Memoir Grading Rubric

Memoir quotes

I dislike assigning a grade to creative work, but I have to do it, so I have designed a grading rubric. Use this rubric to see the elements I measure when grading your memoir assignment. Apply this rubric to your own essay when revising. Be honest about your work. Ask me any questions you have before turning in your final draft.

MEMOIR RUBRIC

  PURPOSE AND AUDIENCE AWARENESS (15 Points)

  • Rhetorical purpose is clear, focused, and appropriate to audience and assignment
  • Purpose is focused on memoir
  • Shows engagement with issues of story, language, rhetoric, or thinking deeply about a personal event

GENRE CONVENTIONS/STRUCTURE (30 Points)

  • Title is compelling or surprising and appropriate for the genre
  • Introduction hooks reader and presents the material as interesting and important
  • Narrative structure clearly connects events sequentially or spatially, but also causal or thematically
  • Employs tension characterized by a clash of opposing values/points of view
  • Attempts to create suspense by disrupting the reader’s desire for direction/clarity
  • Pacing and conflict are appropriate to the story’s theme and engage the reader and avoid and then chronology.

 THEME (15 points)

  • Theme relates to a personal experience, but also illustrates more universal principles
  • Events selected clearly help the reader understand the issues of the theme
  • Resolution, recognition, or reflection help the reader understand the theme.

RHETORICAL APPEALS (15 Points): 

  • Ethos:  Writer’s voice is convincing and authentic ; is likeable and personable
  • Pathos:  Emotional moments are used to good effect in establishing the significance of the theme
  • Logos:  Events and details make logical sense and advance the reader’s understanding of the universal themes.

WRITING PROCESS (10 Points) 

  • Portfolio demonstrates evidence of a thoughtful writing process, including invention, revision, and proof-reading
  • Final draft shows clear improvement from first to final draft with major revisions evident

 LANGUAGE AND STYLE (15 Points)

  • Concrete language ( low in abstraction)  evokes strong images and awakens reader’s senses/feelings
  • Most sentences are clear and can be understood the first time they are read
  • Syntax, punctuation, and spelling used effectively in service of rhetorical purpose