- What key points were made by the speaker(s) or in the film?
- Describe at least 3 key points—be specific!
- Describe at least 3 new pieces of information that you learned from the
speaker(s) or film.
- Discuss your personal opinions about the speaker(s) or film, and the
reason(s) for your opinion.
Writing (15 points)
• Make sure to pay attention to the overall organization and paragraph structure
of your essay. Usually, a well-organized essay will begin with an introductory
paragraph, continue with at least three body paragraphs, and end with a
concluding paragraph. There should be clear structure within each paragraph
(i.e. thesis statement first, followed by supporting information, then concluding
• Check over your sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
• If you need help with your writing, go to the drop-in hours at the James Oliver
Writing Center in room B-261.
• Your paper must be in your own words—plagiarism will not be accepted. If you
quote a speaker or dialogue from a film, be sure to put the words in quotes to
distinguish from your own writing.
Grading rubric on opposite side


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