Use this document as a checklist for each paper you will write throughout your GCU graduate program. Follow specific instructions indicated in the assignment and use this checklist to help ensure correct grammar and APA formatting. Refer to the APA resources available in the GCU Library and Student Success Center.
☐ APA paper template (located in the Student Success Center/Writing Center) is utilized for the
correct format of the paper. APA style is applied, and format is correct throughout.
☐ The title page is present. APA format is applied correctly. There are no errors.
☐ The introduction is present. APA format is applied correctly. There are no errors.
☐ Topic is well defined.
☐ Strong thesis statement is included in the introduction of the paper.
☐ The thesis statement is consistently threaded throughout the paper and included in the conclusion.
☐ Paragraph development: Each paragraph has an introductory statement, two or three sentences as the body of the paragraph, and a transition sentence to facilitate the flow of information. The sections of the main body are organized to reflect the main points of the author. APA format is applied correctly. There are no errors.
☐ All sources are cited. APA style and format are correctly applied and are free from error.
☐ Sources are completely and correctly documented on a References page, as appropriate to assignment and APA style, and format is free of error.
Scholarly Resources: Scholarly resources are written with a focus on a specific subject discipline and usually written by an expert in the same subject field. Scholarly resources are written for an academic audience.
Examples of Scholarly Resources include: Academic journals, books written by experts in a field, and formally published encyclopedias and dictionaries.
Peer-Reviewed Journals: Peer-reviewed journals are evaluated prior to publication by experts in the journal’s subject discipline. This process ensures that the articles published within the journal are academically rigorous and meet the required expectations of an article in that subject discipline.
Empirical Journal Article: This type of scholarly resource is a subset of scholarly articles that reports the original finding of an observational or experimental research study. Common aspects found within an empirical article include: literature review, methodology, results, and discussion.
Adapted from “Evaluating Resources: Defining Scholarly Resources,” located in Research Guides in the GCU Library.
☐ The writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English. Utilize writing resources such as Grammarly, LopesWrite report, and ThinkingStorm to check your writing.
The ideas and beliefs underpinning the threaded discussions (TDs) guide students through engaging dialogues as they achieve the desired learning outcomes/competencies associated with their course in a manner that empowers them to organize, integrate, apply and critically appraise their knowledge to their selected field of practice. The use of TDs provides students with opportunities to contribute level-appropriate knowledge and experience to the topic in a safe, caring, and fluid environment that models professional and social interaction. The TD’s ebb and flow is based upon the composition of student and faculty interaction in the quest for relevant scholarship. Participation in the TDs generates opportunities for students to actively engage in the written ideas of others by carefully reading, researching, reflecting, and responding to the contributions of their peers and course faculty. TDs foster the development of members into a community of learners as they share ideas and inquiries, consider perspectives that may be different from their own, and integrate knowledge from other disciplines.
Each weekly threaded discussion is worth up to 25 points. Students must post a minimum of two times in each graded thread. The two posts in each individual thread must be on separate days. The student must provide an answer to each graded thread topic posted by the course instructor, by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. MT, of each week. If the student does not provide an answer to each graded thread topic (not a response to a student peer) before the Wednesday deadline, 5 points are deducted for each discussion thread in which late entry occurs (up to a 10-point deduction for that week). Subsequent posts, including essential responses to peers, must occur by the Sunday deadline, 11:59 p.m. MT of each week.
Good writing calls for the limited use of direct quotes. Direct quotes in Threaded Discussions are to be limited to one short quotation (not to exceed 15 words). The quote must add substantively to the discussion. Points will be deducted under the Grammar, Syntax, APA category.
Grading Rubric Guidelines
ScholarlinessDemonstrates achievement of scholarly inquiry for professional and academic decisions.
Provides relevant evidence of scholarly inquiry clearly stating how the evidence informed or changed professional or academic decisionsEvaluates literature resources to develop a comprehensive analysis or synthesis.Uses valid, relevant, and reliable outside sources to contribute to the threaded discussion
Provides relevant evidence of scholarly inquiry but does not clearly state how the evidence informed or changed professional or academic decisions.Evaluates information from source(s) to develop a coherent analysis or synthesis.Uses some valid, relevant, reliable outside sources to contribute to the threaded discussion.
Discusses using scholarly inquiry but does not state how scholarly inquiry informed or changed professional or academic decisions.Information is taken from source(s) with some interpretation/evaluation, but not enough to develop a coherent analysis or synthesis.Little valid, relevant, or reliable outside sources are used to contribute to the threaded discussion.Demonstrates little or no understanding of the topic.
Discusses using scholarly inquiry but does not state how scholarly inquiry informed or changed professional or academic decisions.Information is taken from source(s) without any interpretation/evaluation.The posting uses information that is not valid, relevant, or reliable
No evidence of the use of scholarly inquiry to inform or change professional or academic decisions.Information is not valid, relevant, or reliable
Application of Course Knowledge -Demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, and/or apply principles and concepts learned in the course lesson and outside readings and relate them to real-life professional situations
Posts make direct reference to concepts discussed in the lesson or drawn from relevant outside sources;Applies concepts to personal experience in the professional setting and or relevant application to real life.
Posts make direct reference to concepts discussed in the lesson or drawn from relevant outside sources.Applies concepts to personal experience in their professional setting and or relevant application to real lifeInteractions with classmates are relevant to the discussion topic but do not make direct reference to lesson content
Posts are generally on topic but do not build knowledge by incorporating concepts and principles from the lesson.Does not attempt to apply lesson concepts to personal experience in their professional setting and or relevant application to real lifeDoes not demonstrate a solid understanding of the principles and concepts presented in the lesson
Posts do not adequately address the question posed either by the discussion prompt or the instructor’s launch post.Posts are superficial and do not reflect an understanding of the lesson contentDoes not attempt to apply lesson concepts to personal experience in their professional setting and or relevant application to real life
Posts are not related to the topics provided by the discussion prompt or by the instructor; attempts by the instructor to redirect the student are ignoredNo discussion of lesson concepts to personal experience in the professional setting and or relevant application to real life
Interactive DialogueReplies to each graded thread topic posted by the course instructor, by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. MT, of each week, and posts a minimum of two times in each graded thread, on separate days.(5 points possible per graded thread)
Exceeds minimum post requirementsReplies to each graded thread topic posted by the course instructor, by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. MT, of each week, and posts three or more times in each graded thread, over three separate days.Replies to a post posed by faculty and to a peerSummarizes what was learned from the lesson, readings, and other student posts for the week.
Replies to each graded thread topic posted by the course instructor, by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. MT, of each week, and posts a minimum of two times in each graded thread, on separate daysReplies to a question posed by a peerSummarizes what was learned from the lesson, readings, and other student posts for the week.
Meets expectations of 2 posts on 2 different days.The main post is not made by the Wednesday deadlineDoes not reply to a question posed by a peer or faculty
Has only one post for the weekDiscussion posts contain few, if any, new ideas or applications; often are a rehashing or summary of other students’ comments
Does not post to the threadNo connections are made to the topic
Minus 1 Point
Minus 2 Point
Minus 3 Point
Minus 4 Point
Minus 5 Point
Grammar, Syntax, APANote: if there are only a few errors in these criteria, please note this for the student in as an area for improvement. If the student does not make the needed corrections in upcoming weeks, then points should be deducted.Points deducted for improper grammar, syntax and APA style of writing.The source of information is the APA Manual 6th Edition
2-3 errors in APA format.Written responses have 2-3 grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors.Writing style is generally clear, focused, and facilitates communication.
4-5 errors in APA format.Writing responses have 4-5 grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.Writing style is somewhat focused.
6-7 errors in APA format.Writing responses have 6-7 grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.Writing style is slightly focused making discussion difficult to understand.
8-10 errors in APA format.Writing responses have 8-10 grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.Writing style is not focused, making discussion difficult to understand.
Post contains greater than 10 errors in APA format.Written responses have more than 10 grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.Writing style does not facilitate communication.The student continues to make repeated mistakes in any of the above areas after written correction by the instructor
0 points lost
-5 points lost
Total Participation Requirementsper discussion thread
The student answers the threaded discussion question or topic on one day and posts a second response on another day.
The student does not meet the minimum requirement of two postings on two different days
Early Participation Requirementper discussion thread
The student must provide a substantive answer to the graded discussion question(s) or topic(s), posted by the course instructor (not a response to a peer), by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. MT of each week.
The student does not meet the requirement of a substantive response to the stated question or topic by Wednesday at 11:59 pm MT.
NOTE: To receive credit for a week’s discussion, students may begin posting no earlier than the Sunday immediately before each week opens. Unless otherwise specified, access to most weeks begins on Sunday at 12:01 a.m. MT, and that week’s assignments are due by the next Sunday by 11:59 p.m. MT. Week 8 opens at 12:01 a.m. MT Sunday and closes at 11:59 p.m. MT Wednesday. Any assignments and all discussion requirements must be completed by 11:59 p.m. MT Wednesday of the eighth week.