Here’s a nearly final version of the rubric I’ll use to grade your practical cryptography papers: Paper #3 Rubric [PDF]. I say “nearly” because I reserve the right to tweak the rubric once I start grading your papers. This version should, however, give you a good sense of what I’m looking for in these final papers. If you have any questions about the rubric, please feel free to ask.

As a reminder, here’s what I said about your final paper in the syllabus. All of this is still relevant to the assignment.

For your final assignment, you will contribute a chapter to an online guide to practical cryptography written by our class.  Each chapter will focus on one way that cryptography is (or could be) relevant to the digital life of a college student in 2014.  You might address one of the ways that cryptography is embedded in the computer systems we already use (e.g. how credit card information is encrypted by websites) or explain how to better protect one’s online privacy by adopting new practices (e.g. sending and receiving encrypted emails).  Your chapter will have an expository component, in which you explain cryptographic and/or mathematical processes in ways a fellow student can understand, and an argumentative component, in which you make the case for why a fellow student should care about the topic you’ve chosen.

Your chapter should be between 2500 and 3000 words in length, and it will be graded on the strength and clarity of your arguments as well as the effectiveness of your technical explanations.