Assessment Rubric for Notebooks:



Excellent (A)

Good (B)

Fair (C)

Poor (D)

VOLUME: How much writing is present relative to what is required, including responses to daily quotations (“Q”), and daily in-class writing assignments (“C”), and to allotted writing time.


All required entries present, reflecting thorough and substantial responses to both quotes (“Q”) and specific assignments (“C”). The student is clearly working consistently and conscien-tiously to read the text, and use the writing to explore its meaning.


All required entries present, with an appreciable amount of writing in most “C” entries; some quote responses may be brief or missing. The student is working consistently, reading and writing, but  producing less than fully-developed and effective responses.


Entries are either brief or inconsistent; e.g., all or most entries are present, but they tend to be short and indicate that the student is not using all of the writing time to write. Or, existing entries show an appreciable amount of writing, but some required entries are missing.


Many entries missing, with existing entries consistently and exceedingly short, indicating a minimal amount of work. The student has clearly not used the writing time to write consistently, however there is enough work to merit a minimum passing grade.

COMPREHENSION: The degree to which the writing indicates an actual reading of the assigned text, and understanding thereof.


Indicates a thorough, in-depth understanding of the text; the student clearly read it and had little or no difficulty understanding it. Details from the text are copious, specific,  accurate and relevant; the student seems completely comfortable and confident in discussing the text and quotes.


Indicates a sound, essential understanding of the text; the student clearly read it and had little difficulty understanding it, though may have had some trouble grasping some of the more complex, advanced, or less-obvious elements. Details from the text are generally accurate and relevant; quote responses are interesting and intelligent.


Indicates a simple, basic or partial understanding of the text; the student may have read it but had some difficulty understanding it. Important general ideas are mentioned, but details are few, and references to the text may be vague and/or inaccurate. Quote responses are limited, and some have been left blank.


Indicates a confused or severely limited understanding of the text; the student had significant difficulty comprehending even its most basic, essential elements and may not have read it at all. References to the text are superficial, vague and largely inaccurate.


RESPONSE: The degree to which the writing exhibits thoughtful response, ideas, insight, interpretation and analysis of the assigned reading.

Thoughtful, reflective, insightful entries that explore thoughts and ideas about the text in a meaningful, scholarly way. The student is clearly engaged in the reading and in thinking about the text, exploring larger ideas such as themes, motifs, literary elements, connections to other texts and to the student’s own experience, and more.

Interesting, intelligent entries, but may be limited in scope or exploration of thoughts and ideas. The writing may be more reactive than responsive, indicating some personal feelings about the text and discussing some ideas, with some insight and/or analysis. The student is clearly making an attempt to look beyond the text and explore its greater meaning.


Adequate entries with some ideas, but very limited in scope or exploration of anything beyond the text’s basic meaning. Responses consist primarily of plot summary, with occasional reactions, questions, or brief references to themes or ideas, but the student does not appear to be thinking about the text beyond its most obvious elements.


No response; plot summary only. The student is merely recalling the content of the text, in whatever degree of detail, without applying any original thinking or exploring any larger ideas, themes, questions, or reactions. The writing tells us what the text is basically about, or what it “says,” but nothing more.


The notebook receives a failing grade (“F”) if:

·        a significant number of  required entries are missing;

·        entries are consistently and significantly short (i.e., no more than a few sentences);

·        entries are not responsive to the assigned quotations, reading passages or questions;

·        any entry is identical to that in another student’s notebook (both will fail);

·        entries and responses appear to have been drawn, though not copied directly, from secondary source material such as SparkNotes, Cliffs Notes, or internet websites, rather than an actual reading of the text;

·        any other conditions exist which suggest that the student did not actually read the text.



The notebook receives a zero (no credit) if:

·        it is not in the classroom when notebooks are checked;

·        it is empty or practically empty;

·        it has no name on it;

·        it contains only quotations and notes copied from the board, with no responsive writing by the student;

·        any entries (or parts of entries) were copied directly from secondary source material such as SparkNotes, Cliffs Notes, or internet websites.