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Self Assessment – Evaluate Your Research Essay Before Submission

The LASC has developed a rubric (a document that articulates the expectations for an assignment by listing the criteria, or what counts, and describing levels of quality from excellent to poor) for legal research papers that may help you to assess your own writing before you submit.

This rubric was not developed specifically for the dispute resolution paper, but does provide guidance on the criteria for a research essay.

You can download the rubric here: Research Essay Rubric

This document should be used in conjunction with the Legal Writing Checklist, and any criteria that appears on your assessment task.

The aim of these resource is to give you an idea of how your lecturer might allocate marks to your essay. To this end, it breaks down six specific criteria that are likely to influence your final grade:

  • Research question
  • extent and use of research;
  • quality of argument;
  • critical analysis and originality;
  • organisation and structure;
  • writing style and polish; and
  • referencing.

You can apply each criterion to your essay (or better yet ask a friend or family member to apply them), to produce a mark out of 55 (*if you have to choose your topic, the mark will be out of 60*).

You can then use this self-assessment as a basis for improving your essay before submission.

NOTE: To avoid undue stress, and give you time to make necessary improvements, it is important that you undertake this exercise at least a few days before the due date.

We also want to emphasise that this is NOT the rubric used by the individual DR teachers but it does capture many of the expectations of effective legal writing.

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