How To Understand An Assignment Rubric

Assignment rubrics, especially those concerning research papers or other projects, will have specific tasks for each assignment.

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3 Tricks for Looking at an Assignment Rubric

Every student must learn how to write a research paper; they must also learn how to look at and understand an assignment rubric. This rubric will give students an understanding of the assignment and its requirements. For students who are just learning how to write a paper, an assignment rubric can be a great help. It outlines the formatting and general requirements, the grading criteria, and also gives students a specific idea of what is mandatory for the paper, such as what kind of paper they will be writing. We’ve listed three tricks below to help you understand your assignment rubric better, including how and when you ought to take notes. While it may seem a little time-consuming to actively look at the rubric, it will no doubt help you be successful while you’re in college.

1. Take Notes on the Generalities of the Assignment and What Will Be Graded

You should always take notes on any given assignment rubric; this will give you an idea of what will be graded and therefore what are the most important aspects of the assignment. Teachers generally give broad guidelines on the assignment and make a list of what aspects will be graded, such as understanding a concept, a strong persuasive perspective in a research paper, and more. Take notes on these generalities before starting the assignment and highlight the parts that will be graded. This ensures that you know what parts will need your focus as well as give you a handle on what the outcome of the paper should be. Doing all of this before you begin will save you a lot of time and a lot of hassle, so get into the habit of making this your first step for every assignment.

2. Highlight Assignment Specific Tasks and Make Notes

Assignment rubrics, especially those concerning research papers or other projects, will have specific tasks for each assignment. It’s important that you make a note of these specific requirements and decide before you begin the assignment how you’re going to address them. By taking the time out to read the rubric and address any specific tasks for the assignment, you’re saving yourself a lot of trouble in the long run. Most students don’t take the time to read the rubric correctly and then get lower grades because they didn’t follow directions; you can avoid that by spending ten minutes to formulate a plan before you begin. It also helps with your stress if you do reread the rubric before turning in the assignment.

3. Be Sure to Format the Paper Well (It’s the Handshake!)

All research papers will have a format that needs to be followed, and you will be able to find it in the assignment rubric. Professors in college are notorious for lowering grades when students don’t follow the appropriate format, so be sure to always pay attention to the guidelines in the rubric. Another reason the assignment rubric matters when it comes to paper formatting is that some professors know that many formatting rules are the same across disciplines. This is especially true for nursing schools, colleges of education, and more. Some professors are changing the format guidelines slightly to see which student is paying attention. No matter what the format guidelines are, even if they seem a bit strange to you, follow them.

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