The following rubric describes levels of competence in completing an essay on a history exam or homework assignment other than a research paper.  

Levels correspond roughly to letter grades (4 = A, 1 = F), although criteria will vary somewhat depending upon the nature and level of the class. 

Level Criteria
4
  • Well-developed thesis directly addressing the topic.
  • Persuasive analysis of the topic, addressing all parts of the topic; analysis demonstrates thorough understanding of all sides of a question (as appropriate).
  • Outstanding grasp of general historical issues raised by topic.
  • Numerous specific examples demonstrate detailed knowledge of relevant history.
  • Extremely well organized, with a clear introduction, argument, and conclusion.
  • Well written in appropriate standard English; few grammatical errors or colloquialisms.
3
  • Clear thesis addressing the topic.
  • Good analysis of the topic, addressing most parts of the topic; analysis demonstrates understanding of all sides of a question (as appropriate), though may be unevenly developed.
  • Good grasp of general historical issues raised by topic.
  • Several specific examples demonstrate good knowledge of relevant history.
  • Well organized, with an introduction, argument, and conclusion.
  • Clearly written in appropriate standard English; some grammatical errors or colloquialisms.
2
  • Thesis indicates some aspect of the topic; more a restatement of than a point about the topic.
  • Analysis of the topic, addressing most parts of the topic; analysis adequate but unevenly developed.
  • Some grasp of general historical issues raised by topic, though some significant issues may be omitted.
  • Some specific examples demonstrate knowledge of relevant history; some clearly relevant examples omitted.
  • Contains at least two of the following: introduction, argument, and conclusion; organization may be somewhat unclear.
  • Understandable, but contains several grammatical errors or colloquialisms.
1
  • No discernible thesis and/or serious misunderstanding of the topic.
  • Descriptive rather than analytical; marginally related to the topic; significant logical gaps.
  • Little grasp of general historical issues raised by topic.
  • Few and/or erroneous specific examples demonstrate little knowledge of relevant history.
  • Poorly organized: no clear introduction, argument, or conclusion.
  • Pattern of grammatical errors and/or inappropriate colloquialisms.