A rubric is generally an accepted rule, an introductory explanation, or a document heading that is styled in order to stand out from the text that follows. In a strictly academic context, a research paper rubric is a set of criteria for grading research papers and other assignments.
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Also known as a grading rubric, a research paper rubric is extremely useful for students as it breaks down the paper into specific parts and assigns them values. Once a student is aware of how the marker will score his or her project, the process of writing a good research paper becomes more efficient.
A research paper rubric is usually distributed with the initial assignment, when the structural importance of essay basics are also discussed, like the introduction, thesis statement, strong conclusion, and avoidance of plagiarism.
Professors and markers score a paper with a number of key elements in mind, so a rubric will combine these factors. They tend to be: content, language useage, structure/organization, format. A maximum score is assigned to each element, with the paper graded according to how a student scores on the breakdown of element parts.
Research Paper Rubric Example
- Interesting and relevant
- Supports the thesis statement
- Points well developed and clearly argued
- Demonstrates student’s knowledge of subject matter
- Readable, clear, and precise choice of vocabulary
- Varied sentence structure
- Correct spelling and grammar
- Includes all necessary elements of a research paper (introduction, thesis statement, hypothesis, supporting topics, conclusion, discussion, references)
- Thesis statement is clear and provides an opinion
- Body text is crafted to support thesis, with distinct topics, and natural flow of reasoning
- No overly large chunks of text
- Conclusion restates thesis opinion, and acts as summary
- Basics for ease of reading (title, page numbering, subheads)
- Correct application of reference style
If any part of the guidelines is unclear, then a student should discuss it with the professor at the time the research paper rubric is handed out. It is up to the student to take advantage of this sort of guide and make their paper as high quality as possible.