University of Wisconsin–Madison

Sample Rubrics from a Journalism Course

Professor Katy Culver (Journalism 202)

Below are two examples of rubrics from Professor Katy Culver’s intermediate journalism course, where she covers a range of genres. By using rubrics to establish unique grading criteria for each assignment, she teaches her students the similarities and differences between them.

 

Informative Story

  

Graded requirements

Subsets

Emerging

Developing

Mastering

 

Scale

C-F

B-BC

A-AB

Information

Accuracy, inclusiveness, completeness, use of sources/ evidence/quotes

Holes in information; important sources left out; unquestioning use of sources; no or weak quotes; unfounded opinion; inaccuracies (-10 per fact error)

Reasonable use of information but some ideas left out; minor inaccuracies; quotes used but weak connection or construction

Well-rounded sourcing includes key ideas/facts; effective quotes advance story; accurate; tells complete story

Scale

F___________________________________________________________A

Lead

Fit to story, concision, engagement, appropriate tone

Lead misses point of story or is buried; wordy; inappropriate for audience; unnecessarily passive; inaccurate

Lead has one or two strong elements but fails in others, e.g. hits correct point but is excessively wordy

Lead accurately and succinctly draws in audience with key idea (straight) or engaging elements (feature)

Scale

F___________________________________________________________A

Structure and flow

Organization, transitions, readability

Structure does not lead logically from one point to next; no or poor transitions; leaps in ideas with no segues; piece feels choppy or confusing

Information generally well ordered with some confusing jumps; weaker transitions; readable but inconsistent in flow

Information flows seamlessly from one point to next; effective transitions of idea and language; appropriate length for story, medium and audience

Scale

F___________________________________________________________A

Language

Active voice, effective modifiers, precise word choices, visual descriptions, clarity, concision

Wordy constructions; poor word choices; unnecessary passive voice; unclear statements; dull writing

Clear writing with some instances of poor word choice, unspecific descriptions or passive voice; slightly wordy or confusing

Concise constructions making use of precise and effective words; descriptive and clear

Scale

F___________________________________________________________A

Mechanics

Spelling, style, grammar

Host of errors interfere with comprehension

Minor errors trip up reader but story readable

Largely error-free

Scale

F___________________________________________________________A

Fairness

Inclusiveness, balance

Displays unjustifiable bias; relies on stereotype; involves unwarranted opinion

Source or quote choices lead to question of bias; minor insertions of opinion

Overall fairness to subject and sources; free of bias

Scale

F___________________________________________________________A

 

    

Assignment Grade:

 

 

 

Audio Slideshow

  

Graded requirements

Subsets

Emerging

Developing

Mastering

 

Scale

C-F

B-BC

A-AB

Theme/angle

Coherent and important story

Slideshow tells no story

Slideshow narrowing in on angle but images/captions/
backing audio miss the point

Theme/angle clear and images/captions/backing audio fulfill the promise

Scale

F_____________________________________________________________A

Images

Quality, composition, integration into story, focus, lighting

Images lack connection to story/theme; poor quality, composition, focus, lighting; too many/few images

Average quality, composition, focus and lighting; slightly too many/few images; solid connection to story/theme

Clear connection between images and story/theme; strong quality, composition, focus, lighting

Scale

F_______________________________________________________________A

Backing audio

Clarity, sound quality, connection to theme/angle, information

Interviews or other content not audible; little to no information provided; no added value; music only

Audio provides some content but doesn’t meet theme or match images; some technical difficulties in recording

Audio adds markedly to comprehension/engagement of story; strong match to images

Scale

F________________________________________________________________A

Captions

Fit to images, accuracy, concision

Wordy captions difficult to comprehend in slide time; inaccuracies (-10 for fact error)

Captions wordy but still digestible in slide time; repetitive with image; omit info

Captions easily comprehended in slide time; clear and active writing; add to content of image, rather than repeating

Scale

F_______________________________________________________________A

Structure and flow

Visual transitions, overall structure tells a story

Structure does not lead logically from one point to next; no or poor transitions; leaps in ideas with no segues; piece feels choppy or confusing

Information generally well ordered with some confusing jumps; weaker transitions; engaging but inconsistent in flow

Piece flows seamlessly from one image to next; effective transitions; strong feel to lead and conclusion

Scale

F________________________________________________________________A

Language (captions

and VO

in backing audio)

Active voice, effective modifiers, precise word choices, match to visuals, clarity, concision

Wordy constructions; poor word choices; unnecessary passive voice; unclear statements; dull writing; text conflicts with visuals

Clear writing with some instances of poor word choice, etc.; slightly wordy or confusing; text ignores visuals

Concise constructions making use of precise and effective words; descriptive and clear; text matches visuals

Scale

F________________________________________________________________A

Mechanics

Spelling, style, grammar

Host of errors interfere with comprehension

Minor errors trip up viewer but story comprehensible

Largely error-free

Scale

F________________________________________________________________A

Timing

Total time meets assignment, tight bites/ other elements

Lead excessively long; runs short/long (-5 points after 5 seconds short/long); wordy

Meets overall length but internal elements run long, such as wordy bites

Meets overall length and tight elements throughout

Scale

F_______________________________________________________________A

Fairness

Inclusiveness, balance

Displays unjustifiable bias; relies on stereotype; involves unwarranted opinion

Source or quote choices lead to question of bias; minor insertions of opinion

Overall fairness to subject and sources; free of bias

Scale

F________________________________________________________________A

 

    

Assignment Grade: