Much Ado Writing Rubric

UPDATED 1/3: Final copy of essay is due on by midnight on Thursday, 1/7 (in other words, once it is 12:00AM Friday, 11/8, the essay is late). Please make sure you are able to log in to before then so you don’t have any trouble.

The vocab quiz this week will be on TUESDAY. No IR due this week because we are focusing on Lord of the Flies (speaking of… there will be a reading check on Lord of the Flies on Monday, 1/4 as previously stated).


As you work on revising your Much Ado essay, refer to the rubric below (click to enlarge).

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 7.22.26 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 7.22.41 PM

You’ll notice that the rubric has links to tips. For your convenience, that checklist of tips is also copied below.


  • Be sure to include the necessary parts of the classical arrangement (5-part) model: Introduction, Narration, Confirmation, Refutation, and Conclusion.
  • Check the transition between your Introduction and Narration. Are you able to make clear the connection between your Introduction and the background information of the text presented in the Narration?
  • In the Confirmation section, trace your topic logically through the text. Remember that the Confirmation includes multiple paragraphs that includes evidence (quotes) from the text. Present this evidence in a logical order, which is usually chronological.
  • Ideas should build on one another. Test your sentence logic: Choose any sentence and identify its main idea or purpose (what are you trying to say in this sentence?). Now look at the sentences that come before and after. Does the previous sentence lead into that sentence? Does the next sentence develop it further?  Do the same thing with your paragraphs: does each paragraph build on the previous? does the next paragraph move the essay forward logically?
  • Use transitions between each section and within each section that connect the ideas. Consider transitions words like Furthermore, Later, Next, In addition, Moreover, However, First, Then, etc.


  • Clear thesis statement has all parts (specific topic + debatable view).
  • Thesis stated clearly in the Introduction, Narration, or Conclusion.
  • If no thesis directly stated in Introduction or Narration, then a focused essay question is posed in the Introduction or Narration (for example, What would drive Claudio to such an action? or What role does honor play in Hero’s life?).
  • The best evidence is chosen carefully and then thoroughly explained, clearly showing how the quotation helps to prove the writer’s point.
  • Evidence is specific and precise, whether from the text or the writer’s life.
  • At least six quoted examples from the text are smoothly integrated using a “quote sandwich” approach that includes the 1) context, 2) quotation w/speaker and citation and 3) significance. See example below. Note that there should be an intro clause (“He scolds,”) before the quotation that identifies the speaker. Also note how the quotation is cited using the Act, Scene, and Line numbers.

After the wedding falls apart and Leonato learns of Hero’s perceived impurity, he lashes out at her. He scolds, “But mine and mine I loved and mine I praised / And mine that I was proud on, mine so much / That I myself was to myself not mine, / Valuing of her, —why, she, O, she is fallen / Into a pit of ink” (4.1.141-145). By repeating the word “mine” over and over again, Leanato shows how much Hero’s loss of honor reflects poorly on him. He may be angry at Hero’s infidelity, but he is even more angry at how her reputation affects his own. Her reputation is as dark as “ink,” to Leonato. Through Leonato’s reaction, we can see how honor is an issue not just for an individual in the Elizabethan era, but for the entire family.  


  • First-person or second-person pronouns are used selectively and only when necessary to help develop the writer’s ideas.
  • Personal experiences include specific, illustrative details that show versus tell.
  • Personal experiences are relevant and help to introduce or develop the main ideas.


  • Avoid using overly general or overused words like really, very, normal, bad, good.
  • Revise sentences to use strong active verbs, keeping to be verbs (is, was) to a minimum.
  • Remove any slang.


  • Read your essay aloud. If there are places that are difficult to read aloud, then revise the sentences to make them simpler.
  • To make overly complicated sentences simpler, identify your main points. Chances are you are trying to include too many ideas into one sentence. Give each idea its own sentence.
  • To increase sentence variety, underline the first three words of every sentence. Revise as needed.
  • Avoid using “This” or “This quote” or “This shows” to start sentences. Revise by either removing the unnecessary “This” phrase or by replacing “This” with more specific information. See below:

Original: This shows how Claudio feels betrayed by Hero and how effective Don John’s plan for revenge works.

Revised: Claudio feels betrayed by Hero, thus proving how effective Don John’s plan for revenge works.

Revised: Claudio’s words reveal his feelings of betrayal and demonstrate that Don John’s plan for revenge is effective.Page Break


  • Check that your MLA heading is double-spaced and left-aligned with the following components:
  • Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 7.34.16 PMBe sure all titles of the texts are correctly formatted. Titles of longer works―full-length books, novels, plays, newspapers, magazines―are italicized. Titles of shorter works―short stories, poems, articles in newspapers or magazines―get quotation marks.
  • Read line-by-line, checking for proper punctuation and capitalization.
  • Use present tense verbs when discussing events in the text. See example below:

Claudio felt betrayed by what he thought was Hero’s infidelity.

Claudio feels betrayed by what he thinks is Hero’s infidelity.

Much Ado Notetaking

We will read—and act out!—95-100% of the play in class. That said, your homework each night will be to review what we covered in class. This is especially important if you don’t feel confident in knowing what happened or still have questions.

As we read:

  1. EVERY NIGHT: Find at least one example of a signpost—Words of the Wiser, Again and Again, Contrasts and Contradictions, Tough Question, Aha Moment, Memory Moment—from that day’s reading in the text and mark it in the text using a post-it. On your post-it, include the citation (Act.Scene.Lines) and how the lines reflect a particular signpost. We will be writing a 5-paragraph essay related to the signposts, so be sure to keep good notes.
  2. BY THE END OF THE PLAY: Complete any study guide questions related to the day’s reading (you may also complete this during class as time is given). This study guide will be checked at the end of our reading.

Depending on what we accomplish in class, the two tasks above should take anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Be sure to make time for your independent reading as well.

While the teacher’s away: a To-Do List

TO DO- 10-24-11-2

Because I will be away the week of 10/26, it will be important for you to continue to work diligently in my absence so you don’t fall behind. Below, find the schedule for the week:

MONDAY, 10/26

First, turn in your Ramayana comic.

On Monday, spend the class reading as we do every Monday, except without the vocab quiz. The next vocab quiz will be on Monday, 11/2, when I return. It will cover words #1-25.

After you have turned in your Ramayana comic, please record an update for your reading last week (similar to what I do in class when I ask for page numbers). Use your own device or borrow a laptop and follow the steps below.

  1. Click here to update me on your independent reading for the week.
  2. Be sure to log in any completed books in the online Independent Reading Log (under “Honors World Lit” tab).

FYI: The two forms above are time-stamped, so make sure you complete this information immediately.

I will personally check your IR signpost reflection for 10/26 and 11/2 on Monday, 11/2, when I return (plus the one for 10/19 if I haven’t already checked that from you). Monday, 11/2, is your next IR day with vocab.

Weekly Reading

TUESDAY-FRIDAY, 10/27-10/30

We will begin our “official” study of Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare next week. Please complete the following activities this week.  Though it may seem like a lot, if you work diligently during class, you will have more than enough time.

There are FOUR steps total. When you are finished, spend the rest of the week reading your IR book(s). Remember that you must still read 2 hours this week to meet your weekly goal (see graphic above).

1. Complete the research task, “An Introduction to Much Ado About Nothing.

*** Steps 2, 3, and 4 should be completed in the “Much Ado About What???” packet. NOTE: In order to complete these steps during class, you will need to bring earbuds to use.

2. Watch the TED Talk video below and answer the questions 2-6.

3. Watch the Biography video below and answer questions 7-11.

4. Watch the following three videos about irony and answer question 18.

NOTE: Mrs. Ebarvia returns on Monday, 11/2. Because that is a Monday, we will have our regularly scheduled IR/Vocab. The vocab quiz (#5) will be on words 1-25.

In addition:

  1. Be sure to have your IR signpost reflections ready to be checked (you should have IR reflections for 10/26 and 11/2, plus 10/19 if I haven’t checked yours yet).
  2. Be sure to fulfill your weekly reading goals (purple sheet). By November 2, we have been working on independent reading for more than 6 weeks, which means most students should be finished two books.
  3. Record finished books in the independent reading log online (link under “Honors World Lit” above).