Basic Essay Writing Rubric                                

Name: _________________ Teacher: Mrs. Hancock
Date: August 8, 2009 Class: English 7
Description: This rubric will help you know exactly what I am expecting to find in an essay.
5 / Excellent 4 / Very Good 3 / Average 2 / Needs Improvement 1 / Unacceptable
Ideas This paper is clear and focused. It holds the reader's attention. Relevant details and quotes enrich the central theme. This paper is mostly focused, and has some good details and quotes. The writer is beginning to define the topic, even though development is still basic or general. Topic is not well-defined and/or there are too many topics. As yet, the paper has no clear sense of purpose or central theme. To extract meaning from the text, the reader must make inferences based on sketchy or missing details.
Organization The organization enhances and showcases the central idea or theme. The order, structure of information is compelling and moves the reader through the text. Paper (and paragraphs) are mostly organized, in order, and makes sense to the reader. The organizational structure is strong enough to move the reader through the text without too much confusion. Sentences within paragraphs make sense, but the order of paragraphs does not. The writing lacks a clear sense of direction. Ideas, details, or events seem strung together in a loose or random fashion; there is no identifiable internal structure.
Sentence Fluency The writing has an easy flow, rhythm, and cadence. Sentences are well built, with strong and varied structure that invites expressive oral reading. The writing mostly flows, and usually invites oral reading. The text hums along with a steady beat, but tends to be more businesslike than musical, more mechanical than fluid. The text seems choppy and is not easy to read orally. The reader has to practice quite a bit in order to give this paper a fair interpretive reading.
Conventions The writer demonstrates a good grasp of standard writing conventions (e.g., spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, paragraphing) and uses conventions effectively to enhance readability. The write understands good writing conventions and usually uses them correctly. Paper is easily read and errors are rare; minor touch-ups would get this piece ready to publish. The writer shows reasonable control over a limited range of standard writing conventions. Conventions are sometimes handled well and enhance readability; at other times, errors are distracting and impair readability. The writer seems to have made little effort to use conventions: spelling, punctuation, capitalization, usage, grammar and/or paragraphing have multiple errors. Errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, usage, and grammar and/or paragraphing repeatedly distract the reader and make the text difficult to read.
Presentation The form and presentation of the text enhances the ability for the reader to understand and connect with the message. It is pleasing to the eye. The format only has a few mistakes and is generally easy to read and pleasing to the eye. The writer's message is understandable in this format. The writer's message is only understandable occasionally, and paper is messily written. The reader receives a garbled message due to problems relating to the presentation of the text, and is not typed.