Literature Review - St. Cloud State University



Analysis and


6 points


6 points

Application of


6 points

Style and


6 points


6 points


Excels in responding to the assignment. Central idea/thesis is clearly communicated, worth developing; limited enough to be manageable.

Understands and critically evaluates the source, pointing out why a study is inadequate or strong.

Uses a logical structure appropriate to the type of paper. Clear transitional sentences often develop one idea from the previous one or identify their logical relations.

It guides the reader through the chain of reasoning or progression of ideas.

Incorporates concepts learned in class where appropriate.

Uses evidence from article and class appropriately and effectively, providing sufficient evidence and explanation to convince.

Sentence style fits paper’s (or presentation) audience and purpose. Sentences are varied, yet clearly structured and carefully focused. Almost entirely free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.

Paper is a minimum of 2 pages long, sites a minimum of 1 appropriate resource, is APA formatted, and submitted on time.

Lit Review Project Grading Rubric


A solid paper, responding appropriately to the assignment. Clearly states and supports a thesis/central idea, but may have minor lapses in development.

Shows careful reading of source, but may not evaluate them critically.

Shows a logical progression of ideas and uses fairly clear transitional devices. Each paragraph clearly relates to paper’s central idea.

Begins to offer reasons to support the thesis/central theme. Begins to interpret the evidence and explain connections between evidence and main ideas.

Ties paper somewhat to what has been learned in class.

Sentences generally clear, well-structured, and focused, though some may be awkward and ineffective.

May contain a few errors

(spelling, punctuation, grammar), but does not impede understanding.

The requirements are mostly met (length, resource); some

APA format elements are missing, but they don’t detract from the paper.


Adequate, but weaker and less effective paper, possibly responding less well to assignment. Presents central idea in general terms. Shows basic comprehension of source, with some lapses in understanding.

May list ideas or arrange them randomly rather than using any evident logical structure. Paragraphs have topic sentences but may be overly general, and arrangement of sentences within paragraphs may lack coherence.

Often uses generalizations to support the thesis/central theme. Often depends on personal experience or unsupported opinions. Ties paper loosely to what has been learned in class.

Sentence structures generally correct, but sentences may be wordy, unfocused, repetitive or confusing. Usually contains several mechanical errors, which may temporarily confuse the reader, but does not impede the overall understanding.

Basic requirements are met somewhat (resource not quite adequate). APA formatting needs work – errors detract from readability.


Does not have a clear central idea or does not respond appropriately to the assignment. Thesis may be too vague or obvious to be developed effectively.

Misunderstood resource.

May have random organization, lacking internal paragraph coherence and using few or inappropriate transitions.


Does not respond to the assignment, lacks a thesis or central idea, and neglects to use refereed resource.

No appreciable organization; lacks transitions and coherence.

Depends on clichés or overgeneralizations for support, or offers little evidence of any kind. May be personal narrative rather than essay, or summary rather than analysis. Little effort to tie subject to class material.

Contains several awkward or ungrammatical sentences; sentence structure is simple or monotonous. Contains either many mechanical errors or a few important errors that block the reader’s understanding and ability to see connection between thoughts.

Basic requirements are not met. Paper length not accurate, lacking sufficient resources, APA formatting is lacking, and/or paper is late.

Uses irrelevant details or lacks supporting evidence entirely. Does not tie to class material at all.

Contains many awkward sentences; misuses words, employs inappropriate language. Contains so many mechanical errors that it is impossible for the reader to follow the thinking from sentence to sentence.

Requirements are not met

– Paper is shorter than 2 pages, does not include an appropriate resource, is not APA formatted, and/or is turned in late.