Grading Rubric

J7100/J4802 Entrepreneurial Journalism Grading Rubric


What am I looking for? What do I expect from you, and what will I use to evaluate you?

  1. EFFORT. Entrepreneurs fail. Often. And hard. But they learn from failure. Failure is not necessarily a bad thing. But slacking off, not caring – well, that IS a bad thing. Measuring effort can be subjective, I will admit, but after years of teaching I’ve learned that it’s often fairly obvious who has put in the time, gone the extra mile, and shown genuine pride and concern for making their work the best it can possibly be.
  2. GOOD WRITING. When you are contributing written work, regardless of whether it appears online or not, you should not have a massive number of grammatical errors or typos. Proofread your work to be sure it is clear, easy-to-understand, and well organized.  One minor typo or two is not the total end of the world — and I make those too, believe me – but people will not trust you or hire you if your writing is sloppy.  
  3. ACTUALLY DO ASSIGNED WORK AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. Seems obvious, right? Oh, you would be very surprised.   
  4. CONTRIBUTE AND ENGAGE. Talk in class. Shy? Remember, we’re all friends, and besides, there are lots of ways to contribute digitally to the class, too.  Use the #jpreneur hashtag on Twitter. Share links on the class Facebook page. If you have questions, ask them. Don’t just be a bump on a log. This is YOUR education. Be a part of it.
  5. VERIFY AND ATTRIBUTE. In your written work, class presentations, or anything else you do, don’t make assertions without backing them up with evidence. Online, this often means linking; in an academic paper, citations. Double check the accuracy of statements you make or write. This is the most vital task of the journalist. And entrepreneurs will lose the trust of investors and customers if they make claims they can’t back up.
  6. BE RESPECTFUL OF OTHERS. This should really go without saying. We do group work in this class, and you will need to be kind to your fellow students and pull your weight. You may not realize it now, but your classmates may have a lot to teach you, too.
  7. ADDRESS EDITS/SUGGESTIONS MADE BY ME OR YOUR CLASSMATES. Giving people good feedback is extremely time consuming. Don’t waste it. Use it to get better. If you don’t agree with it or understand it, ask, but do not ignore.

What can you expect from me?

  1. I CARE. Perhaps this sounds corny, but I do. I care about you, your education, and your future, and I will do my best to help you. I can help you a lot better if you do the above things, though.
  2. I WILL DO MY BEST TO MAKE IT ABUNANTLY CLEAR WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO DO WELL IN MY CLASS. That’s what this rubric is for. Also, entrepreneurship is all about iteration. Sometimes I make changes to the syllabus or think up new ideas mid-stream. I talk about assignments and deadlines in class; I send a weekly update/reminder email, and I often post on the class blog as well to be sure you know what is going on.
  3.  I WILL STAY UP TO DATE. I spend a lot of time staying up on the latest developments in journalism and entrepreneurship. The syllabus is not the one I used last semester with just the dates changed. I want my teaching to be current and as cutting edge as possible. I’ll also constantly be sharing with you new articles and ideas as they develop.
  4. I WILL GIVE MEANINGFUL FEEDBACK. To the best of my ability. 


A (translates to 95 percent): Excellent work that would be accepted in any professional environment.

B (translates to 85 percent): Good work. Would be acceptable in a professional environment with relatively minor revisions.

C (translates to 75 percent) Fair work. You’ve done at least the minimum necessary and followed the directions, but your work would need some significant revision to be acceptable in a professional environment.

D (translates to 65 percent):  Poor work. Yikes. You’ve at least turned in something, good for you, which is must better than a zero, but there are some severe issues with your assignment.

+ or – is if you are REALLY close to the upper or lower grade.

Automatic failing grade:

  • Factual inaccuracy.
  • Plagiarism.

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