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Every educational institution has a set of scoring criteria or rubric by which a student's work is graded and feedback is provided accordingly. Rubrics are different for different levels in the academic ladder. However the main criterion can be summarised as the following.


  • thrust on the topic
  • clarity of expressions
  • proper introduction
  • well-written and compact conclusion
  • proper use of examples
  • bibliography or references present
  • comfortable within the word limit
  • extensive research work done

The presence of these elements will fetch him high marks such as a 4 out of 5, which makes his performance advanced or proficient.

Basic Performance:

  • more elaborate introduction needed
  • inadequate vocabulary
  • too short or too detailed
  • abrupt ending
  • no use of examples or references
  • plagiarized work

If these elements are found in a research paper, they shall be taken into account and graded less, between 2 and 3, depending upon the extent of the mistakes. Usually college research paper rubrics have a strict protocol in following this guideline because of the academic standard which is expected of the students.

Below Expectations:

  • incoherent language
  • grammatical errors
  • careless use of punctuation
  • unorganized manner of writing
  • bland presentation
  • errors in mechanics, impairing comprehension

The above features in a paper are sure to fetch him very low marks, making him stand below expectations. It is understandable for a middle school student to take the help of family members but the originality should be visible. The situation is a little graver in a high school research paper rubric.  By this time students have a fair idea of how a research paper is to be done and the care that has to be taken while working on one. For a college student to have committed such mistakes, it is scandalous and often deserves no marks at all, quite rightly. In a middle school research paper rubric, the main focus is upon the body of the paper. At that time, the student is learning to write a research paper and is never expected to present a professional work. He may make mistakes which are overlooked.

Research paper rubrics are available in every educational institution where the teachers and professors are to consider them while grading a student. The main purpose of a rubric is to determine the overall capability of a student in every aspect, starting from presentation, pictorial portrayal, use of references and how the topic has been ended. They provide an important yardstick in measuring the progress of an individual student as well as of the entire class as a whole. Academic worksheets for the future are often formed based on the performance of the present times. Thus, research paper rubrics, though of various types and containing various criteria, all exist to serve the same purpose.