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Scientific Writing - Scientific Paper Scoring Rubric

UBMS Scientific Writing Scoring Rubric

for Group and Individual Project Papers

(Adapted from the UMaine ENGLISH 101 Portfolio Review Rubric)

This rubric asks Readers to comment briefly on students’ Individual Research Project papers’ and Group Research Project papers’ demonstration of the following three traits: (1) ability to observe the conventions of scientific writing; (2) ability to provide the reader with a clear statement of research objectives, replicable methodology, and critical interpretation of results; and (3) ability to attend to the mechanics of scientific academic writing. Readers who wish to do so may include extended comments as space permits, or attach additional comments. After writing those comments, Readers are asked to make an overall judgment.




Consider the paper’s demonstration of the ability to observe the conventions of scientific writing:


Does the paper’s text provide evidence that the writer understands the format and appropriate content of a scientific paper?

Are important names and terms adequately defined?

Does the writer reference current, relevant studies/models used for comparison and support of their research? Does the writer set adequate context for his/her research?

Are lines of inquiry adequately revealed (through statement of the question and hypothesis) and followed throughout the paper? Does the paper close (in the “Discussion”) by referencing the original question and hypothesis, connecting these to the collected data and interpretation?

Is the paper driven by the objective of answering the research question? Is this purpose apparent throughout the paper?

Are major claims appropriately supported through reasoning, extended examples, quotations, paraphrase, or summary?


How would you characterize this paper’s demonstration of scientific writing conventions?




Consider the paper’s demonstration of the ability to provide the reader with a clear statement of research objectives, of replicable methodology, and a critical interpretation of results:


Does the introduction of the paper state the question, hypothesis, dependent and independent variables, and research objectives?

Does the experiment seek to answer the stated question?

Does the author provide clear, replicable analysis of the process of performing the experiment, name scientific organisms correctly, and list the specifics of supplies (company names and model numbers)?

Does the author provide a step-by-step narrative of the major aspects of the experimental process?

Does the paper reference whether the hypothesis was statistically supported or refuted?

Does the paper consider the results critically in relation to information that is known and accepted within the scientific field?

Does the author note patterns or phenomena that were observed during experimentation, and whether they align (or do not align) with current scientific models?

Does the author examine other possible interpretations of the results?

Does the author consider factors that may have positively or negatively influenced the results?

Does the author describe the possible studies for future research that are based on the current research project, either a need to replicate or continue the study over time, or perform studies to answer critical and clarifying questions relevant to the study?


How would you characterize the paper’s demonstration of the ability to clearly convey objectives, to clearly convey methodology, and to provide a critical analysis or interpretation of the results?



Consider the paper’s demonstration of the ability to attend to the paper structure and mechanics of academic scientific writing:


Does the paper texts contain the minimum number of sources required? Does the text contain adequate citations for the sources use? Are the citation formats consistent? Does the paper contain a References page?

Does the paper text reveal the ability to provide clear control of grammar and punctuation so that readers are not mislead or confused about meaning?

How would you characterize the paper’s ability to observe conventions of academic writing in general, and scientific writing in particular?


Does this paper pass the review? Does it demonstrate the ability to meet program expectations of outcome?


Feel free to make extended comments below.

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