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Written Communication Rubric

Level 5: Writing as an Art (Artistic/Poetic)

  • Analyzes and reanalyzes evidence that others overlook, ignore, reject, and/or misunderstand.
  • Interprets evidence by transforming it imaginatively.
  • Explores and is inspired by paradox, ambiguity, incongruity, and dichotomy.
  • Creates new rules for grammar, punctuation, usage, spelling, and style when needed.
  • Creates new rules for organization as needed, or stretches old rules into new shapes.

Level 4: Writing as a Craft (Professional)

  • Researches and analyzes the evidence thoroughly before interpreting it.
  • Interprets evidence in surprising, original, and yet plausible ways.
  • Focuses on anomalies as a way of testing and improving his or her interpretation.
  • Follows all the rules of grammar, punctuation, usage, spelling, and style.
  • Follows organizational guidelines as long as they are useful; modifies them as needed.

Level 3: Writing as Learning (Analytical)

  • Analyzes the evidence carefully before offering an interpretation of it.
  • Interprets the evidence in a logical, fair, recursive, and plausible way.
  • Seeks out anomalies and qualifies his or her evolving interpretation to accommodate them.
  • Follows most rules of grammar, punctuation, usage, spelling, and style.
  • Organizes composition so that reader can trace the evolution of the final conclusion.

Level 2: Writing as Communication (Informative)

  • Generalizes after only a cursory analysis of evidence.
  • Summarizes rather than interprets evidence; or else interprets in obvious, biased, and/or simplistic ways.
  • Ignores anomalies or incongruities that may complicate transmission of information.
  • Makes some mistakes in grammar, punctuation, usage, spelling, and style.
  • Organizes composition in a rigid, mechanical, and predictable way.

Level 1: Writing as Self-Expression (Confessional)

  • Raises questions about emotional reaction to evidence, but does not pursue answers.
  • Usually shares feelings about evidence instead of attempting to interpret it.
  • Is confused by incongruities and can only point to them if noticed at all.
  • Makes numerous errors in grammar, punctuation, usage, spelling, and style.
  • Organizes in haphazard, stream-of-consciousness, unpredictable kind of way.

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