Rubric & Writing Tips

Sunoikisis-Euripides Rubric

Use this rubric to assess which post in your Tribe’s forum provides the strongest response to the Writing Prompt. Keep these criteria in mind as the Tribe edits and improves the chosen response for submission to the larger community.

An EXEMPLARY POST is successful in the following ways:


    • Response to the assigned topic is fully developed, clear, and convincing.
    • Specific evidence and examples drawn from the reading supports ideas.
    • The post addresses all aspects of the prompt.

    • Post creatively engages with textual material and seeks out points of connection to concepts or concepts from other areas of the course and to the ideas of fellow learners.
    • Post is thought-provoking, supportive, challenging, or reflective, and it moves forward the conversation of the course.

    • Post is clear, concise, and logically organized.
    • While the post can be casual in tone, there are few or no mechanical errors (spelling, grammar, citations).

Writing Tips

Ideas and Evidence

Responses to the Writing Prompt and to fellow participants’ posts should express ideas that are:

  • developed
    • What is the main idea I’m trying to express? Does that main point answer the topic under discussion? Did I develop the idea fully and consider possible counter-arguments? Have I explained my idea thoroughly avoiding leaps in logic?
  • clear
    • Is my idea clearly expressed? Can someone unfamiliar with the topic pick out the main point? Will those familiar with the topic be able to follow the logic of my argument and understand the relevance of the details I have included?
  • supported
    • Does my main idea have backing and evidence from the text?  Are the citations and details I have used relevant to my main argument? Have I cited the text correctly?

Citing Ancient Texts

      • Classical texts use a particular method of citation: [Author], [Title] [Book/Section].[Line #cited]
      • So if we wanted to cite Homer’s Odyssey, Book 1 lines 1-14: Homer, Odyssey 1.1-14
      • Since this course is focused on this one text, the author and book title can be assumed. So as long as we’re exclusively  we can simply cite: 1.1-14.
        • Examples:
          1. “Many the pains [Odysseus] suffered in his spirit” (1.4) is a theme introduced from the start of the Odyssey.
          2. The very first lines of the Odyssey prepares the reader a story in which the hero undergoes many struggles and difficulties (1.1-14).
          • Include citations for references the text that are directly quoted (1) or paraphrased (2).

Responsiveness and Engagement

Responses to the Writing Prompt and to fellow participants’ posts should be:

    • relevant
      • Does my post address the topic and/or concerns being discussed in the thread?  Does it contribute positively and constructively to the conversation?
    • responsive
      • Does my post take into consideration the ideas expressed by other participants in the discussion? Does it incorporate ideas from previous discussions and topics from the course?
    • collegial
      • Does my post maintain a respectful and courteous tone? Does it respond generously to others’ ideas, even if it is critical of those ideas?  Does my critique focus on the idea under discussion and avoid “getting personal”?

Language and Style

Responses to the Writing Prompt and to fellow participants’ posts can be casual, meaning some informal or conversational elements, such as contractions, using the second-person, are acceptable.  To maintain an academic tone, however, the posts should be:

    • mechanically correct
      • Did I proofread my post and correct any errors of grammar or syntax (spelling, punctuation, etc.)?  Are the citations accurate?
    • clear
      • Are my ideas expressed in a straightforward manner?  Are there places where I can simplify my vocabulary or sentence structure in order to improve clarity?