example of writing assignment with rubric

Hi all, based on our conversation today I am posting this. If you have ideas for ways I could strengthen it I’m very open to your suggestions!

I copied and pasted this from a word doc so I’m not sure how the format will work out, but here’s an example of an assignment. It is the first part (Problem Statement) of a quarter-long grant proposal project. They turn in this Problem Statement as a first draft (graded only for completion), get feedback from me and from peers (peers use the rubric in their review; I can upload that separately), then turn in a 2nd draft that I grade using the rubric and provide feedback, and then at the end of the quarter they turn in a final version along with the final/3rd versions of all of their proposal sections in a one complete document.

Problem Statement Assignment from HDFS 461

Please read all the way through the Instructions & Rubric before you begin.


 Let’s say that it has come to our attention that students at OSU who have infants and toddlers find it very difficult to locate quality, affordable child care. To address this problem, we decide to write a grant to fund a quality childcare center on campus.  What would be our first step?

 The answer is that we would start by gathering factual information about the problem. How many students have children under the age of four?  How many students are not able to find good child care? What child care is currently available? How many more child care slots are needed? Together, this information considers the prevalence of the problem. In other words, we are asking, how big of a problem do we have?


Our second step would be to document the consequences of the problem. To continue with the above example, we would document the consequences OSU students experience because of a lack of quality childcare available to them.  We might find, for example, that this issue results in high levels of stress that affects students’ school performance. Perhaps the problem causes financial stress that leads students to drop out of school. Maybe it leads to strain in romantic partnerships or negatively affects students’ ability to parent well.

Information about both the prevalence and the consequences of the problem persuade the reader that this is a widespread problem that has serious consequences.

The third step is to document some of the causes of the problem. Again, following the above example, we could document reasons for the high cost of childcare, reasons for the lack of availability for students, etc.

Finally, the fourth step is to very briefly state what should be done about this problem. This will be the rationale for your grant proposal.

What you need to do:

The first step in writing your proposal is to gather information about (a) the prevalence, (b) the consequences, and (c) the causes of the problem you chose. Then decide (d) what you propose to do about it. Part (d) will not have any details – it is just the overall idea.

All of your information must come from trustworthy, original sources. At least 5 of these need to be original peer-reviewed research articles. Sources must be cited using APA format. Make sure that you use sources that have adequate evidence to support your claim that you are knowledgeable about the problem. Use your critical thinking skills!

The minimum word count for the problem statement is 750 words or about 3 pages. This means that each section of the problem statement should be about 3 paragraphs long.

Do not include sub-headings in this section.


Grading Rubric

 Content/Development (15 points)

  • Does the writing of the Problem Statement convince you that the problem is significant, the consequences of the problem are concerning, and the causes are clearly delineated?
  • Has the author used appropriate examples, facts, or other supporting material to document and reinforce the main points in the problem statement?
  • Does the author paraphrase rather than quote sources?
  • Does the Problem Statement cite at least 8 sources total?
    • At least 5 original peer-reviewed research articles?
    • Additional sources, such as reports, policy briefs, statistics from original sources online (e.g., U.S. Census tables), etc.?

Organization (10 points)

  • Has the author followed the organization articulated in the assignment?
  • Does each part of the problem statement flow logically from the preceding part?
  • Has the author used transitional words and phrases to guide the reader paragraph-by- paragraph?
  • Does each paragraph include a central idea, backed up with supporting evidence?
  • Is information presented logically within each paragraph?

Tone and (2 point)

  • Is the tone appropriate for the intended audience (e.g., formal and professional)?
  • Is appropriate grammar and punctuation evident?

Format (3 points)

  • Is the problem statement written with correct APA format citations? Are secondary citations avoided?
  • Does the assignment include an accurate Reference List?
  • Is the Problem Statement approximately 2.5-3 pages, double-spaced, with about 3 paragraphs for each of the three sections?

Addresses Feedback (10 points)

  • Does the second/final draft address the feedback provided by the instructor and peers on the first/ second draft(s)?

Problem Statement Total = 40 points


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