Making Curriculum Pop

Hi everyone,

I am an English Pedagogy major/Secondary Education minor at UNCC. I'll be starting my student teaching in September. 

I'm designing a unit for one of my classes wherein the students will be working on a piece of fanfiction (prose or video). I have created a rubric for the final project, but I don't feel good about it because it contains such vague terminology (I'll copy/paste it below). My professor suggested I inquire here if anyone has ideas about how to grade fanfiction (or any fiction, really) in a way that is not purely subjective. 

Thank you,


Fanwork Rubric Possible Points: 30

If you work in a pair or a group, since each of you should have a specific character you are focusing on/writing as/portraying, each member of the group/pair will receive their own grade.

Character Voice: It should be clear that you attempted to capture the “voices” of the characters, particularly your character of focus. This can be accomplished through use of:

*Vocabulary (including pet names, slang, etc),

*Syntax (how they phrase what they say/think - Do they tend to speak in complete sentences? Do they tend to speak formally? Jokingly? Do they exaggerate? Do they tend to tease or flirt?)

*Non-verbal cues (facial expressions, mannerisms, physical habits)

  • 10 points: “Voice” is consistent with canon throughout the story. There are plenty of specific, clear examples (the reader could highlight them) of character-specific voice elements. (If you can justify how it is accurate, it probably is.)
  • 7 points: “Voice” is at times consistent with canon, at times not. There are a few recognizable (highlightable) references to the above-named elements of voice, but several thoughts/lines which do not contain them.
  • 5 points: There are no discernible references to the above-named elements of voice.

Originality and tone will be graded on a 5-10 point scale: There should be an original storyline, or a new version of an existing storyline (from a different character’s POV, for instance).  Again, if you can articulate how your work meets the criteria, you should be set.

  • 10 points: There is a significant amount of creativity and originality in the plot/text. The tone of the story fits the character of focus. If it is a retelling of a scene, the perception of the character of focus should be discernibly different than the way the scene was portrayed in canon.
  • 7 points: The plot does differ from that of canon, but is predominantly a summary of the original work OR the scene does not reveal a shift in tone to match the character of focus.
  • 5 points: The work is simply a summary of a scene, or a book trailer.

Grammar/Mechanics (including punctuation) will be graded on a 0-5 point scale: Since this is a formal assignment, correct grammar and mechanics are expected. *Grammar errors due to character voice will not count against you. In other words, if your character tends to use incorrect grammar and you portray this in a way that is recognizable, it will not count as an error.

  • 5 points: No grammar/mechanics errors
  • 4 points: Fewer than five errors
  • 3 points: More than five errors, but not so much that they distract the reader
  • 0 points: A distracting amount/level of grammar/mechanics errors

Length will be graded on a 0-5 point scale: Your piece should be long enough to develop a complete original story or retell an entire scene from the book. If you decide to use a “Dear Friend” letter format, there needs to be enough letters (or a developed enough letter) so that the reader can see some character or plot development. Note: Unless you are rewriting an ending, your story does NOT have to have a resolution to be considered complete. It does, however, need to end gracefully (the way a chapter of a book might end).

  • 5 points: Story is long enough that a full scene and/or plot/character development is portrayed
  • 0 points: Story is not long enough to portray a full scene or for plot or character development

Translated Material (credit/no credit for 4 points):

Four points will be awarded for providing the translated story or script. If it is in English, provide a written translation in Spanish; if it is in Spanish, provide a written translation in English.

  • 4 points: translation is provided
  • 0 points: no translation is provided

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