Writing Manual

Biocore PROPOSAL POSTER Rubric

Title

4 = excellent Title is concise; conveys main point of experiment and includes these key components states organism/system studied, independent variable, and direction of expected results.
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3 = very good Title is concise & conveys answer to study question, but has problem similar to the following: is missing model system or independent variable
2 = good Title could be more concise but still conveys answer to study question. OR Title is concise & conveys answer to study question but has problem similar to the following: missing model system & independent variable
1 = adequate Has two or more problems comparable to the following: Title is not concise, answer to study question is difficult to determine by title, most key information is missing
0 = inadequate Answer to study question cannot be determined by title

 

Introduction

BIG PICTURE: Did Intro convey why experiment will be performed and what it is designed to test?
4 = excellent Clearly, concisely, & logically presents all key components often in a diagram or conceptual model:
•   relevant & correctly cited background information
•   study question
•   biological rationale which links treatment to expected results
•   hypotheses that are testable given experimental design
(There may be a few minor issues with organization/clarity.)
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3 = very good Concisely & clearly covers all but one key component (w/ exception of rationale) OR clearly covers all key components but could be much more concise and/or clear.
e.g., has done a reasonably nice job with the Intro but fails to state hypotheses concisely OR has done a nice job with Intro but has also included some irrelevant background information
2 = good Covers all but 2 key components OR clearly covers all but 1 key component but could be done much more logically, clearly, and/or concisely. e.g., biological rationale not fully developed but still supports hypotheses. Remaining components are done reasonably well, though there is still room for improvement; includes info that is extraneous & detracts from the main ideas; multiple examples of wordy text.
1 = adequate Covers all but 3 key components & could be more concise and/or clear OR clearly covers all but 2 key components but could be done much more logically, clearly, and/or concisely (excessive text, overly wordy). Weak/missing components make it difficult to follow the rest of the poster.
e.g., background information not focused on study question & minimal biological rationale presented such that hypotheses aren’t entirely logical.
0 = inadequate 4-5 key components are very weak or missing; those stated are unclear and/or not stated concisely. Introduction provides little to no relevant information. Often results in a hypothesis that “comes out of nowhere.”

 

Methods & Materials

BIG PICTURE: Did the methods clearly describe how hypothesis will be tested?
4 = excellent Concisely & clearly describes proposed procedures used to generate expected data, giving readers enough information to evaluate whether protocol is appropriate to test hypothesis but not necessarily to repeat experiment. Uses brief text and/or annotated diagram(s), schedule and/or charts with detailed legends to convey experimental design, tools, sequence of events, data transformation and statistical tests to be used.
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3 = very good Concisely & clearly describes proposed procedures so that reader could evaluate most claims made. Minor problems with organization OR some irrelevant/ superfluous info.
2 = good Methods presented such that a reader could evaluate most claims made only after learning a few more key details OR methods are conveyed with a lot of text & would be better explained with more figures/charts.
1 = adequate Methods presented such that a reader would have difficulty evaluating claims unless they learned several more key details OR methods are conveyed with too much text & almost no figures/charts.
0 = inadequate So little information is presented that reader could not possibly evaluate claims

 

Expected and Alternative Results

BIG PICTURE: Did the expected results clearly & effectively display expected data that are relevant?
4 = excellent With a few minor exceptions, uses very concise text and/or bullets to refer to series of figures/ graphs/tables that highlight the expected data. Only relevant expected and alternative data are shown, including the controls. Utilizes images & statistical tests appropriately. Tables & figures have informative legends & titles.
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3 = very good Uses very concise text to refer to figures/graphs/tables that highlight expected & alternative data, but has made 1-2 minor omissions or has other relatively small problems. e.g. relevant expected data are summarized well & without biological interpretation, but tables & figures have very brief legends that leave out some key details.
2 = good Uses somewhat concise text to refer to figures/graphs/tables that highlight the data, but has 2-3 problems comparable to the following: most relevant expected data are present but are mixed in with some unnecessary information, key data are shown in figures but are not explicitly noted, tables & figures have very brief legends that leave out key details, conclusions about proposed hypothesis are briefly made; alternative results are scarcely mentioned.
1 = adequate Has 3-5 problems comparable to the following: excessive narrative text with minimal, uninformative tables/figures/tables; some relevant expected data are present but are mixed in with much unnecessary information, key data are not immediately apparent in figures and are not explicitly noted in text, tables & figures lack legends and/or titles, conclusions about proposed hypotheses are emphasized; alternative results are not mentioned.
0 = inadequate Major problems that leave reader uninformed; narrative text is lacking entirely, tables & figures contain unclear and/or irrelevant information. e.g., figures are not accompanied by text, expected raw data are in a table w/ poor legend & no title; expected results do not support proposed hypothesis.

 

Implications

BIG PICTURE: Did the Implications present explanations of expected & alternative results that made sense based on the ‘dummy’ data presented?
4 = excellent With a few minor exceptions, clearly, concisely and logically presents all key components: describes relevance of predicted trend as it relates to background information, rationale, explains assumptions made, evaluates confidence in experimental design, discusses alternative results in light of incomplete biological rationale or flawed biological assumptions, and discusses ramifications of the experiment.
If there are anticipated problems in collecting valid data, stated what the problem is and how it may limit confidence or result in alternative data.
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3 = very good Concisely & clearly covers all but 1 key component OR clearly covers all key components but could be more concise and/or clear.
e.g., has done a reasonably nice job with the Implications but fails to clearly link the biological rationale from the Intro with the expected results OR has done a nice job with the Implications but has also included an extensive laundry list of potential flaws in experimental design without discussing their impact on the predicted or alternative results.
2 = good Covers all but 2 key components OR clearly covers all but 1 key component but could be done much more logically, clearly, and/or concisely.
e.g., clearly describes relevance of predicted data that refers to biological rationale, but fails to logically and objectively evaluate confidence in the experimental design OR has done a nice job with all the components but only briefly mentions alternative results without discussing biological relevance.
1 = adequate Covers all but 3 key components & could be more concise and/or clear OR clearly covers all but 2 key components but could be done much more logically, clearly, and/or concisely.
e.g., relevance of predicted trend is incompletely tied to rationale, literature is minimally cited, presents unranked laundry list of potential problems instead of logical evaluation of design and data, suggests far-reaching/ illogical ramifications of experiment.
0 = inadequate 4 or more key components are missing or very weakly done.
e.g., illogical conclusions made based on predicted data, no ties to biological rationale are made, alternative results are not mentioned, no literature cited, little to no evaluation of confidence in experimental design

Visuals & Organization

4 = excellent With a few minor exceptions, the organization & visual look of the poster effectively conveyed the research project because:
1. content was relevant & accurate;
2. overall layout was pleasing to the eye but did not distract from the research;
3. font size, graphs, & figures were large enough to be easily read;
4. font, graph, & figure *colors contrasted well against background & so were easy to see;
5. poster filled with just enough information to be informative without looking overcrowded and/or text-heavy;
6. graphs and figures were clearly labeled and effectively displayed relevant data;
7. organization & formatting emphasized pertinent points; 8. lists, diagrams, or other visuals communicate points instead of wordy paragraphs.
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3 = very good The organization & visuals used satisfied all but one of the key criteria.
2 = good The organization & visuals used satisfied all but 2-3 of the key criteria. Text used instead of relevant, informative visual on 1-2 occasions.
1 = adequate The organization & visuals used satisfied all but 4-5 of the key criteria. Text used instead of relevant, informative visual on multiple occasions.
0 = inadequate The organization & visuals used satisfied only 1-2 of the key criteria. Very few visuals presented.

 

Literature Cited

4 = excellent References within body of poster are cited appropriately; references in final citation list are formatted appropriately and listed alphabetically by author or numerically using Writing Manual guidelines.
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3 = very good References within body of poster & in final citation list are done appropriately, but there are 1-2 exceptions. e.g., citations are done well except that one or two references listed in text do not appear in the final list OR there are a few minor formatting errors in the final list.
2 = good References within body of poster & in final citation list are done appropriately for the most part, but there are consistent exceptions. e.g., citations used sparingly throughout the poster when background information is presented OR consistent formatting errors in text & list.
1 = adequate Very few references are cited in text of poster; final citation list is largely incomplete and/or is not formatted appropriately.
0 = inadequate Background information is presented but is consistently not cited; final citation list is missing

 

Overall grammar, organization, wording

4 = excellent Excellent concise wording, grammar, and flow, appropriate word choice, few to no grammatical errors.
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3 = very good Wording was good with few to no problems except in a few places, few grammatical errors. A few minor instances of text overuse.
2 = good Wording somewhat problematic but can still follow thought progression e.g. explanation of methods in the results section; wording awkward at times (clarity issues), some grammatical errors. A few minor instances of text overuse.
1 = adequate Problematic wording of some section resulting in loss of clarity; awkward wording at times; some grammatical errors. Some instances of text overuse.
0 = inadequate Poorly worded, interrupted flow of ideas leading to lack of clarity, cannot follow thought progression, many grammatical errors. Multiple examples of text overuse.

 

 

Proposal Poster Rubric Conversion to Letter Grade

Letter Grade Minimum Criteria
A Earned a “4” in at least 3 of the main sections (Introduction, Methods & Materials, Expected & Alternative Results, Implications, and Visuals & Organization) and “3” in the remaining sections; no less than “3” in Title, Literature Cited, and Overall grammar, wording.
AB Did not meet minimum criteria for an “A”, but earned a “3” or better in: Introduction, Methods & Materials, Expected & Alternative Results, Implications, Visuals & Organization. Earned “2” or better in Title and Literature Cited, and Overall grammar, wording.
B Did not meet minimum criteria for an “AB”, but earned a “3” or better in at least two of the main sections (Introduction, Methods & Materials, Expected & Alternative Results, Implications) and “2” in remaining sections. Earned at least “3” in Visuals & Organization; “2” or better in Title and Literature Cited, and Overall grammar, wording.
BC Did not meet minimum criteria for a “B”, but earned a “2” or better in at least two of the main sections (Introduction, Methods & Materials, Expected & Alternative Results, Implications). Earned at least “2” in Visuals & Organization, and Overall grammar, wording. Earned a “1” or better in Title, Literature Cited.
C Did not meet minimum criteria for a “BC”, but earned a “1” or better in Introduction, Methods & Materials, Expected & Alternative Results, Implications, Visuals & Organization. Has no more than one zero in Title, Literature Cited, and Overall grammar, wording.
D Did not meet minimum criteria for a “C”, but earned a “1” or better in at least 3 of these sections: Introduction, Methods & Materials, Expected & Alternative Results, Implications, Visuals & Organization. Has no more than two zeros in Title, Literature Cited, and Overall grammar, wording.
F Did not meet minimum criteria for a “D.”

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License

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Process of Science Companion Vol. 1 by University of Wisconsin-Madison Biocore Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.