GENERAL EVALUATION RUBRIC FOR BLOG POSTS
In general, a rubric will evaluate your paper on the following criteria: argumentation (thesis and strength of analysis), supporting evidence, structure, style, and mechanics (grammar/spelling). There are certainly some overlapping qualities between a good scholarly paper and a good blog post, but there are also some key differences, and some categories are augmented. For example, “evidence” in a blog post might refer to quotes from our course readings, links to relevant articles or news stories, or images/audio/video that helps support and further your point. Style also becomes increasingly important, as it encapsulates both writing style and visual style or layout: you want to design the post to draw in and retain the reader’s attention.
Each blog prompt gives you specific instructions on what you need to cover, and you will be held accountable to these requirements, but below, you’ll find a general rubric for the blog assignments in this class to help you gauge your work. Remember that, first and foremost, these serve as a sort of “reading response”- in all cases you will expected to describe and thoughtfully apply concepts from the readings in your analysis. See each individual blog post prompt for more specific guidelines and requirements.
The Superior Blog Post (A/A-)
Argumentation: Focused/specific topic, and immediately identifiable and nuanced thesis. Analysis takes the topic and course concepts and poses new ways to think about them.
Structure: Clear and concise, and appropriate for the topic/argument presented. Collectively, paragraphs present a cohesive argument and analysis that flows logically from point to point.
Use of evidence: Concepts from readings are clearly introduced, applied, and analyzed. Media (images, video, etc.) and links to additional resources are used thoughtfully to enhance the analysis.
Style: The writing style (or prose) strikes a good balance “scholarly” and “blog” styles of writing, it is simultaneously critical and approachable. Attention has been paid to the post’s layout, which is dynamically designed to give the reader a clear visual sense of the post’s focus. The post’s title is compelling and clearly identifies the topic.
Mechanics: Sentence structure, grammar, and citation style are excellent, with minimal to no spelling errors. 1-2 tags that clearly evoke the post’s content are included to maximize searchability.
The Good Blog Post (B+/B)
Argumentation: Topic and thesis are promising, but may be slightly unclear, or lacking in insight or originality.
Structure: Generally clear and appropriate, though may wander occasionally. Minimal restructuring or editing would have been beneficial to the cohesion of the post as a whole.
Use of evidence: Introduction of course concepts from readings is solid, but the application and analysis might be sporadic or underdeveloped. Media and links are relevant to the topic, but don’t expand on it or enhance it significantly.
Style: Prose occasionally is too dry or conversational, though for the most part it is successful in adopting the writing style of a scholarly blog post. Thought has been put into the post’s layout, it conveys the general topic of the post at a glance. The post’s title is descriptive, but not especially creative or compelling.
Mechanics: Sentence structure, grammar, and citations are strong despite occasional lapses, with minimal (or minor) spelling errors. Tags are relevant to the post.
The Borderline Blog Post (B-/C+)
Argumentation: Focus or argument is unclear, unoriginal, or doesn’t sufficiently build on course content or the prompt for the post.
Structure: Generally unclear, often wanders or jumps around. Paragraphs don’t add up to a cohesive whole.
Use of evidence: Course concepts are introduced but not meaningfully applied or analyzed. Media and links were clearly selected because they were the first (rather than the most useful) resources accessed.
Style: Prose is too conversational or doesn’t clearly articulate concepts for a general readership. The post’s layout is unbalanced (e.g. too many images in a row, or frontloaded/backloaded) or muddled, doesn’t clearly convey the post’s content. The title of the post could be more descriptive.
Mechanics: Minor spelling and grammar issues. Some incomplete citations. Tags could be more descriptive.
The “Needs Help” Blog Post (C/C-)
Argumentation: Muddled or overly broad thesis or focus for the post, and/or some misunderstanding of the assignment. Argument or analysis lacks cohesion or is difficult to follow.
Structure: Unclear, often due to the lack of a clear thesis/focus. Minimal connection or cohesion between paragraphs.
Use of evidence: Very few or very weak instances in which course concepts are introduced, applied and analyzed. Media is either only tangentially related to the topic, or illegible (e.g. an image with text that is too small to read), and links are either absent or don’t contribute to the topic at hand.
Style: Prose is alternately too informal, or difficult for a general audience to understand (e.g. dropping in terminology without any context). Post’s layout is confusing or bland, and the title is too generic.
Mechanics: Consistent spelling and grammar errors that distract the reader from the content. Failure to cite sources completely or correctly in text or as a works cited list. Tags are too generic (e.g. “Blog 1”) to be useful in searches.
The Failing Blog Post (D/F)
Argumentation: No discernible argument, and/or minimal engagement with (or complete misunderstanding of) the assignment. Reads as a series of disconnected or unrelated points rather than a cohesive analysis.
Structure: No discernible structure or evidence of outlining.
Use of evidence: Little or no meaningful engagement with course readings, and no effort to bring in supplementary media (images, videos, etc.) or links to additional resources to support the argument.
Style: Prose is far too informal. Little to no attention has been paid to the post’s layout or title.
Mechanics: Pervasive errors in spelling or grammar that make it difficult to comprehend the content. No citations present in text or as a works cited list. No use of tags.