Rubric Synthesis Essay

As you design your Synthesis Essay, please use the following standards to guide your work. These represent the particular criteria that your instructors will be looking for and giving you feedback on at mid-semester feedback and final grading. For each of the following five design criteria, your instructors will rate your design as “best” (fully meeting the criteria), “needs work” (partially meeting the criteria), or “poor” (not meeting the criteria):

  • Title – Does your essay have an expressive title?
  • Quality of Text (or Other Multimedia) – Do you use text accurately and effectively? If you use images and other media, do you also use them accurately and effectively?
  • Discussion of Individual Courses – Does your essay discuss in detail how three courses affected your thinking and practice?
  • Synthesis of Master’s Program Experience – Does your essay discuss how the master’s program as a whole affected your thinking and practice?
  • Word Length – Is your essay about 2000 words? As with the other written assignments, this is a target word count; a maximum and a minimum, if you like. While you don’t have to be right on, please do be as close as possible.

Common issues

  • Jargon and Acronyms – Remember that people outside your program or workplace might not understand all the terms and acronyms you use. It’s always a good idea to “spell out” an acronym (like MAET or MAED) the first time you use it, and you should also consider defining terms that aren’t commonly used.
  • Balance of the General and the Specific – Make sure to include some insights from both your individual classes and the program as a whole.
  • Add a Link to a PDF – Think about adding a link to a PDF copy on this page so that viewers have the opportunity to read your essay in an alternative format (and this makes for easier printing if someone wanted to print your essay).
  • Avoid PDF-only access – An additional link to a PDF is great, but it cannot replace a web-page version of your essay. If you’re going to do one format, put your essay on a webpage. If you want to go that extra step, add an additional option for a PDF (not a replacement for a webpage).