A Sample Rubric for Grading Student Writing
All written work should be assessed using a rubric. Using a set of criteria linked to standards not only allows for uniform evaluation, but helps students understand what is important about an assignment and encourages them to reflect on their work.
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The rubric below is designed for ninth grade cross-curricular writing, but educators at any grade level can develop their own rubrics using these as a guide.
Start with a four-point rubric: Exemplary (4), Proficient (3), Zone of Proximal Development (2), and Significant Reteaching (1). When developing rubrics, begin by describing the criteria for proficient — not average — work. It's impossible to know what is Exemplary or Zone of Proximal Development writing without first determining what students need to know and be able to do to be considered proficient.
A General Writing Rubric
|Thesis statement is appropriate and concise; supporting evidence is well-chosen and transparently leads the reader through the argument.||Thesis statement is clear and there is appropriate supporting evidence to lead the reader through the argument effectively.||Thesis statement is partial, non-analytical, or wishy-washy; there is some supporting evidence, and some attempt to lead the reader through the argument.||There is no clear thesis statement, no clear supporting evidence, and no organizational structure.|
|The language is sophisticated, precise, and appropriate for the purpose, audience, and subject area; uses precise subject-area and general vocabulary, and formal academic language with appropriate style and voice.||The language is appropriate for the purpose, audience, and subject area: relevant general and subject-area vocabulary; formal academic language; and suitable transition language.||Language is often, but not always, appropriate for the purpose, audience, and subject area.||Language is inappropriate for the purpose, audience, and subject area.|
|Knowledge of Concept/ Facts
||Author accurately describes, explains, and incorporates sophisticated subject-area facts and concepts.||Author accurately describes, explains, and applies useful subject-area facts and concepts.||Author partially describes, explains, and uses pertinent subject-area facts and concepts.||Little or no description, explanation, or application of appropriate subject-area facts and concepts included.|
|Makes unusual connections between and among ideas and concepts, applies and extends ideas discussed in class to real-world examples.||Writer makes appropriate connections between and among ideas and concepts, transfers ideas discussed in class to real-world examples.||Writer makes some connections between and among ideas and concepts and attempts to apply ideas, which may or may not be relevant or appropriate, to real-world examples.||No or irrelevant connections between and among ideas and concepts and no effort made to apply ideas discussed in class to real-world examples.|
Amy Rukea Stempel (2010)
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