Writing Rubrics for Classics

 

Below Basic (Grade: D/F)

Basic (Grade: C)

Proficient (Grade: B)

Advanced (Grade: A)

Thesis

Paper lacks focus and/or a discernible thesis; shows minimal engagement with the topic; fails to state and adequately support an argument

Some intelligible ideas, but thesis is weak, unclear, or too broad - presents several possible theses in the first paragraph, and fails to identify which one will be supported in subsequent paragraphs; offers basic observations

Identifiable thesis representing adequate understanding of the assigned topic; offers some insight; presents and defends a thoughtful argument; recognizes multiple dimensions and/or perspectives

Clear, focused thesis representing full understanding of the assignment; presents and defends an excellent argument; recognizes multiple dimensions and/or perspectives with elaboration and depth; offers considerable insight

Evidence

Indicates lack of familiarity with ancient evidence* and secondary literature

Indicates some familiarity with ancient evidence* and secondary literature, but not enough to develop argument in unified way; evidence may be inaccurate, irrelevant, or inappropriate for the purpose of the essay

Indicates familiarity with ancient evidence* and secondary literature; evidence and secondary literature well documented and relevant, but very occasionally not complete, well integrated, and/or appropriate for the purpose of the essay; reflects ability to critically assess evidence

Indicates excellent grasp of ancient evidence* and secondary literature; evidence and secondary literature are relevant, accurate, complete, well integrated, well documented, and appropriate for the purpose of the essay; reflects ability to critically assess evidence in a sophisticated manner

Documentation

Little to no documentation

Basic but occasionally not professionally appropriate documentation; some extraneous documentation

Documentation is appropriate; no extraneous documentation

Professionally appropriate documentation

Organization

No coherence both overall and within paragraphs; introduction and conclusion lacking or illogical

Organization, overall and/or within paragraphs, occasionally lacking in coherence; few evident transitions; introduction and conclusion may lack logic

Few organizational problems on any of the 3 levels (overall, paragraph, transitions); introduction and conclusion are effectively related to the whole

Organization is logical and appropriate to assignment; paragraphs are well-developed and appropriately divided; ideas linked with effective transitions;  introduction and conclusion are effectively related to the whole 

Style and Mechanics

Multiple and serious errors of sentence structure and grammar; frequent errors in spelling and capitalization; intrusive and/or inaccurate punctuation such that communication is hindered; lack of proper format for text and documentation; proofreading not evident; a “D” paper may become a “F” paper if mechanical errors garble its message

Occasional errors of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling and/or capitalization; careful proofreading not evident; somewhat sloppy in terms of text and documentation format; a “C” paper may become a “D” paper if mechanical errors garble its message

Effective and varied sentences; virtually no errors in sentence construction, punctuation, spelling and/or capitalization; proper format for text and documentation

Sentences structured effectively; well-chosen variety of sentence styles and length; free of punctuation, spelling, capitalization errors; proper format for text and documentation

*ancient evidence: Latin or Greek textual, archaeological, art historical, numismatic, epigraphical