Rubric for Exercise One

Levels of Achievement


Superior (A)

Exceeds Requirements (B)

Meets Requirements (C )

Needs Improvement (D )

Unacceptable  ( F )

Learning Outcome:


Definition of environmental planning/writing

Demonstrates knowledge of definition of environmental planning by comparing this reading to other definitions

Does this thoughtfully, may compare to news/experience

Uses case study to help define environmental planning as social and political activity

Overly simplistic, perfunctory


b) investigate …

Demonstrates ability to investigate by setting the who does what question in the context of other answers


Demonstrates ability to grapple with new material in environmental planning




3-4 pages max


12pt font dbl space 1” margins

3-4 pages (max)


12pt font dbl space 1” margins

2-3 pages


12pt font dbl space 1” margins

Less than 2 pages

2-3, but SILLY MARGINS, big type, or any other word processing chicanery that indicates that it is really less than two pages



Less than 2 pages


Technical Writing Quality

Exceeds plus

No errors in grammar

Writing needs no improvement in technical quality

No mechanical errors

No colloquialisms

Proficient professional quality writing

No more than 5 mechanical errors:  spell/grammar check plus proofread

One or two informal/ inapp. word choices


6-15 mechanical errors

Inappropriate word choices


More than fifteen mechanical errors

Organization and Clarity in Writing


‘exceeds’ plus

writing needs no improvement in organization or clarity

‘meets’ plus

well-written and clear


Innovative or interesting

Paragraphs/answers have clear main idea, frequently located as the first sentence of the paragraph

Logical order to ideas



Main idea unclear

Too much quoting from the article


Main ideas cannot be understood by reader

Direct quotation without citation


How to use rubrics:  first of all, aim to meet the basic requirements.  Go over the categories and consider how your paper is likely to be assessed.  Make improvements where you can.


To improve writing:  work with a friend, another student … have them read and point out a) where they do not understand what you are saying, b) typos and funny grammar or casual expressions (the spell/grammar check will only catch so much).  Also, ask them to read a paragraph and restate your main idea.  That way, you will know whether or not it is clear to a reader.


How we will use rubrics for assessment:  For many exercises, we will do student/student grading before the hand-in grade.  This helps in your learning, and when you can do revisions it often means better papers when I look at them.


What the grades at the top mean: 

“Meets” = C … so if I just meet the requirements of the assignment, will I get a C?  I don’t want a C.

  1. If you meet in all categories, the resulting grade is bumped up between a half and a full grade. So, if you Meet in Everything, your resulting grade will be a B or a B-.
  2. You have to earn a C before you earn a B.  I think it might be useful to think about it that way.  It seems to me that for many students, aiming for the A makes them forget what is in C.