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Analytical and holistic elements can be combined in a single set of grading criteria. Use the arrangement that best fits the way you think as you are grading, and makes the most sense in terms of the particular assignment you are creating.
Analytical rubrics assign a specific point value to each attribute of a project, for example:
They may be arranged graphically as grids, sliding scales, or checklists. You can weight categories to reflect issues of more or less concern, such as stressing the quality of a student’s thesis more than spelling skills. Analytical grade scales allow detailed assessment of multi-faceted projects, but the more detailed they are, the longer they take to develop, fine-tune, and use.
Holistic rubrics typically focus on larger skill sets demonstrated in the writing. They can be as detailed or as general as you like. The descriptions should use specific language without overloading students with information. Assigning grades holistically often speeds up the grading process, and many instructors feel holistic grades best reflect the inseparability of mechanics and ideas. But without good performance level descriptions, holistic grades can frustrate students, because they don’t convey a lot of information.
Essay Assessment Rubric for UT’s Quality Enhancement Plan. As part of UT’s SACS accreditation, every year a sample of essays written in Signature Courses is evaluated according to this rubric.