Inquiry Paper Rubric





The question that prompts the inquiry

The topic may leave room for exploration, but be a question with a fairly obvious answer.

The question will be an interesting one, but one that might have one clear path of exploration and research. It might also be a straightforward question that is more easily answered.

The question will be one that will reveal the complexity of the context of a text or how at text achieves its purpose rhetorically. The question will lead the writer to inquire more deeply and might lead to new questions for exploration. It will be a question that can lead to many avenues of research.

The narrative of the paper (its organization)

The form of the paper is a thesis-driven academic essay where the thesis is presented in the beginning and the research supports the thesis. The argument is already known to the reader and writer from the beginning.

The paper begins with a question and presents an account of the information from the research in a straightforward manner.

The paper is a narrative that takes the reader through the research, explaining what is learned at each step, including how the writer follows detours but is able to finally reach an understanding of the topic's relation to the text.

Quality of the research and its integration into the narrative

The research comes mostly from wikipedia and other Internet sources, or from a single article.

A mixture of Internet and scholarly sources, mostly more general historical material.

Scholarly articles and books that give a deeper analysis of cultural events. May also use other primary texts.

Conclusion (delayed thesis)

No clear connection of the topic back to the text, or does not clearly show how research into the topic changed or informed the student's reading of the text. Thesis may be present at the beginning rather than the end of the paper.

Conclusion presents a judgment or comment on the original text, but it may not be fully developed. The conclusion could be more general and not explicitly related back to the text.

The conclusion presents an understanding of how the text can be read differently in response to the explorations the writer has undertaken. It has a larger significance in terms of texts or in terms of the cultural context of the text.

Clear, concise academic prose

Has errors and stylistic problems, particularly repetition and lack of conciseness.

Few errors or stylistic problems. Sentence structures are complex and varied.

Complex sentence structure and word choice that complements the content of the paper. The style of the paper helps to convey its meaning.

MLA documentation and works cited page

All sources are not documented correctly.

There may be some errors in formatting in-text citations or works cited page.

All sources are correctly documented and formatted.