Social Studies Help Center
Social Studies help for American History, Economics and AP Government. There are class notes, numerous Supreme Court case summaries and information on how to write a research paper inside.


Lets face facts, most students have little or no idea why they get a particular grade. A student may think they worked hard ( I stress think!) or they may know they were pretty much correct in an essay or question, but for the most part grading remains a mystery to most students. In order to take some of the mystery out of the process teachers often use a device called a rubric. A rubric is essentially a grading guide that tells you how your work will be assessed.

The guide below is a basic rubric which you may use as a guide to how I will assess work throughout the year. By giving you this guide you should have a better understanding of what is expected of you and of how you will be graded. If a project has a different rubric it will be provided to you in advance.

Rubric for a DBQ

Rubric for a thematic essay


General Rubric


100 - 90

A+, A

Very Good


B+, B



C+, C





64 and under



No mistakes, scholarly and accurate. Excellent knowledge of the topic shown

Few if any mistakes, any mistakes must be minor in nature, very good knowledge of the topic shown.

Some, but not many, mistakes made, good knowledge shown.

Several mistakes made, fair knowledge of the topic shown.

Many mistakes made. Does not show an adequate knowledge of the topic.

Use of historical details

Used many details in a thorough and expert manner.

Used many details to illustrate topic.

Used some details to illustrate topic

Used one or two details, alluded to details vaguely.

Used no historical details. Made factual errors.

Demonstrated learning and understanding

Applied integrated concepts; made connections between facts and ideas.

Clearly understood topic well.

Understood topic.

Followed directions, had a basic knowledge of the topic.

Thinking not justified; no evidence that knowledge was acquired.


(Grammar or Art)

Grammar and/or art work were without flaws and professional in nature.

Grammar and/or art work are quality in nature.

Occasional errors but not enough to distract.

Distracting errors, difficult to read.

Fragmented sentences and grammar. Art completed in a haphazard manner. Very difficult to understand

Neat and orderly

Professional appearance

Quality appearance

Neat and orderly, easy to follow.

Moderately neat, almost distracting.

Lacks neatness and orderliness. Hard to understand

Word Usage

Word choice and usage are professional.

Word choice makes piece interesting.

Word choice simple but acceptable.

Some mistakes in word choice and usage. Could be clearer.

Word choice is inadequate or inappropriate.


Message flows and is passionate.

Message is clear and easy to understand.

Message can be understood.

Message not easily understood.

Very hard to understand message.


Very clever; creatively designed

Displays creative thinking

Shows some creative thinking

Lacks creativity

Copied from another source.

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