Author’s Name: ________________________                                Grader’s Name: ___________________

Rubric for Scoring Project 3, part II:

A Comparative Rhetorical Analysis of Two Interpretations of a Text in the Humanities


Standards: S.S.E.A.R.

Out of 20:


Ø      ___ Paragraphs follow the following order: CLAIM – EVIDENCE – EXPLANATION (linking evidence to claim).  Paragraphs may repeat this pattern within paragraph.

Ø      ___ Every claim is backed up.  [This means any sentence that is not a fact.  Claims are topic sentences, but claims can also be found within paragraphs]

Ø      ___ Evidence is typically one or more of the following: (1) quoted secondary source, and/or (2) paraphrased point from the secondary source

Ø      ___ Do NOT use generalizations!  Do not just spit back a summary of the article; FIND EVIDENCE, be evaluative, and be analytical!


Out of 20:


Ø      ___ Tone: Tone is objective, academic, and avoids “gushing” (Do not write “The great scholar Robert Schorr was a intelligent theorist who should be read by all.”)

Ø      ___ All quotes are embedded both from primary source (film, song, painting) and from the secondary sources.  The embedded quotes make sense as actual sentences; the quotes/student’s sentences are revised as needed to do so (i.e., the quote can be put in past tense to make sense; just use [brackets] where new words or letters have been added & ellipses… where sections have been removed for clarity’s sake)

Ø      ___ Transitions: Includes smooth transition paragraphs (between sections of paper), sentences (between paragraphs), and words (within paragraphs) where appropriate (“Similarly, ___” “Contrastingly, ___” “Schorr, however, disagrees with Smith regarding the significance of the symbol of the rose.”)

Ø      ___ Proper Grammar:

Ø    Present verb tense is used when discussing the written work (“Whitman uses free verse”), but not when discussing the author’s life events or historical situations (Dickinson wrote over 1,775 poems”)

Ø    subject-verb agreement is correct

Ø    avoids run-on sentences and fragments

Ø    word choice is high-level; spelling, punctuation and capitalization are correct

Ø      ___ Avoids awkward phrasing (and shows paper has been revised by several people in this regard)

Ø      ___ Shows Conventions of Formal Writing: avoids first and second person (I, you, we, us, our); avoids contractions (can’t, don’t won’t), avoids “shortcut” words such as “etc.”, avoids informal speech such as conversational or “cute” writing (Well, now, like, all in all, things, stuff).

Ø      ___ Uses strong diction (word choice/vocabulary): Shows a thesaurus has been used to make sentences interesting and lively

Ø      ___ MLA Format: parenthetical documentation is correct (period comes AFTER the citation) and ALL quotes & info that is not general knowledge or author’s original ideas are cited; all ideas belonging to a secondary source are cited!

Ø      ___ Bibliography: follows MLA format and order for author info, title info, and publication info

Ø      ___ PLAGAIRISM is avoided (all difficult terms and concepts are explained in the student’s own words); remember the 3-word rule: any three words in a row that are not your own are either quoted or cited!

Ø      ___ Title: The title has two parts: (1) the hook, or creative part, then a colon (:), and (2) the explanation part.  Go ahead & explain the assignment in the second part—see the sample paper on the website for how to do this.

Ø      ___ Format: 12 point fort, Times New Roman, double spaced.

Out of 20:



Ø      ___ Page requirement: Paper fulfills minimum & maximum page requirement (4-6 pages)

Ø      Thesis statement is a map for the rest of the paper. 

Ø      ___ In 1-4 sentences, it clearly specifies and outlines the author’s argument exactly.  Quite like an abstract, the reader should have a crystal clear idea of the following sections of the paper.

Ø      ___ The thesis statement is specific, interpretive, analytical, and comprehensive (like the 2 thesis statement handouts I have given you so far).

Ø      ___ The thesis statement is easily located at the end of the introduction. 

Ø      ___ Suggestions to include in your thesis statement:

Ø    ___ how exactly the 2 sources are similar and different (including both their points as well as their respective methodologies and perspectives)

Ø    ___ (“A level”) get evaluative by staking a claim regarding which source makes the stronger case and why (just make sure to follow this line of thought throughout the paper!)

Ø      The introduction:

Ø      ___ Begins with a hook, or an interesting lead sentence

Ø      ___ Answers the 5 W’s for each secondary source as well as for the primary source.  The key is to manage to do this succinctly

Ø    ___ Each article thesis is clearly identified

Ø    ___ Each article is succinctly summarized.  The summary will:

Ø                ___ pay attention to complexity

Ø                ___ resist urge to oversimplify

Ø                ___ pick and choose what to elaborate on (telescope)

Ø                ___ mentions & explains the relevance of the perspective (formalist, intentionalist, etc.) as well as the methodology used by each

Ø    ___ the introduction overall is comprehensive, analytical, interpretive, and provable

Ø    ___ keywords (a.k.a. jargon or key terms) to be used & discussed in the paper are defined explicitly

Ø    ___ information provided is relevant to paper’s argument

Ø      ___ Ends in a thesis statement

Ø      The conclusion:

Ø    ___ The “topic sentence” of the conclusion is a natural rephrasing of the thesis statement

Ø    ___ Briefly rephrases the major points of each paragraph

Ø    ___ (A level) is evaluative, stating which article made the stronger case & why (make sure this feature is previewed clearly in your introduction & followed throughout)

Ø    ___ Ends in a sentence or two that “closes the deal,” or leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind that the student’s case has been successfully argued.

Ø      ___ Paragraphs are in a logical order (order shows a detailed outline has been written and followed)

Ø      ___ Topic sentences are (1) specific, (2) provable claims that (3) clearly further thesis

Ø      ___ Paragraphs clearly support and further topic sentences: supporting details are on-topic and occur in a logical order

Ø      ___ Paragraphs naturally end in a closing sentence that clearly links back to the topic sentence or thesis statement

Ø      ___ Cut the fat! Irrelevant info is cut.

Ø      ___ Add the meat!  Necessary info is discussed.

Out of 30:


Ø      ___ Scholar’s examples, points, and quoted text are DISCUSSED and ANALYZED as opposed to being merely mentioned, reworded, or summarized. 

Ø      ___ Strong, detailed, well-supported, and well-organized comparison, contrast, and conclusion sections are present.  Paper avoids a mere summary of each article.

Ø      ___ All information is clearly related and linked back to the thesis (after reading each paragraph, the reader should be able to clearly answer the question: “What does this have to do with the thesis statement?”) 

Ø      ___ (“A level”) Student evaluates which article presents the stronger case throughout the paper

Out of 10:


Ø      ___ Articles came from a scholarly, peer-reviewed database (unless otherwise cleared by me)

Ø      ___ Articles have clearly correlate even if they disagree

Ø      ___ Remember, you MUST INCLUDE A works cited / works consulted list that AT LEAST cites the original text itself as well as the sources.  This bibliography must be in MLA format.

TOTAL SCORE out of 100: