Characteristics to note in the rubric:

  • Language is descriptive, not evaluative.
  • Labels for degrees of success are descriptive ("Expert" "Proficient", etc.); by avoiding the use of letters representing grades or numbers representing points, there is no implied contract that qualities of the paper will "add up" to a specified score or grade or that all dimensions are of equal grading value.
  • Professor provides this rubric to students when the assignment is given. It serves as a tool for them to structure as well as self-evaluate their work in each area of their research project.

This rubric is developed for a specific original research assignment; it would need to be revised to describe the expectations for each specific assignment.

Download Original Research Project Rubric PDF.

Criteria Expert Proficient Apprentice Novice
Introduction [Introductory paragraph(s), literature review, hypotheses or propositions]

 Clearly identifies and discusses research focus/purpose of research

Research focus is clearly grounded in previous research/ theoretically relevant literature

Significance of the research is clearly identified (how it adds to previous research)

Hypotheses/ propositions are clearly articulated 

 Limited discussion of research focus/purpose of research

Research focus is less well-grounded in previous research/ theoretically relevant literature

Significance of the research is not as clearly identified (how it adds to previous research)

Hypotheses/ propositions are described but not as well articulated

 Minimal discussion of research focus/purpose of research

Research focus is not well-grounded in previous research/ theoretically relevant literature

Significance of the research is not clearly identified (how it adds to previous research)

Hypotheses/ propositions are not well articulated

 Little or no discussion of research focus/purpose of research

Research focus not grounded in previous research/ theoretically relevant literature

Significance of the research is not identified (how it adds to previous research)

Hypotheses/ propositions are poorly articulated or are absent altogether

Research Methods

 Provides accurate, thorough description of how the data was collected, what/how many data sources were analyzed, plan of analysis or measurement instrument, research context

Reflection on social situatedness/ reflexivity and how it may influence data collection and interpretation is thorough and insightful 

 Description of how the data was collected, what/how many data sources were analyzed, plan of analysis or measurement instrument, research context is adequate but limited.

Reflection on social situatedness/ reflexivity and how it may influence data collection and interpretation is adequate but limited 

 Description of how the data was collected, what/how many data sources were analyzed, plan of analysis or measurement instrument, research context is somewhat confusing/not clearly articulated.

Reflection on social situatedness/ reflexivity and how it may influence data collection and interpretation is limited and lacks insight 

 Description of how the data was collected, what/how many data sources were analyzed, plan of analysis or measurement instrument, research context is very confusing/not articulated sufficiently.

Reflection on social situatedness/ reflexivity and how it may influence data collection and interpretation is severely limited, lacks insight, or is absent altogether 

Results

 Results are clearly explained in a comprehensive level of detail and are well-organized

 Tables/figures clearly and concisely convey the data.

Statistical analyses (if used) are appropriate tests and are accurately interpreted.

Results are explained but not as clearly, level of detail is not as sufficient, and there are some organizational issues

Tables/figures are not as clear/concise in conveying the data.

Statistical analyses (if used) are appropriate tests but are not accurately interpreted.

 Results are not very clearly explained, level of detail is insufficient, and there are more organizational issues

 Tables/figures are not clear/concise in conveying the data.

Statistical analyses (if used) are inappropriate tests and/or are not accurately interpreted.

  Results are not clearly explained, level of detail is severely insufficient, and there are serious organizational issues

Tables/figures are not clear/concise in conveying the data.

Statistical analyses (if used) are inappropriate tests and/or are not accurately interpreted.

Conclusions

 Interpretations/ analysis of results are thoughtful and insightful, are clearly informed by the study’s results, and thoroughly address how they supported, refuted, and/or informed the hypotheses/ propositions

Insightful discussion of how the study relates to and/or enhances the present scholarship in this area

Suggestions for further research in this area are insightful and thoughtful

 Interpretations/ analysis of results are sufficient but somewhat lacking in thoughtfulness and insight, are not as clearly informed by the study’s results, and do not as thoroughly address how they supported, refuted, and/or informed the hypotheses/ proposition

Discussion of how the study relates to and/or enhances the present scholarship in this area is adequate.

Suggestions for further research in this area are adequate.

 Interpretations/ analysis of results lacking in thoughtfulness and insight, are not clearly informed by the study’s results, and do not adequately address how they supported, refuted, and/or informed the hypotheses/ propositions

Discussion of how the study relates to and/or enhances the present scholarship in this area is limited.

Suggestions for further research in this area are very limited.

Interpretations/ analysis of results severely lacking in thoughtful ness and insight, are not informed by the study’s results, and do not address how they supported, refuted, and/or informed the hypotheses/ propositions

Discussion of how the study relates to and/or enhances the present scholarship in this area is severely limited and/or absent altogether.

Suggestions for further research in this area are severely limited and/or absent altogether.

Documentation of Sources, Quality of Sources

 Cites all data obtained from other sources. APA citation style is accurately used in both text and bibliography.

 Sources are all scholarly and clearly relate to the research focus.

 Cites most data obtained from other sources. APA citation style is used in both text and bibliography.

Sources are primarily scholarly and relate to the research focus.

 Cites some data obtained from other sources. Citation style is either inconsistent or incorrect.

 Sources are not primarily scholarly and relate to the research focus but somewhat tangentially.

 Does not cite sources.

Sources are disproportionately non-scholarly and do not clearly relate to the research focus.

Spelling & Grammar

No spelling & grammar mistakes

Minimal spelling & grammar mistakes

Noticeable spelling and grammar mistakes

Excessive spelling and/or grammar mistakes

Manuscript Format

 Title page has proper APA formatting

Used correct headings & subheadings consistently

Title page approximates APA formatting

Used correct headings & subheadings almost consistently

 Title page deviates a bit more from APA formatting

Headings & subheadings less consistent

Title page completely deviates from APA formatting

Headings and subheadings completely deviate from suggested formatting or are absent altogether

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