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Ideas and Content ___ The main idea(s) or thesis statement is clearly defined.
___ The writer is well-informed. Appropriate relevant information
4 Points (Exceeds) and details are shared from a variety or sources including personal
experiences, observations, and prior knowledge.
___ The writer anticipates and responds to readers’ informational
The paper is clear, focused, and purposeful. needs.
It thoughtfully explains the selected topic in ___ Supporting details are accurate, relevant, and helpful in
clarifying the main idea(s).
understandable and comprehensive terms. ___ Factual details are effectively used to support the focus and
Relevant details provide enrichment. purpose of the paper.

3 Points (Meets)
___ The main idea can be identified.
The paper addresses an identifiable topic by ___ The writer shares some relevant information,
offering the reader general basic facts and experience.
information. Although the paper is clear and ___ The writer sometimes responds to the reader’
focused, the development is limited and/or informational needs.
general. ___ The details strengthen the paper.
2 Points (Partially Meets) ___ Factual details are sometimes used to enhance the
focus and purpose of the paper.
Writing displays some elements beyond a 1
yet does not reach the level of sophistication
of a 3.
___ The main idea is not identifiable.
1 Point (Does Not Meet) ___ The writer shares some information, but it is limited or unclear.
___ The writer does not have the readers’ informational needs in
The writer has not clarified the selected ___ Details are missing or repetitious.
topic. The paper has no clear sense of ___ Factual details are missing or repetitious.

Student Name:________________________________________________
Title:________________________________________ Date:___________
___ Details seem to fit where they are placed; sequencing is logical,
ORGANIZATION effective, and promotes the reader’s understanding.
4 Points (Exceeds) ___ An inviting introduction draws the reader in and a satisfying
conclusion leaves the reader with a sense of resolution.
___ Transitions are smooth and connect the information into a
The organization enhances and showcases cohesive whole.
___ Organization flows so smoothly the reader hardly thinks about
the central idea or theme. The order, it. The reader’s understanding of the topic grows throughout the
structure, or presentation is compelling and paper.
moves the reader through the text. ___ Pacing is very well controlled. The writer delivers the right
amount of information and then moves on to the next relevant point.
3 Points (Meets)
___ Sequencing is usually logical.
The organizational structure is strong ___ The paper has a recognizable introduction and
enough to move the reader from point to conclusion.
point without undue confusion and is ___ There are instances when connections between
functional. ideas are unclear or call for inferences.
___ The organization does not seriously get in the
2 Points (Partially Meets) way of the main point.
___ The writer lingers too long on some points and
The organizational structure moves the skims over other points.
reader from point to point, but at times is
confusing and the reader must reread for
1 Point (Does Not Meet) ___ Sequencing, if it exists, needs work.
___ The writer has not yet drafted an introduction or conclusion.
___ Connections between ideas are confusing or incomplete.
The writing lacks a clear sense of direction. ___ Lack of organization makes it hard for the reader to see how the
Ideas, details, or events seem strung together ideas link to each other or how they link to a main idea.
in a random, haphazard fashion or else there
is no identifiable structure at all

Student Name:________________________________________________

Title:________________________________________ Date:___________
___ The paper is honest and enthusiastic. It has the ring of
VOICE conviction.
4 Points (Exceeds) ___ The language is natural yet thought-provoking. It brings the
topic to life.
___ The reader feels a strong sense of interaction with the writer and
The writer speaks directly to the reader in a senses the person behind the words.
___ The projected tone and voice give flavor to the writer’s message
way that is individualistic, expressive, and and seem very appropriate for the purpose and the audience.
engaging. Clearly, the writer is involved in ___ The reader is compelled to read on, regardless of previous
the text and is writing for an audience. knowledge or interest.

3 Points (Meets)
The writer is sincere and engaged, ___ The writing is sincere and serious. Some
committed, or involved. The result is moments amuse, surprise, enlighten or move the
pleasant, personable, and effective. reader.
2 Points (Partially Meets) ___ Writer’s voice may emerge strongly on occasion.
___ The writer seems aware of an audience.
___ The reader is informed.
The writer seems sincere and somewhat
engaged, committed or involved. The result
is often pleasant and sometimes even
___ The writer does not seem to reach out to an audience, or make
personable, but short of compelling. use of voice to connect with that audience.
1 Point (Does Not Meet) ___ The writer speaks in a kind of monotone that tends to flatten all
potential highs and lows of the message.
___ The writing communicates on a functional level.
The writer seems indifferent, uninvolved, or ___ The writer is not yet sufficiently engaged or comfortable with
distanced from the topic and/or the audience. the topic.
___ The reader must work hard to pay attention or to get the needed
As a result, the writing is flat, lifeless, or information.
mechanical; depending on the topic. It may
be overly technical.

Student Name:________________________________________________

Title:________________________________________ Date:___________
___ Words are specific and accurate.
WORD CHOICE ___ Explicit, vivid words and phrases are used to catch the reader’s
4 Points (Exceeds) attention; the language is natural and never overdone.
___ Expressions are fresh and appealing and appropriate.
Words convey the intended message in an ___ The vocabulary suits the writer, subject, and audience. The
interesting, precise, and natural way. The meaning of specialized vocabulary is defined or can be determined
by context.
writing is rich, concise, and increases the
reader’s understanding..
3 Points (Meets)
The language is mostly used correctly and is
effective in getting the message across to the ___ Words are almost always correct.
reader. ___ Expressions are used effectively.
___Specialized vocabulary is sometimes used.
2 Points (Partially Meets) ___ Uses colorful language effectively.
The language is functional; it gets the
message across. However, the language may
at times be used incorrectly. Word choices
may be simplistic. ___ Words are used incorrectly in more than one or two cases,
1 Point (Does Not Meet) sometimes making the message hard to understand.
___ Persistent redundancy clouds the message and distracts the
The writer struggles with a limited reader. Cliches or jargon serve as a crutch.
vocabulary, searching for words to convey ___ Specialized vocabulary is overused or missing or misused.

Student Name:________________________________________________

Title:________________________________________ Date:___________
___ Sentence structure reflects logic and sense, helping to show how
SENTENCE FLUENCY ideas relate. Purposeful sentence beginnings guide the reader readily
4 Points (Exceeds) from one sentence to another.
___ The writing sounds natural and fluent. One sentence flows
effortlessly into the next.
___ Variation in sentence structure and length, as well as transitions,
adds interest to the text.
The writing has an easy flow when read ___ All sentences have a specific purpose. There is nothing that is
aloud. Sentences are constructed well, with superfluous.
consistently strong and varied structure.
3 Points (Meets) ___ The writer shows good control over simple
sentence structure, but control over complex sentence
structure varies.
The text moves along efficiently for the most ___ Sentences may not seem skillfully crafted, but
part. There are instances of sophisticated they are grammatically correct. Some transitions are
sentence construction. evident and sentences work together. They get the job
___ The writer may tend to favor a particular
2 Points (Partially Meets) pattern(e.g., subject-verb, subject-verb), but there
is at least some variation in sentence length and
structure (sentence beginnings are NOT all alike).
The text mostly moves along efficiently with ___ The reader sometimes has to hunt for transitional
instances of incomplete, choppy or awdward phrases that show how one sentence leads into the
sentence construction. At times, the flow of next.
the piece is difficult to follow.
1 Point (Does Not Meet) ___ Sentences do not sound natural, the way someone might speak.
Word patterns are often jarring or irregular, forcing the reader to
pause or reread.
___ Sentence structure tends to obscure meaning, rather showing the
The paper is difficult to follow or read aloud. reader how ideas relate.
Most sentences tend to be choppy, ___ Word patterns are very monotonous (e.g., subject-verb, subject-
incomplete, rambling, or awkward; they need verb-object). There is little or no real variety in length or structure.
___ Sentences may be very choppy. Words may run together in one
work. More than one of the following giant “sentence” linked by “and’s” or other connectives.
problems is likely to be evident.

Student Name:________________________________________________

Title:________________________________________ Date:___________

4 Points (Exceeds) ___ Paragraphing tends to be sound and to reinforce the
organization structure.
The writer demonstrates a good grasp of ___ Grammar and usage are correct and contribute to clarify
standard writing conventions (e.g.,grammar, and style.
capitalization, punctuation, usage, spelling, ___ Punctuation is smooth and guides the reader through the
paragraphing) and uses them effectively to text.
___ Spelling is generally correct, even on more difficult words.
enhance readability. Errors tend to be so few ___ The writing is sufficiently long and complex to allow the writer
and minor the reader can easily skim right to show skill in using a wide range of conventions.
over them unless specifically searching for ___ Internal Punctuation is used correctly.
3 Points (Meets)
The writer shows reasonable control over ___ Spelling is usually correct on common words.
standard writing conventions. Some errors ___ Terminal (end-of-sentence) punctuation is almost
are evident, but do not take away from the always correct; internal punctuation (commas,
overall effect of the paper. apostrophes, semicolons) may be incorrect or missing.
___ Problems with grammar usage are not serious
2 Points (Partially Meets) enough to confuse meaning.
The writer shows control over a limited ___ Paragraphing is attempted. Paragraphs sometimes
range of standard conventions. However, the run together or begin in the wrong places.
paper would require moderate editing for
publication. Errors are numerous or serious
enough to be somewhat distracting but the
writer handles some conventions well.
___ Spelling errors are frequent, even on common words.
1 Point (Does Not Meet) ___ Punctuation (including terminal punctuation) is often missing or
Errors in spelling, punctuation, usage and ___ Paragraphing is missing or irregular.
grammar, capitalization and/or ___ Errors in grammar and usage are very noticeable, and may affect
paragraphing repeatedly distract the reader meaning.
___ The reader must read more than once to comprehend.
and make the text difficult to read

Student Name:________________________________________________

Title:________________________________________ Date:___________