Skidmore College

Standards and Expectations/
Writing--In-The-Disciplines Workshop:

Creating Writing-In-The-Disciplines Websites

June 12-June 16, 2000

Writing Expectations
Discipline-specific characteristics
Grading and Assessment Rubrics
Departmental Writing Pages

Grading and Assessment Rubrics

Summa Rajiva


Spring 2000


Does the paper:

  • have a clearly defined thesis?
  • support the thesis throughout the paper by providing evidence, examples, and arguments?
  • contain a good deal of textual work?
  • consider and respond to possible objections to the thesis?
  • contain rigorous argument, discussion, and engagement with the text(s)?

PART II: Structure.

Does the paper have:

  • A thesis statement in the opening paragraph?
  • A formal introduction or introductory paragraph which tells the reader exactly what the
  • layout of the paper will be? In other words:
    • Could the reader use the formal introduction as an outline for the paper, classifying each and every paragraph of the body of the paper under some part of the formal introduction? (except for the conclusion, which is not the same as the body of the paper)
  • Clear conceptual divisions that correspond to what you have promised to do in the formal introduction? (Recommendation: make this clear to the reader and yourself by using subheadings in the paper to convey the divisions)
  • A conclusion which sums up what you have done and then ties it together in some way that goes beyond the overview of the introduction?

PART III: Process, Communication, and Polish.

In preparing the final draft have you:

  • Revised the first draft of the paper with reference to my comments? You should always address the problems I raise though you may choose to disregard the specific methods I recommend.
  • Inspected each paragraph to make sure it is actually doing work in the paper? Each paragraph should contribute to the clear conceptual division it falls under (see previous checkpoint).
  • Revised any sentences which are confusing or redundant? Ask yourself, when in doubt, "what is this sentence doing here?" Does it: explain, clarify, illustrate, help to provide an example, etc?
  • Edited the paper for grammar, spelling, diction, and general clarity? Remember, what you want to say must be communicated--grammar, spelling, etc. are necessary parts of such communication.
  • The length of the paper is limited to 8 pages? (9 is the absolute max.) If the paper exceeds the absolute maximum, cut it down--you will find sentences (perhaps even paragraphs) that are unnecessary. If you cannot, consult me.

PART IV: Logistics. (The LS reader has some excellent material on this in an Appendix)

Before handing the paper in have you made sure that:

  • All uses of an author's ideas, whether in his/her own words or in yours, are properly acknowledged in the text? (For example, "Descartes points out" "Locke states" "Kant discusses" etc.)
  • All quotations and uses of an author's ideas are properly cited and formatted?
  • You have a proper Works Cited page? These would be the readings you have used in the paper; see the Skidmore Guide to Writing or any other manual of style for this.
  • Double-spacing is used throughout?
  • The pages are numbered?
  • The paper is stapled? (It must be STAPLED, not bound in some other way)
  • The first draft is attached to the paper?
  • The paper has a title and your name is on the front page?

For Information on this Workshop please contact Michael Marx, Director of Writing-Across-The-Curriculum (