Using Writing Rubrics

You and your students can use the following trait-based rubrics to assess writing:

Explanatory Writing Rubric

  • Assessment Rubric Use this simple, general rubric to assess any type of writing.
  • Narrative Writing Use this rubric with forms of autobiographical, biographical, and story writing.
  • Explanatory Writing Use this rubric with informational writing, including classification, cause-effect, comparison-contrast, and other explanatory essays.
  • Argument Writing Use this rubric with persuasive essays, position papers, and editorials.
  • Responding to Literature Use this rubric with book reviews and literary analyses.
  • Research Writing Use this rubric with classroom reports, research reports, and term papers.
  • Workplace Writing Use this rubric with business letters, career plans, and résumés.

Feel free to change each rubric as needed to meet the needs of your students and each assignment.

Before students even begin a major writing project, you should provide them the rubric you will use to assess it. Then, throughout the writing process, the students can use the rubric to check their progress. And, of course, you'll use the same rubric to assess the final draft.

You should also teach your students to evaluate writing—theirs and others. You can start by having them focus on a specific trait, such as organization. Then you can slowly add traits as they become more comfortable with writing assessment.