Rubric Best Practices, Examples, and Templates

A rubric is a scoring tool that identifies the different criteria relevant to an assignment, assessment, or learning outcome and states the possible levels of achievement in a specific, clear, and objective way. Use rubrics to assess project-based student work including essays, group projects, creative endeavors, and oral presentations.

Rubrics can help instructors communicate expectations to students and assess student work fairly, consistently and efficiently. Rubrics can provide students with informative feedback on their strengths and weaknesses so that they can reflect on their performance and work on areas that need improvement.

How to Get Started

Best practices, moodle how-to guides.

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Step 1: Analyze the assignment

The first step in the rubric creation process is to analyze the assignment or assessment for which you are creating a rubric. To do this, consider the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the assignment and your feedback? What do you want students to demonstrate through the completion of this assignment (i.e. what are the learning objectives measured by it)? Is it a summative assessment, or will students use the feedback to create an improved product?
  • Does the assignment break down into different or smaller tasks? Are these tasks equally important as the main assignment?
  • What would an “excellent” assignment look like? An “acceptable” assignment? One that still needs major work?
  • How detailed do you want the feedback you give students to be? Do you want/need to give them a grade?

Step 2: Decide what kind of rubric you will use

Types of rubrics: holistic, analytic/descriptive, single-point

Holistic Rubric. A holistic rubric includes all the criteria (such as clarity, organization, mechanics, etc.) to be considered together and included in a single evaluation. With a holistic rubric, the rater or grader assigns a single score based on an overall judgment of the student’s work, using descriptions of each performance level to assign the score.

Advantages of holistic rubrics:

  • Can p lace an emphasis on what learners can demonstrate rather than what they cannot
  • Save grader time by minimizing the number of evaluations to be made for each student
  • Can be used consistently across raters, provided they have all been trained

Disadvantages of holistic rubrics:

  • Provide less specific feedback than analytic/descriptive rubrics
  • Can be difficult to choose a score when a student’s work is at varying levels across the criteria
  • Any weighting of c riteria cannot be indicated in the rubric

Analytic/Descriptive Rubric . An analytic or descriptive rubric often takes the form of a table with the criteria listed in the left column and with levels of performance listed across the top row. Each cell contains a description of what the specified criterion looks like at a given level of performance. Each of the criteria is scored individually.

Advantages of analytic rubrics:

  • Provide detailed feedback on areas of strength or weakness
  • Each criterion can be weighted to reflect its relative importance

Disadvantages of analytic rubrics:

  • More time-consuming to create and use than a holistic rubric
  • May not be used consistently across raters unless the cells are well defined
  • May result in giving less personalized feedback

Single-Point Rubric . A single-point rubric is breaks down the components of an assignment into different criteria, but instead of describing different levels of performance, only the “proficient” level is described. Feedback space is provided for instructors to give individualized comments to help students improve and/or show where they excelled beyond the proficiency descriptors.

Advantages of single-point rubrics:

  • Easier to create than an analytic/descriptive rubric
  • Perhaps more likely that students will read the descriptors
  • Areas of concern and excellence are open-ended
  • May removes a focus on the grade/points
  • May increase student creativity in project-based assignments

Disadvantage of analytic rubrics: Requires more work for instructors writing feedback

Step 3 (Optional): Look for templates and examples.

You might Google, “Rubric for persuasive essay at the college level” and see if there are any publicly available examples to start from. Ask your colleagues if they have used a rubric for a similar assignment. Some examples are also available at the end of this article. These rubrics can be a great starting point for you, but consider steps 3, 4, and 5 below to ensure that the rubric matches your assignment description, learning objectives and expectations.

Step 4: Define the assignment criteria

Make a list of the knowledge and skills are you measuring with the assignment/assessment Refer to your stated learning objectives, the assignment instructions, past examples of student work, etc. for help.

  Helpful strategies for defining grading criteria:

  • Collaborate with co-instructors, teaching assistants, and other colleagues
  • Brainstorm and discuss with students
  • Can they be observed and measured?
  • Are they important and essential?
  • Are they distinct from other criteria?
  • Are they phrased in precise, unambiguous language?
  • Revise the criteria as needed
  • Consider whether some are more important than others, and how you will weight them.

Step 5: Design the rating scale

Most ratings scales include between 3 and 5 levels. Consider the following questions when designing your rating scale:

  • Given what students are able to demonstrate in this assignment/assessment, what are the possible levels of achievement?
  • How many levels would you like to include (more levels means more detailed descriptions)
  • Will you use numbers and/or descriptive labels for each level of performance? (for example 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and/or Exceeds expectations, Accomplished, Proficient, Developing, Beginning, etc.)
  • Don’t use too many columns, and recognize that some criteria can have more columns that others . The rubric needs to be comprehensible and organized. Pick the right amount of columns so that the criteria flow logically and naturally across levels.

Step 6: Write descriptions for each level of the rating scale

Artificial Intelligence tools like Chat GPT have proven to be useful tools for creating a rubric. You will want to engineer your prompt that you provide the AI assistant to ensure you get what you want. For example, you might provide the assignment description, the criteria you feel are important, and the number of levels of performance you want in your prompt. Use the results as a starting point, and adjust the descriptions as needed.

Building a rubric from scratch

For a single-point rubric , describe what would be considered “proficient,” i.e. B-level work, and provide that description. You might also include suggestions for students outside of the actual rubric about how they might surpass proficient-level work.

For analytic and holistic rubrics , c reate statements of expected performance at each level of the rubric.

  • Consider what descriptor is appropriate for each criteria, e.g., presence vs absence, complete vs incomplete, many vs none, major vs minor, consistent vs inconsistent, always vs never. If you have an indicator described in one level, it will need to be described in each level.
  • You might start with the top/exemplary level. What does it look like when a student has achieved excellence for each/every criterion? Then, look at the “bottom” level. What does it look like when a student has not achieved the learning goals in any way? Then, complete the in-between levels.
  • For an analytic rubric , do this for each particular criterion of the rubric so that every cell in the table is filled. These descriptions help students understand your expectations and their performance in regard to those expectations.

Well-written descriptions:

  • Describe observable and measurable behavior
  • Use parallel language across the scale
  • Indicate the degree to which the standards are met

Step 7: Create your rubric

Create your rubric in a table or spreadsheet in Word, Google Docs, Sheets, etc., and then transfer it by typing it into Moodle. You can also use online tools to create the rubric, but you will still have to type the criteria, indicators, levels, etc., into Moodle. Rubric creators: Rubistar , iRubric

Step 8: Pilot-test your rubric

Prior to implementing your rubric on a live course, obtain feedback from:

  • Teacher assistants

Try out your new rubric on a sample of student work. After you pilot-test your rubric, analyze the results to consider its effectiveness and revise accordingly.

  • Limit the rubric to a single page for reading and grading ease
  • Use parallel language . Use similar language and syntax/wording from column to column. Make sure that the rubric can be easily read from left to right or vice versa.
  • Use student-friendly language . Make sure the language is learning-level appropriate. If you use academic language or concepts, you will need to teach those concepts.
  • Share and discuss the rubric with your students . Students should understand that the rubric is there to help them learn, reflect, and self-assess. If students use a rubric, they will understand the expectations and their relevance to learning.
  • Consider scalability and reusability of rubrics. Create rubric templates that you can alter as needed for multiple assignments.
  • Maximize the descriptiveness of your language. Avoid words like “good” and “excellent.” For example, instead of saying, “uses excellent sources,” you might describe what makes a resource excellent so that students will know. You might also consider reducing the reliance on quantity, such as a number of allowable misspelled words. Focus instead, for example, on how distracting any spelling errors are.

Example of an analytic rubric for a final paper

Example of a holistic rubric for a final paper, single-point rubric, more examples:.

  • Single Point Rubric Template ( variation )
  • Analytic Rubric Template make a copy to edit
  • A Rubric for Rubrics
  • Bank of Online Discussion Rubrics in different formats
  • Mathematical Presentations Descriptive Rubric
  • Math Proof Assessment Rubric
  • Kansas State Sample Rubrics
  • Design Single Point Rubric

Technology Tools: Rubrics in Moodle

  • Moodle Docs: Rubrics
  • Moodle Docs: Grading Guide (use for single-point rubrics)

Tools with rubrics (other than Moodle)

  • Google Assignments
  • Turnitin Assignments: Rubric or Grading Form

Other resources

  • DePaul University (n.d.). Rubrics .
  • Gonzalez, J. (2014). Know your terms: Holistic, Analytic, and Single-Point Rubrics . Cult of Pedagogy.
  • Goodrich, H. (1996). Understanding rubrics . Teaching for Authentic Student Performance, 54 (4), 14-17. Retrieved from   
  • Miller, A. (2012). Tame the beast: tips for designing and using rubrics.
  • Ragupathi, K., Lee, A. (2020). Beyond Fairness and Consistency in Grading: The Role of Rubrics in Higher Education. In: Sanger, C., Gleason, N. (eds) Diversity and Inclusion in Global Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.
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Whenever we give feedback, it inevitably reflects our priorities and expectations about the assignment. In other words, we're using a rubric to choose which elements (e.g., right/wrong answer, work shown, thesis analysis, style, etc.) receive more or less feedback and what counts as a "good thesis" or a "less good thesis." When we evaluate student work, that is, we always have a rubric. The question is how consciously we’re applying it, whether we’re transparent with students about what it is, whether it’s aligned with what students are learning in our course, and whether we’re applying it consistently. The more we’re doing all of the following, the more consistent and equitable our feedback and grading will be:

Being conscious of your rubric ideally means having one written out, with explicit criteria and concrete features that describe more/less successful versions of each criterion. If you don't have a rubric written out, you can use this assignment prompt decoder for TFs & TAs to determine which elements and criteria should be the focus of your rubric.

Being transparent with students about your rubric means sharing it with them ahead of time and making sure they understand it. This assignment prompt decoder for students is designed to facilitate this discussion between students and instructors.

Aligning your rubric with your course means articulating the relationship between “this” assignment and the ones that scaffold up and build from it, which ideally involves giving students the chance to practice different elements of the assignment and get formative feedback before they’re asked to submit material that will be graded. For more ideas and advice on how this looks, see the " Formative Assignments " page at Gen Ed Writes.

Applying your rubric consistently means using a stable vocabulary when making your comments and keeping your feedback focused on the criteria in your rubric.

How to Build a Rubric

Rubrics and assignment prompts are two sides of a coin. If you’ve already created a prompt, you should have all of the information you need to make a rubric. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, and that itself turns out to be an advantage of making rubrics: it’s a great way to test whether your prompt is in fact communicating to students everything they need to know about the assignment they’ll be doing.

So what do students need to know? In general, assignment prompts boil down to a small number of common elements :

  • Evidence and Analysis
  • Style and Conventions
  • Specific Guidelines
  • Advice on Process

If an assignment prompt is clearly addressing each of these elements, then students know what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and when/how/for whom they’re doing it. From the standpoint of a rubric, we can see how these elements correspond to the criteria for feedback:

All of these criteria can be weighed and given feedback, and they’re all things that students can be taught and given opportunities to practice. That makes them good criteria for a rubric, and that in turn is why they belong in every assignment prompt.

Which leaves “purpose” and “advice on process.” These elements are, in a sense, the heart and engine of any assignment, but their role in a rubric will differ from assignment to assignment. Here are a couple of ways to think about each.

On the one hand, “purpose” is the rationale for how the other elements are working in an assignment, and so feedback on them adds up to feedback on the skills students are learning vis-a-vis the overall purpose. In that sense, separately grading whether students have achieved an assignment’s “purpose” can be tricky.

On the other hand, metacognitive components such as journals or cover letters or artist statements are a great way for students to tie work on their assignment to the broader (often future-oriented) reasons why they’ve been doing the assignment. Making this kind of component a small part of the overall grade, e.g., 5% and/or part of “specific guidelines,” can allow it to be a nudge toward a meaningful self-reflection for students on what they’ve been learning and how it might build toward other assignments or experiences.

Advice on process

As with “purpose,” “advice on process” often amounts to helping students break down an assignment into the elements they’ll get feedback on. In that sense, feedback on those steps is often more informal or aimed at giving students practice with skills or components that will be parts of the bigger assignment.

For those reasons, though, the kind of feedback we give students on smaller steps has its own (even if ungraded) rubric. For example, if a prompt asks students to  propose a research question as part of the bigger project, they might get feedback on whether it can be answered by evidence, or whether it has a feasible scope, or who the audience for its findings might be. All of those criteria, in turn, could—and ideally would—later be part of the rubric for the graded project itself. Or perhaps students are submitting earlier, smaller components of an assignment for separate grades; or are expected to submit separate components all together at the end as a portfolio, perhaps together with a cover letter or artist statement .

Using Rubrics Effectively

In the same way that rubrics can facilitate the design phase of assignment, they can also facilitate the teaching and feedback phases, including of course grading. Here are a few ways this can work in a course:

Discuss the rubric ahead of time with your teaching team. Getting on the same page about what students will be doing and how different parts of the assignment fit together is, in effect, laying out what needs to happen in class and in section, both in terms of what students need to learn and practice, and how the coming days or weeks should be sequenced.

Share the rubric with your students ahead of time. For the same reason it's ideal for course heads to discuss rubrics with their teaching team, it’s ideal for the teaching team to discuss the rubric with students. Not only does the rubric lay out the different skills students will learn during an assignment and which skills are more or less important for that assignment,  it means that the formative feedback they get along the way is more legible as getting practice on elements of the “bigger assignment.” To be sure, this can’t always happen. Rubrics aren’t always up and running at the beginning of an assignment, and sometimes they emerge more inductively during the feedback and grading process, as instructors take stock of what students have actually submitted. In both cases, later is better than never—there’s no need to make the perfect the enemy of the good. Circulating a rubric at the time you return student work can still be a valuable tool to help students see the relationship between the learning objectives and goals of the assignment and the feedback and grade they’ve received.

Discuss the rubric with your teaching team during the grading process. If your assignment has a rubric, it’s important to make sure that everyone who will be grading is able to use the rubric consistently. Most rubrics aren’t exhaustive—see the note above on rubrics that are “too specific”—and a great way to see how different graders are handling “real-life” scenarios for an assignment is to have the entire team grade a few samples (including examples that seem more representative of an “A” or a “B”) and compare everyone’s approaches. We suggest scheduling a grade-norming session for your teaching staff.

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Rubric Design

Main navigation, articulating your assessment values.

Reading, commenting on, and then assigning a grade to a piece of student writing requires intense attention and difficult judgment calls. Some faculty dread “the stack.” Students may share the faculty’s dim view of writing assessment, perceiving it as highly subjective. They wonder why one faculty member values evidence and correctness before all else, while another seeks a vaguely defined originality.

Writing rubrics can help address the concerns of both faculty and students by making writing assessment more efficient, consistent, and public. Whether it is called a grading rubric, a grading sheet, or a scoring guide, a writing assignment rubric lists criteria by which the writing is graded.

Why create a writing rubric?

  • It makes your tacit rhetorical knowledge explicit
  • It articulates community- and discipline-specific standards of excellence
  • It links the grade you give the assignment to the criteria
  • It can make your grading more efficient, consistent, and fair as you can read and comment with your criteria in mind
  • It can help you reverse engineer your course: once you have the rubrics created, you can align your readings, activities, and lectures with the rubrics to set your students up for success
  • It can help your students produce writing that you look forward to reading

How to create a writing rubric

Create a rubric at the same time you create the assignment. It will help you explain to the students what your goals are for the assignment.

  • Consider your purpose: do you need a rubric that addresses the standards for all the writing in the course? Or do you need to address the writing requirements and standards for just one assignment?  Task-specific rubrics are written to help teachers assess individual assignments or genres, whereas generic rubrics are written to help teachers assess multiple assignments.
  • Begin by listing the important qualities of the writing that will be produced in response to a particular assignment. It may be helpful to have several examples of excellent versions of the assignment in front of you: what writing elements do they all have in common? Among other things, these may include features of the argument, such as a main claim or thesis; use and presentation of sources, including visuals; and formatting guidelines such as the requirement of a works cited.
  • Then consider how the criteria will be weighted in grading. Perhaps all criteria are equally important, or perhaps there are two or three that all students must achieve to earn a passing grade. Decide what best fits the class and requirements of the assignment.

Consider involving students in Steps 2 and 3. A class session devoted to developing a rubric can provoke many important discussions about the ways the features of the language serve the purpose of the writing. And when students themselves work to describe the writing they are expected to produce, they are more likely to achieve it.

At this point, you will need to decide if you want to create a holistic or an analytic rubric. There is much debate about these two approaches to assessment.

Comparing Holistic and Analytic Rubrics

Holistic scoring .

Holistic scoring aims to rate overall proficiency in a given student writing sample. It is often used in large-scale writing program assessment and impromptu classroom writing for diagnostic purposes.

General tenets to holistic scoring:

  • Responding to drafts is part of evaluation
  • Responses do not focus on grammar and mechanics during drafting and there is little correction
  • Marginal comments are kept to 2-3 per page with summative comments at end
  • End commentary attends to students’ overall performance across learning objectives as articulated in the assignment
  • Response language aims to foster students’ self-assessment

Holistic rubrics emphasize what students do well and generally increase efficiency; they may also be more valid because scoring includes authentic, personal reaction of the reader. But holistic sores won’t tell a student how they’ve progressed relative to previous assignments and may be rater-dependent, reducing reliability. (For a summary of advantages and disadvantages of holistic scoring, see Becker, 2011, p. 116.)

Here is an example of a partial holistic rubric:

Summary meets all the criteria. The writer understands the article thoroughly. The main points in the article appear in the summary with all main points proportionately developed. The summary should be as comprehensive as possible and should be as comprehensive as possible and should read smoothly, with appropriate transitions between ideas. Sentences should be clear, without vagueness or ambiguity and without grammatical or mechanical errors.

A complete holistic rubric for a research paper (authored by Jonah Willihnganz) can be  downloaded here.

Analytic Scoring

Analytic scoring makes explicit the contribution to the final grade of each element of writing. For example, an instructor may choose to give 30 points for an essay whose ideas are sufficiently complex, that marshals good reasons in support of a thesis, and whose argument is logical; and 20 points for well-constructed sentences and careful copy editing.

General tenets to analytic scoring:

  • Reflect emphases in your teaching and communicate the learning goals for the course
  • Emphasize student performance across criterion, which are established as central to the assignment in advance, usually on an assignment sheet
  • Typically take a quantitative approach, providing a scaled set of points for each criterion
  • Make the analytic framework available to students before they write  

Advantages of an analytic rubric include ease of training raters and improved reliability. Meanwhile, writers often can more easily diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of their work. But analytic rubrics can be time-consuming to produce, and raters may judge the writing holistically anyway. Moreover, many readers believe that writing traits cannot be separated. (For a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of analytic scoring, see Becker, 2011, p. 115.)

For example, a partial analytic rubric for a single trait, “addresses a significant issue”:

  • Excellent: Elegantly establishes the current problem, why it matters, to whom
  • Above Average: Identifies the problem; explains why it matters and to whom
  • Competent: Describes topic but relevance unclear or cursory
  • Developing: Unclear issue and relevance

A  complete analytic rubric for a research paper can be downloaded here.  In WIM courses, this language should be revised to name specific disciplinary conventions.

Whichever type of rubric you write, your goal is to avoid pushing students into prescriptive formulas and limiting thinking (e.g., “each paragraph has five sentences”). By carefully describing the writing you want to read, you give students a clear target, and, as Ed White puts it, “describe the ongoing work of the class” (75).

Writing rubrics contribute meaningfully to the teaching of writing. Think of them as a coaching aide. In class and in conferences, you can use the language of the rubric to help you move past generic statements about what makes good writing good to statements about what constitutes success on the assignment and in the genre or discourse community. The rubric articulates what you are asking students to produce on the page; once that work is accomplished, you can turn your attention to explaining how students can achieve it.

Works Cited

Becker, Anthony.  “Examining Rubrics Used to Measure Writing Performance in U.S. Intensive English Programs.”   The CATESOL Journal  22.1 (2010/2011):113-30. Web.

White, Edward M.  Teaching and Assessing Writing . Proquest Info and Learning, 1985. Print.

Further Resources

CCCC Committee on Assessment. “Writing Assessment: A Position Statement.” November 2006 (Revised March 2009). Conference on College Composition and Communication. Web.

Gallagher, Chris W. “Assess Locally, Validate Globally: Heuristics for Validating Local Writing Assessments.” Writing Program Administration 34.1 (2010): 10-32. Web.

Huot, Brian.  (Re)Articulating Writing Assessment for Teaching and Learning.  Logan: Utah State UP, 2002. Print.

Kelly-Reilly, Diane, and Peggy O’Neil, eds. Journal of Writing Assessment. Web.

McKee, Heidi A., and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss DeVoss, Eds. Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, 2013. Web.

O’Neill, Peggy, Cindy Moore, and Brian Huot.  A Guide to College Writing Assessment . Logan: Utah State UP, 2009. Print.

Sommers, Nancy.  Responding to Student Writers . Macmillan Higher Education, 2013.

Straub, Richard. “Responding, Really Responding to Other Students’ Writing.” The Subject is Writing: Essays by Teachers and Students. Ed. Wendy Bishop. Boynton/Cook, 1999. Web.

White, Edward M., and Cassie A. Wright.  Assigning, Responding, Evaluating: A Writing Teacher’s Guide . 5th ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. Print.

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Grading with rubrics

Rubrics help students know how they will be assessed and make grading easier for the instructor. 

Instructor grading exams.

Introduction

When you’re two-thirds of the way through 35 essays on why the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland is important for an understanding of the development of American federalism, it takes a strong spirit not to want to poke your eyes out with a steak knife rather than read one more. — John Tierney in Why Teachers Secretly Hate Grading Papers

Do you enjoy spending countless hours marking assignments late into the wee hours of the morning? How about responding to endless emails from your students about assignments – questions that you have responded to multiple times in class. If the answer to both is no, then I would like to introduce you to your new best friend – the grading rubric. Once developed, the rubric will save hours of your life, as well as providing for your students in crystal clarity the purpose of their assignments.

What is a grading rubric?

A rubric is a set of criteria required for an assignment accompanied by various levels of performance. As the instructor, you simply select the comments on the rubric that match the submission (adding your own comments at your discretion). Rubrics are also useful for self and peer-assessment.

Rubrics help your students know how they will be assessed. They also make grading easier for the instructor. Rubrics are useful for assessing essays, projects, and tests or quizzes with a written component. Check out these  examples  from Carnegie Mellon.

There are two main types of rubrics: holistic and analytical.

Holistic Rubrics

Holistic rubrics evaluate the overall quality of an assignment.  They are quick, efficient, and fair, and they allow for the assessment of higher-order thinking in which any number of responses may be offered by the student. The shortcomings of holistic rubrics include a lack of specific feedback for the student (unless you include these in your comments). Holistic rubrics generally serve better as summative rather than formative feedback.

Analytical rubrics

Analytical rubrics include a set of criteria on the left side of a grid with levels of performance along the top row (see the example below). Typically the corresponding cells include a description of each criteria at each level of performance. When grading assignments, the instructor checks off each of the appropriate criteria and may choose to include brief written comments below. Analytical rubrics can effectively provide specific feedback that highlights strengths and struggles. The drawbacks of an analytical rubric include the time needed to develop the rubrics, specifically the time and thought that is required to write well-defined and clear criterion. This time is arguably well-spent as the goals and outcomes of the assignment will be explicit for both instructor and student. In the long term, analytical rubrics are a time saver – time invested into their development is quickly paid off during the marking process.

See below for templates of holistic and analytical rubrics:

Template for Holistic Rubrics

Template for analytic rubrics.

Nilson, L. (2016).  Teaching at its best : A research-based resource for college instructors  4th ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Mertler, Craig A. (2001). Designing scoring rubrics for your classroom.  Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation , 7(25). Retrieved from   https://scholarworks.umass.edu/pare/vol7/iss1/25/  

Benefits of rubrics

Rubrics are helpful for instructors and students on many levels. Rubrics are good for students because:

  • Students know what is expected.
  • Students see that learning is about gaining specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
  • Students may self-assess to reflect on their learning.

Rubrics are good for instructors because:

  • Teachers and students are clear on what is being assessed.
  • Teachers may consistently assess student work without having to re-write similar comments.
  • Teachers with high marking loads save considerable time.

The rubric  design  process is also beneficial. Designing a rubric enables the instructor to take a close look at the purpose of the assignment. The process allows the instructor to enhance or more clearly articulate the purpose and intended learning outcomes of the assignment for the students.

How to design a rubric

  • Decide what criteria or essential elements must be present in the student’s work to ensure that it is high in quality. At this stage, you might even consider selecting samples of exemplary student work that can be shown to students when setting assignments.
  • Decide how many levels of achievement you will include on the rubric and how they will relate to your institution’s definition of grades as well as your own grading scheme.
  • For each criterion, component, or essential element of quality, describe in detail what the performance at each achievement level looks like.
  • Leave space for additional, tailored comments or overall impressions and a final grade.

Develop a different rubric for each assignment 

Although this takes time in the beginning, you’ll find that rubrics can be changed slightly or re-used later.  If you are seeking pre-existing rubrics, consider Rhodes (2009) for the AAC&U VALUE rubrics, cited below, or Facione and Facione (1994). Whether you develop your own or use an existing rubric, practice with any other graders in your course to achieve inter-rater reliability.

Be transparent

Give students a copy of the rubric when you assign the performance task. These are not meant to be surprise criteria. Hand the rubric back with the assignment.

Integrate rubrics into assignments

Require students to attach the rubric to the assignment when they hand it in. Some instructors ask students to self-assess or give peer feedback using the rubric prior to handing in the work. 

Leverage rubrics to manage your time

When you mark the assignment, circle or highlight the achieved level of performance for each criterion on the rubric. This is where you will save a great deal of time, as no comments are required. Include any additional specific or overall comments that do not fit within the rubric’s criteria.

Be prepared to revise your rubrics

Decide upon a final grade for the assignment based on the rubric. If you find, as some do, that presented work meets criteria on the rubric but nevertheless seems to have exceeded or not met the overall qualities you’re seeking, revise the rubric accordingly for the next time you teach the course. If the work achieves highly in some areas of the rubric but not in others, decide in advance how the assignment grade is actually derived. Some use a formula, or multiplier, to give different weightings to various components; be explicit about this right on the rubric. 

Consider developing online rubrics

If an assignment is being submitted to an electronic drop box you may be able to develop and use an online rubric. The scores from these rubrics are automatically entered in the online grade book in the course management system.

*Creative commons source:  Rubrics: Useful assessment tools. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.

Rubric examples

Developing Rubrics  A storehouse of examples and resources for developing rubrics.

The Center for Teaching and Learning (Humber College). (n.d.).  Teaching methods: Developing rubrics.  Retrieved from:  http://www.humber.ca/centreforteachingandlearning/instructional-strategies/teaching-methods/course-development-tools/creating-assignment-rubrics.html

Guide to Rating Critical & Integrative Thinking , Washington State University, Fall 2006, Center for Teaching, Learning, & Technology. Retrieved from:   http://www.cpcc.edu/learningcollege/learning-outcomes/rubrics/WST_Rubric.pdf

Grading and Performance Rubrics

Examples  of rubrics from various disciplines (scroll down the web page to find them) Eberly Center: Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation (Carnegie Mellon). (n.d.).  Grading and performance rubrics.  Retrieved from:  http:// www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/teach/rubrics.html

Reliable Rubrics  A creative commons bank of rubrics from a variety of disciplines.

Rubric template

Sample rubric for a research paper.

Adapted from  Written Report Assessment Template , Compiled from the following sources: Project Literary among Youth, 2002,  http://www.kidsplay.org/100w/rubric.html . Kansas State University, 2005. Rubric for Research Paper

Resources and references

Centre for Teaching Excellence (University of Waterloo). (n.d.).  Rubrics: Useful assessment tools . Retrieved from  https:// uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching- tips/assessing-student-work/grading-and-feedback/rubrics-useful-assessment-tools

Davis, B. (2009).  Tools for teaching  (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Eberly Center: Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation (Carnegie Mellon). (n.d.).  Grading and  performance rubrics.  Retrieved from:  http ://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/teach/rubrics.html

Guide to Rating Critical & Integrative Thinking, Washington State University, Fall 2006, Center for Teaching, Learning, & Technology. Retrieved from:  https://public.wsu.edu/~hughesc/CIT_Rubric_2006.pdf

Mertler, Craig A. (2001). Designing scoring rubrics for your classroom.  Practical Assessment, Research &  Evaluation , 7(25). Retrieved from  http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=7&n=25

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We're about to dive deep into the details of that least beloved* of SAT sections, the SAT essay . Prepare for a discussion of the SAT essay rubric and how the SAT essay is graded based on that. I'll break down what each item on the rubric means and what you need to do to meet those requirements.

On the SAT, the last section you'll encounter is the (optional) essay. You have 50 minutes to read a passage, analyze the author's argument, and write an essay. If you don’t write on the assignment, plagiarize, or don't use your own original work, you'll get a 0 on your essay. Otherwise, your essay scoring is done by two graders - each one grades you on a scale of 1-4 in Reading, Analysis, and Writing, for a total essay score out of 8 in each of those three areas . But how do these graders assign your writing a numerical grade? By using an essay scoring guide, or rubric.

*may not actually be the least belovèd.

Feature image credit: Day 148: the end of time by Bruce Guenter , used under CC BY 2.0 /Cropped from original. 

UPDATE: SAT Essay No Longer Offered

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In January 2021, the College Board announced that after June 2021, it would no longer offer the Essay portion of the SAT (except at schools who opt in during School Day Testing). It is now no longer possible to take the SAT Essay, unless your school is one of the small number who choose to offer it during SAT School Day Testing.

While most colleges had already made SAT Essay scores optional, this move by the College Board means no colleges now require the SAT Essay. It will also likely lead to additional college application changes such not looking at essay scores at all for the SAT or ACT, as well as potentially requiring additional writing samples for placement.

What does the end of the SAT Essay mean for your college applications? Check out our article on the College Board's SAT Essay decision for everything you need to know.

The Complete SAT Essay Grading Rubric: Item-by-Item Breakdown

Based on the CollegeBoard’s stated Reading, Analysis, and Writing criteria, I've created the below charts (for easier comparison across score points). For the purpose of going deeper into just what the SAT is looking for in your essay, I've then broken down each category further (with examples).

The information in all three charts is taken from the College Board site .

The biggest change to the SAT essay (and the thing that really distinguishes it from the ACT essay) is that you are required to read and analyze a text , then write about your analysis of the author's argument in your essay. Your "Reading" grade on the SAT essay reflects how well you were able to demonstrate your understanding of the text and the author's argument in your essay.

You'll need to show your understanding of the text on two different levels: the surface level of getting your facts right and the deeper level of getting the relationship of the details and the central ideas right.

Surface Level: Factual Accuracy

One of the most important ways you can show you've actually read the passage is making sure you stick to what is said in the text . If you’re writing about things the author didn’t say, or things that contradict other things the author said, your argument will be fundamentally flawed.

For instance, take this quotation from a (made-up) passage about why a hot dog is not a sandwich:

“The fact that you can’t, or wouldn’t, cut a hot dog in half and eat it that way, proves that a hot dog is once and for all NOT a sandwich”

Here's an example of a factually inaccurate paraphrasing of this quotation:

The author builds his argument by discussing how, since hot-dogs are often served cut in half, this makes them different from sandwiches.

The paraphrase contradicts the passage, and so would negatively affect your reading score. Now let's look at an accurate paraphrasing of the quotation:

The author builds his argument by discussing how, since hot-dogs are never served cut in half, they are therefore different from sandwiches.

It's also important to be faithful to the text when you're using direct quotations from the passage. Misquoting or badly paraphrasing the author’s words weakens your essay, because the evidence you’re using to support your points is faulty.

Higher Level: Understanding of Central Ideas

The next step beyond being factually accurate about the passage is showing that you understand the central ideas of the text and how details of the passage relate back to this central idea.

Why does this matter? In order to be able to explain why the author is persuasive, you need to be able to explain the structure of the argument. And you can’t deconstruct the author's argument if you don’t understand the central idea of the passage and how the details relate to it.

Here's an example of a statement about our fictional "hot dogs are sandwiches" passage that shows understanding of the central idea of the passage:

Hodgman’s third primary defense of why hot dogs are not sandwiches is that a hot dog is not a subset of any other type of food. He uses the analogy of asking the question “is cereal milk a broth, sauce, or gravy?” to show that making such a comparison between hot dogs and sandwiches is patently illogical.

The above statement takes one step beyond merely being factually accurate to explain the relation between different parts of the passage (in this case, the relation between the "what is cereal milk?" analogy and the hot dog/sandwich debate).

Of course, if you want to score well in all three essay areas, you’ll need to do more in your essay than merely summarizing the author’s argument. This leads directly into the next grading area of the SAT Essay.

The items covered under this criterion are the most important when it comes to writing a strong essay. You can use well-spelled vocabulary in sentences with varied structure all you want, but if you don't analyze the author's argument, demonstrate critical thinking, and support your position, you will not get a high Analysis score .

Because this category is so important, I've broken it down even further into its two different (but equally important) component parts to make sure everything is as clearly explained as possible.

Part I: Critical Thinking (Logic)

Critical thinking, also known as critical reasoning, also known as logic, is the skill that SAT essay graders are really looking to see displayed in the essay. You need to be able to evaluate and analyze the claim put forward in the prompt. This is where a lot of students may get tripped up, because they think “oh, well, if I can just write a lot, then I’ll do well.” While there is some truth to the assertion that longer essays tend to score higher , if you don’t display critical thinking you won’t be able to get a top score on your essay.

What do I mean by critical thinking? Let's take the previous prompt example:

Write an essay in which you explain how Hodgman builds an argument to persuade his audience that the hot dog cannot, and never should be, considered a sandwich.

An answer to this prompt that does not display critical thinking (and would fall into a 1 or 2 on the rubric) would be something like:

The author argues that hot dogs aren’t sandwiches, which is persuasive to the reader.

While this does evaluate the prompt (by providing a statement that the author's claim "is persuasive to the reader"), there is no corresponding analysis. An answer to this prompt that displays critical thinking (and would net a higher score on the rubric) could be something like this:

The author uses analogies to hammer home his point that hot dogs are not sandwiches. Because the readers will readily believe the first part of the analogy is true, they will be more likely to accept that the second part (that hot dogs aren't sandwiches) is true as well.

See the difference? Critical thinking involves reasoning your way through a situation (analysis) as well as making a judgement (evaluation) . On the SAT essay, however, you can’t just stop at abstract critical reasoning - analysis involves one more crucial step...

Part II: Examples, Reasons, and Other Evidence (Support)

The other piece of the puzzle (apparently this is a tiny puzzle) is making sure you are able to back up your point of view and critical thinking with concrete evidence . The SAT essay rubric says that the best (that is, 4-scoring) essay uses “ relevant, sufficient, and strategically chosen support for claim(s) or point(s) made. ” This means you can’t just stick to abstract reasoning like this:

That explanation is a good starting point, but if you don't back up your point of view with quoted or paraphrased information from the text to support your discussion of the way the author builds his/her argument, you will not be able to get above a 3 on the Analysis portion of the essay (and possibly the Reading portion as well, if you don't show you've read the passage). Let's take a look of an example of how you might support an interpretation of the author's effect on the reader using facts from the passage :

The author’s reference to the Biblical story about King Solomon elevates the debate about hot dogs from a petty squabble between friends to a life-or-death disagreement. The reader cannot help but see the parallels between the two situations and thus find themselves agreeing with the author on this point.

Does the author's reference to King Solomon actually "elevate the debate," causing the reader to agree with the author? From the sentences above, it certainly seems plausible that it might. While your facts do need to be correct,  you get a little more leeway with your interpretations of how the author’s persuasive techniques might affect the audience. As long as you can make a convincing argument for the effect a technique the author uses might have on the reader, you’ll be good.

body_saywhat

Say whaaat?! #tbt by tradlands , used under CC BY 2.0 /Cropped and color-adjusted from original.

Did I just blow your mind? Read more about the secrets the SAT doesn’t want you to know in this article . 

Your Writing score on the SAT essay is not just a reflection of your grasp of the conventions of written English (although it is that as well). You'll also need to be focused, organized, and precise.

Because there's a lot of different factors that go into calculating your Writing score, I've divided the discussion of this rubric area into five separate items:

Precise Central Claim

Organization, vocab and word choice, sentence structure, grammar, etc..

One of the most basic rules of the SAT essay is that you need to express a clear opinion on the "assignment" (the prompt) . While in school (and everywhere else in life, pretty much) you’re encouraged to take into account all sides of a topic, it behooves you to NOT do this on the SAT essay. Why? Because you only have 50 minutes to read the passage, analyze the author's argument, and write the essay, there's no way you can discuss every single way in which the author builds his/her argument, every single detail of the passage, or a nuanced argument about what works and what doesn't work.

Instead, I recommend focusing your discussion on a few key ways the author is successful in persuading his/her audience of his/her claim.

Let’s go back to the assignment we've been using as an example throughout this article:

"Write an essay in which you explain how Hodgman builds an argument to persuade his audience that the hot dog cannot, and never should be, considered a sandwich."

Your instinct (trained from many years of schooling) might be to answer:

"There are a variety of ways in which the author builds his argument."

This is a nice, vague statement that leaves you a lot of wiggle room. If you disagree with the author, it's also a way of avoiding having to say that the author is persuasive. Don't fall into this trap! You do not necessarily have to agree with the author's claim in order to analyze how the author persuades his/her readers that the claim is true.

Here's an example of a precise central claim about the example assignment:

The author effectively builds his argument that hot dogs are not sandwiches by using logic, allusions to history and mythology, and factual evidence.

In contrast to the vague claim that "There are a variety of ways in which the author builds his argument," this thesis both specifies what the author's argument is and the ways in which he builds the argument (that you'll be discussing in the essay).

While it's extremely important to make sure your essay has a clear point of view, strong critical reasoning, and support for your position, that's not enough to get you a top score. You need to make sure that your essay  "demonstrates a deliberate and highly effective progression of ideas both within paragraphs and throughout the essay."

What does this mean? Part of the way you can make sure your essay is "well organized" has to do with following standard essay construction points. Don't write your essay in one huge paragraph; instead, include an introduction (with your thesis stating your point of view), body paragraphs (one for each example, usually), and a conclusion. This structure might seem boring, but it really works to keep your essay organized, and the more clearly organized your essay is, the easier it will be for the essay grader to understand your critical reasoning.

The second part of this criteria has to do with keeping your essay focused, making sure it contains "a deliberate and highly effective progression of ideas." You can't just say "well, I have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion, so I guess my essay is organized" and expect to get a 4/4 on your essay. You need to make sure that each paragraph is also organized . Recall the sample prompt:

“Write an essay in which you explain how Hodgman builds an argument to persuade his audience that the hot dog cannot, and never should be, considered a sandwich.”

And our hypothetical thesis:

Let's say that you're writing the paragraph about the author's use of logic to persuade his reader that hot dogs aren't sandwiches. You should NOT just list ways that the author is logical in support of his claim, then explain why logic in general is an effective persuasive device. While your points might all be valid, your essay would be better served by connecting each instance of logic in the passage with an explanation of how that example of logic persuades the reader to agree with the author.

Above all, it is imperative that you make your thesis (your central claim) clear in the opening paragraph of your essay - this helps the grader keep track of your argument. There's no reason you’d want to make following your reasoning more difficult for the person grading your essay (unless you’re cranky and don’t want to do well on the essay. Listen, I don’t want to tell you how to live your life).

In your essay, you should use a wide array of vocabulary (and use it correctly). An essay that scores a 4 in Writing on the grading rubric “demonstrates a consistent use of precise word choice.”

You’re allowed a few errors, even on a 4-scoring essay, so you can sometimes get away with misusing a word or two. In general, though, it’s best to stick to using words you are certain you not only know the meaning of, but also know how to use. If you’ve been studying up on vocab, make sure you practice using the words you’ve learned in sentences, and have those sentences checked by someone who is good at writing (in English), before you use those words in an SAT essay.

Creating elegant, non-awkward sentences is the thing I struggle most with under time pressure. For instance, here’s my first try at the previous sentence: “Making sure a sentence structure makes sense is the thing that I have the most problems with when I’m writing in a short amount of time” (hahaha NOPE - way too convoluted and wordy, self). As another example, take a look at these two excerpts from the hypothetical essay discussing how the author persuaded his readers that a hot dog is not a sandwich:

Score of 2: "The author makes his point by critiquing the argument against him. The author pointed out the logical fallacy of saying a hot dog was a sandwich because it was meat "sandwiched" between two breads. The author thus persuades the reader his point makes sense to be agreed with and convinces them."

The above sentences lack variety in structure (they all begin with the words "the author"), and the last sentence has serious flaws in its structure (it makes no sense).

Score of 4: "The author's rigorous examination of his opponent's position invites the reader, too, to consider this issue seriously. By laying out his reasoning, step by step, Hodgman makes it easy for the reader to follow along with his train of thought and arrive at the same destination that he has. This destination is Hodgman's claim that a hot dog is not a sandwich."

The above sentences demonstrate variety in sentence structure (they don't all begin with the same word and don't have the same underlying structure) that presumably forward the point of the essay.

In general, if you're doing well in all the other Writing areas, your sentence structures will also naturally vary. If you're really worried that your sentences are not varied enough, however, my advice for working on "demonstrating meaningful variety in sentence structure" (without ending up with terribly worded sentences) is twofold:

  • Read over what you’ve written before you hand it in and change any wordings that seem awkward, clunky, or just plain incorrect.
  • As you’re doing practice essays, have a friend, family member, or teacher who is good at (English) writing look over your essays and point out any issues that arise. 

This part of the Writing grade is all about the nitty gritty details of writing: grammar, punctuation, and spelling . It's rare that an essay with serious flaws in this area can score a 4/4 in Reading, Analysis, or Writing, because such persistent errors often "interfere with meaning" (that is, persistent errors make it difficult for the grader to understand what you're trying to get across).

On the other hand, if they occur in small quantities, grammar/punctuation/spelling errors are also the things that are most likely to be overlooked. If two essays are otherwise of equal quality, but one writer misspells "definitely" as "definately" and the other writer fails to explain how one of her examples supports her thesis, the first writer will receive a higher essay score. It's only when poor grammar, use of punctuation, and spelling start to make it difficult to understand your essay that the graders start penalizing you.

My advice for working on this rubric area is the same advice as for sentence structure: look over what you’ve written to double check for mistakes, and ask someone who’s good at writing to look over your practice essays and point out your errors. If you're really struggling with spelling, simply typing up your (handwritten) essay into a program like Microsoft Word and running spellcheck can alert you to problems. We've also got a great set of articles up on our blog about SAT Writing questions that may help you better understand any grammatical errors you are making.

How Do I Use The SAT Essay Grading Rubric?

Now that you understand the SAT essay rubric, how can you use it in your SAT prep? There are a couple of different ways.

Use The SAT Essay Rubric To...Shape Your Essays

Since you know what the SAT is looking for in an essay, you can now use that knowledge to guide what you write about in your essays!

A tale from my youth: when I was preparing to take the SAT for the first time, I did not really know what the essay was looking for, and assumed that since I was a good writer, I’d be fine.

Not true! The most important part of the SAT essay is using specific examples from the passage and explaining how they convince the reader of the author's point. By reading this article and realizing there's more to the essay than "being a strong writer," you’re already doing better than high school me.

body_readsleeping

Change the object in that girl’s left hand from a mirror to a textbook and you have a pretty good sketch of what my junior year of high school looked like.

Use The SAT Essay Rubric To...Grade Your Practice Essays

The SAT can’t exactly give you an answer key to the essay. Even when an example of an essay that scored a particular score is provided, that essay will probably use different examples than you did, make different arguments, maybe even argue different interpretations of the text...making it difficult to compare the two. The SAT essay rubric is the next best thing to an answer key for the essay - use it as a lens through which to view and assess your essay.

Of course, you don’t have the time to become an expert SAT essay grader - that’s not your job. You just have to apply the rubric as best as you can to your essays and work on fixing your weak areas . For the sentence structure, grammar, usage, and mechanics stuff I highly recommend asking a friend, teacher, or family member who is really good at (English) writing to take a look over your practice essays and point out the mistakes.

If you really want custom feedback on your practice essays from experienced essay graders, may I also suggest the PrepScholar test prep platform ? I manage the essay grading and so happen to know quite a bit about the essay part of this platform, which gives you both an essay grade and custom feedback for each essay you complete. Learn more about how it all works here .

What’s Next?

Are you so excited by this article that you want to read even more articles on the SAT essay? Of course you are. Don't worry, I’ve got you covered. Learn how to write an SAT essay step-by-step and read about the 6 types of SAT essay prompts .

Want to go even more in depth with the SAT essay? We have a complete list of past SAT essay prompts as well as tips and strategies for how to get a 12 on the SAT essay .

Still not satisfied? Maybe a five-day free trial of our very own PrepScholar test prep platform (which includes essay practice and feedback) is just what you need.

Trying to figure out whether the old or new SAT essay is better for you? Take a look at our article on the new SAT essay assignment to find out!

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Our classes are entirely online, and they're taught by SAT experts . If you liked this article, you'll love our classes. Along with expert-led classes, you'll get personalized homework with thousands of practice problems organized by individual skills so you learn most effectively. We'll also give you a step-by-step, custom program to follow so you'll never be confused about what to study next.

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Laura graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a BA in Music and Psychology, and earned a Master's degree in Composition from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and GRE and loves advising students on how to excel in high school.

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Essay Rubric

Essay Rubric

About this printout

This rubric delineates specific expectations about an essay assignment to students and provides a means of assessing completed student essays.

Teaching with this printout

More ideas to try.

Grading rubrics can be of great benefit to both you and your students. For you, a rubric saves time and decreases subjectivity. Specific criteria are explicitly stated, facilitating the grading process and increasing your objectivity. For students, the use of grading rubrics helps them to meet or exceed expectations, to view the grading process as being “fair,” and to set goals for future learning. In order to help your students meet or exceed expectations of the assignment, be sure to discuss the rubric with your students when you assign an essay. It is helpful to show them examples of written pieces that meet and do not meet the expectations. As an added benefit, because the criteria are explicitly stated, the use of the rubric decreases the likelihood that students will argue about the grade they receive. The explicitness of the expectations helps students know exactly why they lost points on the assignment and aids them in setting goals for future improvement.

  • Routinely have students score peers’ essays using the rubric as the assessment tool. This increases their level of awareness of the traits that distinguish successful essays from those that fail to meet the criteria. Have peer editors use the Reviewer’s Comments section to add any praise, constructive criticism, or questions.
  • Alter some expectations or add additional traits on the rubric as needed. Students’ needs may necessitate making more rigorous criteria for advanced learners or less stringent guidelines for younger or special needs students. Furthermore, the content area for which the essay is written may require some alterations to the rubric. In social studies, for example, an essay about geographical landforms and their effect on the culture of a region might necessitate additional criteria about the use of specific terminology.
  • After you and your students have used the rubric, have them work in groups to make suggested alterations to the rubric to more precisely match their needs or the parameters of a particular writing assignment.
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Essay Rubric: Basic Guidelines and Sample Template

11 December 2023

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Lectures and tutors provide specific requirements for students to meet when writing essays. Basically, an essay rubric helps tutors to analyze the quality of articles written by students. In this case, useful rubrics make the analysis process simple for lecturers as they focus on specific concepts related to the writing process. Also, an essay rubric list and organize all of the criteria into one convenient paper. In other instances, students use an essay rubric to enhance their writing skills by examining various requirements. Then, different types of essay rubrics vary from one educational level to another. For example, Master’s and Ph.D. essay rubrics focus on examining complex thesis statements and other writing mechanics. However, high school essay rubrics examine basic writing concepts. In turn, a sample template of a high school rubric in this article can help students to evaluate their papers before submitting them to their teachers.

General Aspects of an Essay Rubric

An essay rubric refers to the way how teachers assess student’s composition writing skills and abilities. Basically, an essay rubric provides specific criteria to grade assignments. In this case, teachers use essay rubrics to save time when evaluating and grading various papers. Hence, learners must use an essay rubric effectively to achieve desired goals and grades.

Essay rubric

General Assessment Table for an Essay Rubric

1. organization.

Excellent/8 points: The essay contains stiff topic sentences and a controlled organization.

Very Good/6 points: The essay contains a logical and appropriate organization. The writer uses clear topic sentences.

Average/4 points: The essay contains a logical and appropriate organization. The writer uses clear topic sentences.

Needs Improvement/2 points: The essay has an inconsistent organization.

Unacceptable/0 points: The essay shows the absence of a planned organization.

Grade: ___ .

Excellent/8 points: The essay shows the absence of a planned organization.

Very Good/6 points: The paper contains precise and varied sentence structures and word choices. 

Average/4 points: The paper follows a limited but mostly correct sentence structure. There are different sentence structures and word choices.

Needs Improvement/2 points: The paper contains several awkward and unclear sentences. There are some problems with word choices.

Unacceptable/0 points: The writer does not contain apparent control over sentence structures and word choice.

Excellent/8 points: The content appears sophisticated and contains well-developed ideas.

Very Good/6 points: The essay content appears illustrative and balanced.

Average/4 points: The essay contains unbalanced content that requires more analysis.

Needs Improvement/2 points: The essay contains a lot of research information without analysis or commentary.

Unacceptable/0 points: The essay lacks relevant content and does not fit the thesis statement . Essay rubric rules are not followed.

Excellent/8 points: The essay contains a clearly stated and focused thesis statement.

Very Good/6 points: The written piece comprises a clearly stated argument. However, the focus would have been sharper.

Average/4 points: The thesis phrasing sounds simple and lacks complexity. The writer does not word the thesis correctly. 

Needs Improvement/2 points: The thesis statement requires a clear objective and does not fit the theme in the content of the essay.

Unacceptable/0 points: The thesis is not evident in the introduction.

Excellent/8 points: The essay is clear and focused. The work holds the reader’s attention. Besides, the relevant details and quotes enrich the thesis statement.

Very Good/6 points: The essay is mostly focused and contains a few useful details and quotes.

Average/4 points: The writer begins the work by defining the topic. However, the development of ideas appears general.

Needs Improvement/2 points: The author fails to define the topic well, or the writer focuses on several issues.

Unacceptable/0 points: The essay lacks a clear sense of a purpose or thesis statement. Readers have to make suggestions based on sketchy or missing ideas to understand the intended meaning. Essay rubric requirements are missed.

6. Sentence Fluency

Excellent/8 points: The essay has a natural flow, rhythm, and cadence. The sentences are well built and have a wide-ranging and robust structure that enhances reading.

Very Good/6 points: The ideas mostly flow and motivate a compelling reading.

Average/4 points: The text hums along with a balanced beat but tends to be more businesslike than musical. Besides, the flow of ideas tends to become more mechanical than fluid.

Needs Improvement/2 points: The essay appears irregular and hard to read.

Unacceptable/0 points: Readers have to go through the essay several times to give this paper a fair interpretive reading.

7. Conventions

Excellent/8 points: The student demonstrates proper use of standard writing conventions, like spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, and paragraphing. The student uses protocols in a way that improves the readability of the essay.

Very Good/6 points: The student demonstrates proper writing conventions and uses them correctly. One can read the essay with ease, and errors are rare. Few touch-ups can make the composition ready for publishing.

Average/4 points: The writer shows reasonable control over a short range of standard writing rules. The writer handles all the conventions and enhances readability. The errors in the essay tend to distract and impair legibility.

Needs Improvement/2 points: The writer makes an effort to use various conventions, including spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar usage, and paragraphing. The essay contains multiple errors.

Unacceptable/0 points: The author makes repetitive errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, and paragraphing. Some mistakes distract readers and make it hard to understand the concepts. Essay rubric rules are not covered.

8. Presentation

Excellent/8 points: The form and presentation of the text enhance the readability of the essay and the flow of ideas.

Very Good/6 points: The format has few mistakes and is easy to read.

Average/4 points: The writer’s message is understandable in this format.

Needs Improvement/2 points: The writer’s message is only comprehensible infrequently, and the paper appears disorganized.

Unacceptable/0 points: Readers receive a distorted message due to difficulties connecting to the presentation of the text.

Final Grade: ___ .

Grading Scheme for an Essay Rubric:

  • A+ = 60+ points
  • A = 55-59 points
  • A- = 50-54 points
  • B+ = 45-49 points
  • B = 40-44 points
  • B- = 35-39 points
  • C+ = 30-34 points
  • C = 25-29 points
  • C- = 20-24 points
  • D = 10-19 points
  • F = less than 9 points

Basic Differences in Education Levels and Essay Rubrics

The quality of essays changes at different education levels. For instance, college students must write miscellaneous papers when compared to high school learners. In this case, an essay rubric will change for these different education levels. For example, university and college essays should have a debatable thesis statement with varying points of view. However, high school essays should have simple phrases as thesis statements. Then, other requirements in an essay rubric will be more straightforward for high school students. For master’s and Ph.D. essays, the criteria presented in an essay rubric should focus on examining the paper’s complexity. In turn, compositions for these two categories should have thesis statements that demonstrate a detailed analysis of defined topics that advance knowledge in a specific area of study.

Summing Up on an Essay Rubric

Essay rubrics help teachers, instructors, professors, and tutors to analyze the quality of essays written by students. Basically, an essay rubric makes the analysis process simple for lecturers. Essay rubrics list and organize all of the criteria into one convenient paper. In other instances, students use the essay rubrics to improve their writing skills. However, they vary from one educational level to the other. Master’s and Ph.D. essay rubrics focus on examining complex thesis statements and other writing mechanics. However, high school essay rubrics examine basic writing concepts.  The following are some of the tips that one must consider when preparing a rubric.

  • contain all writing mechanics that relates to essay writing;
  • cover different requirements and their relevant grades;
  • follow clear and understandable statements.

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Reflection Toolkit

Assessment rubrics

Rubrics allow for quicker and more consistent marking. This can be extremely helpful in reflection, which can feel as if it needs to be assessed by instinct alone. A well-defined rubric will make marking of reflection systematic and support both you and the reflectors.

Rubrics make life easier for the reflectors and for you as a marker

There are many general benefits from using a rubric, which extend beyond reflection. For facilitators a rubric can:

  • help ensure consistency in the grades given
  • reduce uncertainty which may come with grading
  • reduce time spent grading
  • identify clear strengths and weaknesses in work and therefore make feedback easier

Moreover, students report that having a well-defined rubric available before they engage with an assessment makes it clearer what is expected of them. Other benefits can be:

  • More measurable feedback
  • Students can more easily identify specific areas which they need to work on

Sometimes student work can fall outside the scope of a rubric – however a rubric will give you a place to start

While the usefulness of rubrics are widely accepted, there are some criticisms arguing that rubrics can fail to make the marking easier as students’ work does not fit onto the predefined categories and will have to be assessed holistically, rather than by a set of components. Moreover, it is argued that a piece of work is often more than the sum of its parts.

These are both fair criticisms. Sometimes you will receive reflections that are hard to mark against your criteria or are indeed better than your rubric would suggest. However, having a rubric will give you a place to start for these reflections.

If you find that your rubric consistently misses aspects this would suggest the criteria need updated.

Choose a holistic or analytic rubric – the analytic will make the benefits more pronounced

When choosing your rubric, there are two general approaches: holistic and analytical.

For each level of performance highlighted in the rubrics, it can be helpful to provide an example of that level (for example a series of reflective sentences or an extract).

Holistic rubrics are general levels of performance

The holistic rubric gives a general description of the different performance levels, for example novice, apprentice, proficient, or distinguished.

The levels can take many different names, and you can choose as many levels as you find appropriate. It can be recommended to include the same number of levels as the number of grades available for students, for example a level for failing and a level for each passing grade.

Analytic rubrics take into account performance on each assessment criterion

The analytic rubric allows you to identify a reflector’s performance against each of your chosen and well-defined assessment criteria.

This can be helpful for you in the marking process and when giving feedback to the reflector as you can tell them exactly what areas they are performing well in and need to improve on.

You may consider giving a student a mark for each criterion and take an average of that for the overall mark. Alternatively, predefine a weight or a set of points available for each criterion and calculate the overall mark according to this. If the latter method is used, you should also make the weightings available to students at the same time as the rubric.

Test your reflective rubric and improve it

It is unlikely that the first rubric you make is going to capture everything you need, and you may find you need to update it. This is natural for rubrics in all areas, and especially around the area of reflection, which for many is new.  Revisiting your rubric is particularly worth doing after the first time it is used.

When using your rubric you can ask yourself:

  • What does this rubric make easier about marking and/or feedback (if anything)?
  • What is still challenging when I am using this rubric?
  • Are there clear gaps in my identified criteria or rubric which I now see are needed for what I consider essential in the assignment?
  • What do I need to change (if anything)?
  • How do students seem to react to my rubric?

Test if others would give students the same marks with your rubric

Rubrics that work well for you have a lot of value, but to ensure that you get an optimal rubric it is important that others using your rubric would give the same grade to the same reflection as you do – ensuring that your rubric has inter-rater reliability.

This is important for two reasons:

  • It reinforces the validity of your rubric and ensures that, if there are multiple markers for your reflective assessments, the grade does not vary by which person is marking
  • It ensures that students who see the rubric will be able to accurately produce work according to the level they are striving towards.

Holistic rubrics

Moon’s (2004) four levels of reflective writing.

These four levels distinguish between four types of written accounts you might see a reflector produce.

In this case the three top levels might pass a reflective assignment, where descriptive writing would not.

Taken from Jennifer Moon’s book: A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning (2004)

Reflective writing rubric

These four levels are different and highlight four alternative approaches to reflective journaling. While they are specifically developed for journal use, the levels will generalise to other types of written reflection.

The rubric is develop by Chabon and Lee-Wilkerson (2006) when evaluating reflective journals of students undertaking a graduate degree in communication sciences and disorders.

Analytical rubric

Reflection evaluation for learners’ enhanced competencies tool (reflect) rubric.

This analytic rubric has been developed and empirically tested and improved by Wald et al. (2012). It was developed specifically for medical education, but can easily be used elsewhere. The rubric is designed using theoretical considerations from a range of thinkers around reflection as Moon, Schön, Boud and Mezirow.

This rubric has been used in empirical studies and a high inter-rater reliability has been established.

There are two components to the rubric. The standard rubric and an additional axis. The second axis should be used when a reflector reaches ‘Critical reflection’ and then distinguishes between two types of learning, which reflection can help surface.

Adding the additional axis can help you to differentiate between what kind of learning the student has obtained as well as reminding us that reflection does not need to always create new practice – becoming aware of why one’s practice works can be equally valuable.

Standard Rubric

Axis II for critical reflection

Rubric for reflection using different criteria

This rubric form Jones (n.d) gives another approach to marking reflection. Using five criteria it manages to capture a lot of what is relevant when marking reflection as well as giving clear qualities highlighted for each level of reflection.

Chabon, S. and Lee-Wilkerson, D. (2006). Use of journal writing in the assessment of CSD students’ learning about diversity: A method worthy of reflection. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 27(3), 146-158.

Dawson, P. (2017) Assessment rubrics: towards clearer and more replicable design, research and practice. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 42(3), 347-360.

Jones, S. (n.d.) Using reflection for assessment . Office of Service Learning, IUPUI. (link to PDF on external site)

Moon J.A. (2004). A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: Theory and practice. Routledge.

Kohn, A. (2006). The trouble with rubrics. English Journal, 95(4).

Wald, H.S., Borkan, J.M., Scott Taylor, J., Anthony, D., and Reis, S.P. (2012) Fostering and evaluating reflective capacity in medical education: Developing the REFLECT rubric for assessing reflective writing. Academic Medicine, 87(1), 41-50.

Common App Announces 2024–2025 Common App Essay Prompts

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We are happy to announce that the Common App essay prompts will remain the same for 2024–2025.

Our decision to keep these prompts unchanged is supported by past research showing that overall satisfaction with the prompts exceeded 95% across our constituent groups - students, counselors, advisors, teachers, and member colleges. Moving forward, we want to learn more about who is choosing certain prompts to see if there are any noteworthy differences among student populations and incorporate feedback into future decisions.

While some schools are beginning discussions with juniors and transfer students about college options, it's important to clarify that this doesn't mean students need to start writing their essays right away. By releasing the prompts early, we hope to give students ample time for reflection and brainstorming. As you guide students with their planning, feel free to use our Common App Ready essay writing resource, available in both English and Spanish .

For students who wish to start exploring the application process, creating a Common App account before August 1 ensures that all their responses, including their personal essays, will be retained through account rollover .

Below is the full set of essay prompts for 2024–2025.

  • Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  • Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  • Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  • Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

We will retain the optional community disruption question within the Writing section. Over the next year, we'll consult with our member, counselor, and student advisory committees to ensure we gather diverse perspectives and make informed decisions.

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A warning about colleges focusing too much on diversity … from 1993

essay rubric university

“What does it mean to be [woke]?” an essay in Time magazine asked readers. The author offered some qualifications: “one must be pro-feminist, pro-gay rights, pro-minority studies, mistrustful of tradition, scornful of Dead White European Males and deeply skeptical toward the very idea of a ‘masterpiece,’ because it implies that one idea, culture or human being can actually be better than another.”

These are familiar notes for any reader who is tracking the debate over diversity on college campuses. In fact, the entire essay — titled “The Politics of Separation” — trod this now well-worn terrain, from skepticism at demanded consideration of diversity to an anecdote about student newspapers including an essay critical of Martin Luther King Jr. being stolen in opposition to “institutional racism.”

But this was not a recent article. It wasn’t even about what it means to be “woke” but, instead, what it means to be “politically correct.” Because that was the term of art back when this particular collection of now-tired arguments was assembled in 1993.

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The first anecdote in the essay by William Henry III centers on the backlash against UCLA’s decision against the creation of a Chicano studies department. Henry scoffs at the limited scale of the protests — only five students engaged in the hunger strike! — and reports that the administration ultimately backed down.

In 2021, there were over 600 students taking classes through the department, now called the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies. The Hispanic population in the United States grew from about 9 percent of residents in 1993 to 19 percent last year. UCLA, needless to say, survived.

Henry then pivoted into a criticism of the University of California at Berkeley, which “[a]fter a debate admittedly more political than scholarly,” mandated that students study at least three of five ethnic groups, including European, Latino, Black, Asian and Native American. That requirement is still in place ; Berkeley is still one of the top universities in the country.

In fairness, Henry didn’t explicitly anticipate that these efforts would doom the respective institutions. He just pointed at the shift in a disparaging manner, over and over. The essay ran in a special issue of Time focused on the evolving demographics of the country and Henry nodded to that theme — albeit not with favorable acceptance.

“With America moving toward an era when there may be no ethnic majority, with whites just another minority, multicultural and p.c. demands are spreading to previously unbesieged institutions,” he wrote. “Ethnic studies have been mandated at such heartland schools as the University of Wisconsin and Texas A&M.”

That Henry was unable to understand why Texas A&M might consider how diversity might evolve certainly does not speak well to his predictive powers.

“[T]he focus of p.c. multiculturalism seems to be shifting from curriculum battles — so many have already been won — to the suppression of ‘hate speech,’” Henry continued, “which is loosely defined as anything that any recognized minority or victim group chooses to find offensive.”

Henry then transitioned into what New York University researcher Eric Knowles and his colleagues dub the “minority collusion” idea — the overwrought theory that non-White groups work together in the suppression of Whites. (Ask non-White residents of Los Angeles in the early 1990s the extent to which they were unified.) “Often such coalitions add up to a majority,” Henry wrote, “but they cling to rights based on minority status.”

The victims of this collusion? White people. Conservative White men, specifically — exactly the group that Knowles’s research found were most convinced that such collusion exists.

“When white male conservatives feel harassed,” Henry wrote, “multiculturalists retort that they are enabling these fellow students to share in the sense of disenfranchisement, enriching their understanding of the world.”

He pressed forward, marveling that there were no repercussions for students who confronted the author of an essay that described homosexuality as “a dirty, sinful lifestyle that doesn’t deserve any special rights.” And so on.

“[T]he movements demand that mainstream white Americans aged 35 and over” — those now 65 and over — “clean out their personal psychic attics of nearly everything they were taught — and still fervently believe — about what made their country great,” Henry wrote. “Like the black and women’s movements before them, the new movements rely heavily on the unwelcome rhetoric of guilt.”

Finally, the warning —

“Many distinguished scholars … see firsthand evidence that the p.c. and multicultural movements are leading to a more general separatism, a fragmentation of the centrist consensus that built America.”

— and the slippery slope.

“The greatest intellectual danger of political correctness is its assumption that there are some ideas too dangerous to be heard, some words too hurtful to be allowed, some opinions no one is ever again permitted to hold.”

We can look back over the expanse of the past 30 years and declare that there is no shortage of opinions that people are still permitted to hold. We can inform the late Henry, in fact, that rejection of “political correctness,” as he understood it, would be an undergirding ideology of the Republican nominee for president in 2016, 2020 and the same candidate expected to win the nomination in 2024. That, once elected, that president would attempt to replace consideration of multiculturalism in the educational system with one focused on American exceptionalism. That the fragmentation of consensus that has unfolded has been, in large part, driven by the splintering of media voices allowing a number that explicitly try to leverage the same concerns he raised in his essay.

What we might more usefully take away from his essay, of course, is that he was ringing the same alarm bell that’s sounding today. We might read his essay and recognize that these fights are not new and not fatal and that, looking back, it was Henry who comes off as alarmist and overreactive, not the students.

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Short essay question rubric

Sample grading rubric an instructor can use to assess students’ work on short essay questions.

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  1. Academic essay rubric

    > Academic essay rubric. Academic essay rubric. This is a grading rubric an instructor uses to assess students' work on this type of assignment. It is a sample rubric that needs to be edited to reflect the specifics of a particular assignment. ... University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90089-1691 [email protected] (213) 740-3959 ...

  2. Rubric Best Practices, Examples, and Templates

    You might Google, "Rubric for persuasive essay at the college level" and see if there are any publicly available examples to start from. Ask your colleagues if they have used a rubric for a similar assignment. Some examples are also available at the end of this article. These rubrics can be a great starting point for you, but consider steps ...

  3. PDF Argumentative essay rubric

    Logical, compelling progression of ideas in essay;clear structure which enhances and showcases the central idea or theme and moves the reader through the text. Organization flows so smoothly the reader hardly thinks about it. Effective, mature, graceful transitions exist throughout the essay.

  4. Rubrics

    Rubrics are tools for communicating grading criteria and assessing student progress. Rubrics take a variety of forms, from grids to checklists, and measure a range of writing tasks, from conceptual design to sentence-level considerations. As with any assessment tool, a rubric's effectiveness is entirely dependent upon its design and its ...

  5. PDF College-Level Writing Rubric

    College-Level Writing Rubric Masterful Skilled Able Developing Novice (Way Off) Focus, Purpose, Thesis (Controlling of the assigned topic. Idea) Engaging and full development of a clear thesis as appropriate to assignment purpose. Competent and well-developed thesis; thesis represents sound and adequate understanding Mostly intelligible ideas;

  6. PDF Essay Rubric

    Essay Rubric Directions: Your essay will be graded based on this rubric. Consequently, use this rubric as a guide when writing your essay and check it again before you submit your essay. Traits 4 3 2 1 Focus & Details There is one clear, well-focused topic. Main ideas are clear and are well supported by detailed and accurate information.

  7. Rubrics

    If an assignment prompt is clearly addressing each of these elements, then students know what they're doing, why they're doing it, and when/how/for whom they're doing it. From the standpoint of a rubric, we can see how these elements correspond to the criteria for feedback: 1. Purpose. 2. Genre.

  8. Rubrics

    Paper Assignments. Example 1: Philosophy Paper This rubric was designed for student papers in a range of philosophy courses, CMU. Example 2: Psychology Assignment Short, concept application homework assignment in cognitive psychology, CMU. Example 3: Anthropology Writing Assignments This rubric was designed for a series of short writing ...

  9. PDF YALE COLLEGE ENGL 114: Grading Rubric

    Written by the Brandeis University Writing Program and revised by Ryan Wepler YALE COLLEGE ENGL 114: Grading Rubric The A Essay makes an interesting, complex—even surprising—argument and is thoroughly well-executed.While an A essay is the result of serious effort, the grade is based on the essay's content and presentation.

  10. Rubric Design

    Writing rubrics can help address the concerns of both faculty and students by making writing assessment more efficient, consistent, and public. Whether it is called a grading rubric, a grading sheet, or a scoring guide, a writing assignment rubric lists criteria by which the writing is graded.

  11. Creating and Using Rubrics

    Example 1: Discussion Class This rubric assesses the quality of student contributions to class discussions. This is appropriate for an undergraduate-level course (Carnegie Mellon). Example 2: Advanced Seminar This rubric is designed for assessing discussion performance in an advanced undergraduate or graduate seminar.

  12. Grading with rubrics

    Rubrics are also useful for self and peer-assessment. Rubrics help your students know how they will be assessed. They also make grading easier for the instructor. Rubrics are useful for assessing essays, projects, and tests or quizzes with a written component. Check out these examples from Carnegie Mellon.

  13. DOC Homepage

    Essay contains an intro, main body, and conclusion. The introduction lays out the main argument but gives the reader little idea of what to expect in the essay. The conclusion nicely summarizes the main argument and evidence, but does not move beyond what has already been presented in the paper. Essay contains an intro, main body, and conclusion.

  14. Writing Rubrics: How to Score Well on Your Paper

    A writing rubric is a clear set of guidelines on what your paper should include, often written as a rating scale that shows the range of scores possible on the assignment and how to earn each one. Professors use writing rubrics to grade the essays they assign, typically scoring on content, organization, mechanics, and overall understanding.

  15. SAT Essay Rubric: Full Analysis and Writing Strategies

    The SAT essay rubric says that the best (that is, 4-scoring) essay uses " relevant, sufficient, and strategically chosen support for claim (s) or point (s) made. " This means you can't just stick to abstract reasoning like this: The author uses analogies to hammer home his point that hot dogs are not sandwiches.

  16. University Level Essay Rubric

    University Essay Guidelines Rubric. General characteristics by letter grade of university-level student papers: Also See: High School Persuasive Essay Rubric PDF Version: PDF Rubric. The A Paper: Ideas: Excels in responding to assignment. Interesting, demonstrates sophistication of thought. Central idea/thesis is clearly communicated, worth ...

  17. PDF Academic Essay Evaluation Rubric Page 1 of 8

    Section 1. Evaluation of Thinking. Directions: For each of the three criteria (content and focus; analysis and critical thinking; logic and flow) select 10, 8, 6, 4, or 2 from the five possible scores (representing strong, proficient, satisfactory, weak, or unacceptable, respectively). Section 1.

  18. Essay Rubric

    Grading rubrics can be of great benefit to both you and your students. For you, a rubric saves time and decreases subjectivity. Specific criteria are explicitly stated, facilitating the grading process and increasing your objectivity. For students, the use of grading rubrics helps them to meet or exceed expectations, to view the grading process ...

  19. Essay Rubric: Basic Guidelines and Sample Template

    For example, university and college essays should have a debatable thesis statement with varying points of view. However, high school essays should have simple phrases as thesis statements. Then, other requirements in an essay rubric will be more straightforward for high school students.

  20. PDF Narrative Essay Rubric (100 points) Name

    Narrative Essay Rubric (100 points) Name: 10-9 Precise and consistent demonstration of the writing skills learned in class. Fulfills all of the requirements outlined in the essay rubric. Expresses ability to make inferences and applications to world outside of classroom environment. 8 Correct demonstration of the writing skills learned in class ...

  21. Assessment rubrics

    Rubrics allow for quicker and more consistent marking. This can be extremely helpful in reflection, which can feel as if it needs to be assessed by instinct alone. ... The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336, VAT Registration Number GB 592 9507 00, and is ...

  22. PDF College Application Essay Rubric

    9-10 pts. -Essay maintains a clear, mostly specific, prompt-appropriate focus that develops a clear main idea throughout the essay. -Essay develops purpose with a clear angle. 8 pts. -Essay's focus is somewhat unclear or off-topic, and/or main idea may meander a bit or contain minor digressions.

  23. What Is the SAT Essay?

    There are 3 practice Essay tests. Once you submit your response, go to MyPractice.Collegeboard.org, where you'll see your essay, a scoring guide and rubric so that you can score yourself, and student samples for various scores to compare your self-score with a student at the same level. After the Test

  24. Caachr Essay Grading Rubric 2024

    addressing the essay theme, or topic. *Draws a conclusion *Details are specific, enhance development, and are elaborated upon 9 - 12 points *The essay is sufficiently focused and contains some development of essay theme, ideas, and topic. *Conclusion is more than a summary *Details are adequate, accurate, relevant; some elaboration 3 - 8 points ...

  25. PDF Library research awards evaluation rubric

    essay - evidence of use in paper and essay may not match, limited use of library resources, sources aren't strong and the majority have faults (age, authority, diversity, relevancy, etc.) Good evidence of library resource usage in paper and essay - use of library resources is generally appropriate and relevant to topic, sources are generally

  26. Common App Announces 2024-2025 Common App Essay Prompts

    We are happy to announce that the Common App essay prompts will remain the same for 2024-2025. Our decision to keep these prompts unchanged is supported by past research showing that overall satisfaction with the prompts exceeded 95% across our constituent groups - students, counselors, advisors, teachers, and member colleges.

  27. A warning about colleges focusing too much on diversity … from 1993

    The first anecdote in the essay by William Henry III centers on the backlash against the University of California at Los Angeles's decision against the creation of a Chicano studies department.

  28. Short essay question rubric

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