Blog Post Rubric


From the syllabus:

This semester our class blog will distribute the typical high-stakes writing assignment over several posts on a range of subjects. Individual posts will not only assist you in reflecting on the material presented in class, but they will also help you develop your critical thinking skills by interpreting what you have been reading each week. Support your arguments with facts and specific examples.

Each student will be responsible for posting five (5) short essays to the class blog. I’ll also be posting content to the blog on many of our readings to prompt your own further reading and research, so the blog may also spur further blog discussion. See the blog post rubric for details. Blog posts turned in late cannot receive a passing grade, so don’t wait until the eleventh hour.

The following rubric should help as you begin writing your blog posts, both in identifying the qualities of a strong post and providing prompts to help generate ideas for what to write.


  • Clearly stated thesis statement provides focus and creates interest
  • Paragraphs support thesis with specific facts and illustrations drawn from source or from the reading
  • Direct quotes and paraphrases of ideas from sources are cited clearly with page numbers or links where appropriate
  • Conclusion is made in the last paragraph that supports central thesis
  • Post clearly responds to one of prompts below and makes meaningful connections to our reading

NOTE: Your activity on the class blog this semester represents 25% of your final grade. The only requirement to receive these points is to make a single blog post every three weeks, for a total of five. Only one post will be counted for each 3-week period. Commenting on the posts of others is not required, but substantive comments (those that contribute something meaningful to the conversation) can add up to 10 points (a letter grade) to your final blog grade.


Individual blog posts may take different forms and assess different types of sources, but each should attempt to place ideas or passages from readings in the Norton Anthology in a broader context. Over the next fifteen weeks, you should contribute posts in at least two of the following categories:

  • Analyze or evaluate a new primary source (historical document or work of art from the period) not mentioned in class. Your post should first look carefully at your source and then make connections or raise questions that relate it to one of our readings.
  • Analyze or evaluate a secondary source (historian or cultural critic writing in a later period) focused on a complex event or person from a period we’re studying. Don’t simply report on their ideas, but weigh them and consider the implications for one of our readings.
  • Evaluate or synthesize an online source (a web archive, YouTube clip, a Wikipedia article) that sheds light on a topic from our reading. The connection might be thematic (political satire, what makes a good leader, etc) or based on common content (artistic reinterpretations of disease, assessments of democracy, etc), first looking at the new source you have discovered, considering the authority and biases it brings to the discussion. Finally, your post should make clear and valuable connections to one of our readings this semester.
  • Respond to one of my blog posts throughout the semester, adding further research or challenging or extending an argument.