QEP Writing Rubric

Use the following guidelines to determine a holistic core (1-5) for each piece of writing.

(5) Score—Superior  contains most of the following characteristics:

  • Clear, well-focused topic—Main idea stands out and is supported by interesting examples and vivid word choices.  We know what the writer is trying to say, and we want to hear more!
  • Very clear organization. Writing has a definite beginning, middle, and end. Paragraphs flow, and the order of paragraphs makes sense to the reader.
  • Vivid examples and details support the main idea and keep the reader interested.
  • Well-developed sentences that are concise, compelling, and easy to read.  Word choices are exciting.  Writing gives the reader something to think about!
  • Very few mechanical or grammatical errors make the writing easy to read.

(4) Score—Competent  contains most of the following characteristics:

  • Main idea is clear, but reader may have to work to see connections between ideas.
  • Organization is evident, but transitions from one idea to another may be awkward.
  • Examples make sense, but may not be interesting or insightful.
  • Sentences are usually varied and may differ in length and structure. Word choices are clear and appropriate, but may be uninteresting. 
  • Some mechanical errors may be present, but writing is still readable.

(3) Score—Adequate  contains most of the following characteristics:

  • Main idea is somewhat vague or predictable.
  • Structure may seem formulaic and contrived. Poor organization and a lack of paragraph structure make the writing difficult to follow in places.
  • Examples are general or vague and only loosely connected to the main idea.
  • Errors with sentence structure are frequent. Word choices are predictable and weak.
  • Errors with grammar and mechanics begin to distract reader from the content.

(2) Score—Weak  contains most of the following characteristics:

  • The main idea is not clear, or the connection between the main idea and supporting details is loose and hard to follow.
  • Ideas seem contrived, and paragraphs are overloaded or underdeveloped.
  • Examples are simplistic, repetitious, vague, and/or confusing making the writing hard to read.
  • Errors with sentence structure make writing hard to follow. Run-on sentences and/or sentence fragments are evident.  Reader must reread sentences to determine meaning.
  • Writer makes numerous grammatical errors that distract the reader.

(1) Score—Inadequate contains most of the following characteristics:

  • Writing appears to be a random collection of unrelated ideas. This lack of focus makes ideas hard to follow.
  • No clear structure, and a lack of organization make the writing very hard to understand.
  • Writing lacks specific examples or details to develop main idea.  Reader works very hard to understand what is going on.
  • Sentences lack structure and appear incomplete or rambling. Many errors are evident.
  • Serious grammar and mechanical problems are present.

See a sample of a QEP Writing Assignment for exiting graduates.