Written Communication VALUE Rubric

Written communication is the development and expression of ideas in writing. Written communication involves learning to work in many genres and styles. It can involve working with many different writing technologies, and mixing texts, data, and images. Written communication abilities develop through iterative experiences across the curriculum.

Evaluators are encouraged to assign a zero to any work sample or collection of work that does not meet benchmark (cell one) level performance.

Capstone Milestones Benchmark
4 3 2 1
Context of and Purpose for Writing

Includes considerations of audience, purpose, and the circumstances surrounding the writing task(s).

Demonstrates a thorough understanding of context, audience, and purpose that is responsive to the assigned task(s) and focuses all elements of the work. Demonstrates adequate consideration of context, audience, and purpose and a clear focus on the assigned task(s) (e.g., the task aligns with audience, purpose, and context). Demonstrates awareness of context, audience, purpose, and to the assigned tasks(s) (e.g., begins to show awareness of audience’s perceptions and assumptions). Demonstrates minimal attention to context, audience, purpose, and to the assigned tasks(s) (e.g., expectation of instructor or self as audience).
What is Context of and purpose for writing?
The context of writing is the situation surrounding a text: who is reading it? who is writing it? Under what circumstances will the text be shared or circulated? What social or political factors might affect how the text is composed or interpreted?

The purpose for writing is the writer’s intended effect on an audience. Writers might want to persuade or inform; they might want to report or summarize information; they might want to work through complexity or confusion; they might want to argue with other writers, or connect with other writers; they might want to convey urgency or amuse; they might write for themselves or for an assignment or to remember.

Content Development

See argument and critical thinking.

Uses appropriate, relevant, and compelling content to illustrate mastery of the subject, conveying the writer’s understanding, and shaping the whole work. Uses appropriate, relevant, and compelling content to explore ideas within the context of the discipline and shape the whole work. Uses appropriate and relevant content to develop and explore ideas through most of the work. Uses appropriate and relevant content to develop simple ideas in some parts of the work.
What is Content Development?
The ways in which the text explores and represents its topic in relation to its audience and purpose.

Genre and Disciplinary Conventions

Formal and informal rules inherent in the expectations for writing in particular forms and/or academic fields (please see glossary).

Demonstrates detailed attention to and successful execution of a wide range of conventions particular to a specific discipline and/or writing task (s) including organization, content, presentation, formatting, and stylistic choices Demonstrates consistent use of important conventions particular to a specific discipline and/or writing task(s), including organization, content, presentation, and stylistic choices Follows expectations appropriate to a specific discipline and/or writing task(s) for basic organization, content, and presentation Attempts to use a consistent system for basic organization and presentation.
What are Genre and Disciplinary conventions?
Genre conventions are formal and informal rules for particular kinds of texts and/or media that guide formatting, organization, and stylistic choices, e.g. lab reports, academic papers, poetry, webpages, or personal essays.

Disciplinary conventions are formal and informal rules that constitute what is seen generally as appropriate within different academic fields, e.g. introductory strategies, use of passive voice or first person point of view, expectations for thesis or hypothesis, expectations for kinds of evidence and support that are appropriate to the task at hand, use of primary and secondary sources to provide evidence and support arguments and to document critical perspectives on the topic. Writers will incorporate sources according to disciplinary and genre conventions, according to the writer’s purpose for the text. Through increasingly sophisticated use of sources, writers develop an ability to differentiate between their own ideas and the ideas of others, credit and build upon work already accomplished in the field or issue they are addressing, and provide meaningful examples to readers.

Sources and Evidence

See research and citations.

Demonstrates skillful use of high-quality, credible, relevant sources to develop ideas that are appropriate for the discipline and genre of the writing Demonstrates consistent use of credible, relevant sources to support ideas that are situated within the discipline and genre of the writing. Demonstrates an attempt to use credible and/or relevant sources to support ideas that are appropriate for the discipline and genre of the writing. Demonstrates an attempt to use sources to support ideas in the writing.
What is Evidence? What are Sources?
Evidence is source material that is used to extend, in purposeful ways, writers’ ideas in a text.

Sources are texts (written, oral, behavioral, visual, or other) that writers draw on as they work for a variety of purposes — to extend, argue with, develop, define, or shape their ideas, for example.

Control of Syntax and Mechanics

See grammar essentials.

Uses graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning to readers with clarity and fluency, and is virtually error-free. Uses straightforward language that generally conveys meaning to readers. The language in the portfolio has few errors. Uses language that generally conveys meaning to readers with clarity, although writing may include some errors. Uses language that sometimes impedes meaning because of errors in usage.

[ source: AACU Written Communication VALUE Rubric ]

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