Essay Writing Rubrics for Teachers

Essay Writing Rubric: The Main Features and Samples

The rubric for writing an essay helps teachers to simplify the process of grading and assessing the students’ papers. This is a good way to see in which moments the student has done the task successfully and where he or she has got some problems. Rubrics take some time to make them. In our article, we will tell about the main features of the college essay writing rubrics as well as provide useful samples to use this instrument for grading students without wasting time.

The Main Features of Essay Rubrics

The rubric template usually has these features:

  • It includes a description of the task
  • It has criteria to divide the paper into several categories
  • It has a scale (with 3 qualifiers or more on your choice) that shows if the student has met their expectations.

Below, we will list the description of the main features:

  • Description. It must show what the student must fulfill, show, or do. Remember that verbs for descriptions are quite important and don’t use negative language. The description should tell what the student has to do without listing what they don’t have to do. The description must be very specific and clear to determine the students’ performance without doubts and wasting time. Here are examples of good verbs to include here: interpret, apply, demonstrate, predict, make connections, identify, communicate, express.  
  • Criteria. This feature qualifies every aspect of work fulfilled by the student. It evaluates individual skills and abilities connected with students’ performance. Sometimes you may notice that the student’s work satisfies several criteria but only approach others. This is fully normal because all the students learn at various speeds. It may need more time to satisfy these criteria.
  • Qualifiers. The scale of qualifiers shows how the student has met expectations. For example, here is a four-point scale that describes levels of success:
    • 0 points: bad quality, no or very little evidence, doesn’t meet expectations, needs a lot of improvement.
    • 1 point: average quality, some evidence, meets expectations partially, fair.
    • 2 points: good quality, good evidence, meets all the expectations, good.
    • 3 points: high quality, best quality, strong evidence, exceeds expectations, excellent.

You can begin your rubric for essay writing scale with 1 instead of 0 and make a different range of points. Remember that you have to be very clear in defining the characteristics of every degree. Thanks to the qualifiers, you can easily define the overall score for every student without wasting time. 

How the Teacher Should Use an Essay Rubric

Here are some useful tips for teachers on using scoring rubrics for essay writing:

  • First of all, students must know what’s expected of them. We suggest giving them the rubric before they started to write their tasks. Give good examples of each criterion of what you want to see in their work.
  • Then require students to create a paper with all the expectations and descriptions you have made before.
  • When the essay is finished, ask students to switch papers with a partner to score each other work. This is a fast and reliable process to grade the assignment. It’s useful for students to get some critics from friends and improve their skills.
  • When the editing and scoring are finished, ask students to switch papers back. Now every student has to evaluate the task following the criteria on the rubric essay. If students didn’t meet the criteria or just approached, make sure you gave them the right examples. 

Sample of the Grading Rubric for Essay Writing

Here is a sample of a rubric for essay writing in high schools. Create your rubric and score students precisely and fast!