JRN 401 – Week 13 April 5



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Discuss grading matrix for commentary

JRN 401 Commentary grading matrix by SA


Grading Matrix for JRN 401 Commentaries

Student name:                                                                                                                      


Element Description/explanation
Opening Intriguing, surprising, powerful, passionate – anyone who starts reading will absolutely keep reading; it starts with a strong claim, a surprising fact, a great metaphor, a mystery, a counter intuitive observation or some other device that grabs the reader’s attention
Pretty interesting; readers might keep reading if there’s – there’s a pretty good chance a reader will keep reading
Not so great – doesn’t grab attention; readers (other than your mother) will probably move on to something else
Focus Great – there is one topic (person, place or thing) and one theme (your point); you never lose focus; everything you write is directly related to your topic/theme
You maintain focus for the most part; you never confuse readers by straying away from you topic/theme but some stuff you include doesn’t really contribute to your point
You don’t seem to have a focus or you lose sight of it more than once through your column
Strong opinion/POV Column expresses a passionately held opinion; reader has absolutely no doubt where you stand on the issue
Reader has a pretty strong sense of how you feel and think about your topic/theme
Do you even care? Your column doesn’t express an opinion one way or the other about your issue; maybe you should have picked a different topic/theme
Relevant to an audience It is clear that you know who your audience is and you are relating to them
You seem to have some idea who your audience might be
It’s not really clear who you think your column is relevant to, i.e. who will care



Primary research You use knowledge from your own personal experience and/or observations to provide sensory information and personal insights
Your column has some elements that came from personal experience and observation
Not sure you have any real personal experience with the subject of your column
Secondary research Tons of interesting facts, quotes, citations and/or data support your opinion column; reader learns factual stuff and gets smarter from reading it
You provide some support to back up your opinion, but needs a few more fact, quotes, citations and/or data from credible sources to convince readers to believe you
Not much supporting evidence; reader is not convinced because you didn’t provide enough facts, quotations, citations, data from credible sources
Voice Reader knows exactly how you feel about the topic/theme; you have clear voice and your experience, attitude and opinion, comes across loud and loud
Reader has a pretty good idea how you feel; you have a distinct, unique voice that come through pretty well
You don’t have much of a voice; reader cant really tell who you are or how you are connected to the issue or what you feel about the issue
Ending Great ending! It echoes or answers the introduction, was foreshadowed by earlier statements, wraps things up with a really memorable detail or contains an final epiphany or call to action
Pretty good ending; it wraps things up generally but maybe leaves the reader a bit confused
Not very satisfying; you didn’t state or suggest a conclusion; readers don’t end up knowing what they think or you think
CP Style Perfect – no mistakes
Okay – 1 – 5 mistakes
Not okay – 6 – 10 mistakes
Ready to Publish Absolutely
One more draft needed
Needs more research and at least one more draft


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