Scale Basic Beginning Developing Competent Mature Exemplary
Rhetorical Awareness
Response to the situation/ assignment, considering elements such as purpose, audience, register, and context
Ignores two or more aspects of the situation and thus does not fulfill the task Ignores at least one aspect of the situation and thus compromises effectiveness Attempts to respond to all aspects of the situation, but the attempt is insufficient or inappropriate Addresses the situation in a complete but perfunctory or predictable way Addresses the situation completely, with unexpected insight Addresses the situation in a complete, sophisticated manner that could advance professional discourse on the topic
Stance and Support
Argument, evidence, and analysis
Involves an unspecified or confusing argument; lacks appropriate evidence Makes an overly general argument; has weak or contradictory evidence Lacks a unified argument; lacks significance (“so what?”); lacks sufficient analysis Offers a unified, significant, and common position with predictable evidence and analysis Offers a unified, distinct position with compelling evidence and analysis Offers an inventive, expert-like position with precise and convincing evidence and analysis
Structure and coherence, including elements such as introductions and conclusions as well as logical connections within and among paragraphs (or other meaningful chunks)
Lacks unity in constituent parts
(such as paragraphs); fails to create coherence among constituent parts
Uses insufficient unifying statements (e.g., thesis statements, topic sentences, headings, or forecasting statements); uses few effective connections (e.g., transitions, match cuts, and hyperlinks) Uses some effective unifying claims, but a few are unclear; makes connections weakly or inconsistently, as when claims appear as random lists or when paragraphs’ topics lack explicit ties to the thesis States unifying claims with supporting points that relate clearly to the overall argument and employs an effective but mechanical scheme Asserts and sustains a claim that develops progressively and adapts typical organizational schemes for the context, achieving substantive coherence Asserts a sophisticated claim by incorporating diverse perspectives that are organized to achieve maximum coherence and momentum
Expectations for grammar, mechanics, style, citation, and genre
Involves errors that risk making the overall message distorted or incomprehensible Involves a major pattern of errors Involves some distracting errors Meets expectations, with minor errors Exceeds expectations
in a virtually flawless manner
Manipulates expectations in ways that advance the argument
Design for Medium
Features that use affordances to enhance factors such as comprehensibility and usability
Lacks the features necessary for the genre; neglects significant affordances, such as linking on the web; uses features   that conflict with or ignore the argument Omits some important features; involves distracting inconsistencies in features (e.g., type and headings); uses features that don’t support argument Uses features that support with argument, but some match imprecisely with content; involves minor omissions or inconsistencies Supports the argument with features that are generally suited to genre and content Promotes engagement and supports the argument with features that efficiently use affordances Persuades with careful, seamless integration of features and content and with innovative use of affordances

Rubric from the Georgia Tech Writing and Communication Program.