Date of publication: 2017-09-06 05:40
Writing Rubrics Help Students Learn and Educators Teach
Writing rubrics are great teaching tools because they put teachers and students on the same page. Used in classrooms nationwide, writing rubrics give teachers and students a common reference point to discuss the components of good writing—from content development and organization to sentence structure and grammar. When students understand these elements and the criteria for earning a top grade, they incorporate this knowledge into the writing process. Improved writing is often the result.
Improve Writing—Know the Rubric!
Students can use writing rubrics to their advantage, whether they’re working on a writing prompt or taking a standardized test. When students pay attention to writing rubrics and examine their own work with an objective eye, they will improve their writing performance.
Types of Writing Rubrics
Countless rubrics exist, as well as online rubric generators and software that help teachers customize rubrics for any assignment. Standard writing rubrics are designed around grade level or grade span expectations, from elementary to middle school and high school. In addition, there are writing rubrics for every form of writing, ., persuasive, narrative, or expository. An expository writing rubric might encompass these five areas:
There is also a growing recognition that good writing is not merely a sum of its parts, and essay grading should also take into consideration the overall effectiveness of the writing. School districts, states, and standardized test administrators often hire trained readers to evaluate each student 8767 s writing test using this holistic approach, as well as rubrics and anchor papers for each grade. Two readers review SAT essays, and if the scores differ by more than one point, a third reader is used. (Fewer than 5% require a third reader.)
Students grow as writers if they learn to identify the characteristics of good writing. Enter the writing rubric, which is a type of grading tool used to evaluate student writing. Writing rubrics serve as checklists that describe the elements of good writing—checklists that are shared with students. Thanks to the writing rubric, now teachers and students know what makes an A+ essay.
Writing rubrics also give teachers an objective set of standards by which to evaluate essays and other forms of writing. In fact, a rubric is ideal for grading writing, as it provides an authoritative measure to counterbalance the subjectivity inherent in evaluating writing. Without use of a rubric, a writing grade may seem arbitrary to the student. This is the same reason why writing rubrics are universally employed for state writing assessments, and other standardized tests, such as the SAT.
In addition to specifying the exact criteria to be judged in each component, writing rubrics also define performance levels, from below basic proficiency to advanced proficiency. For example, a rubric might describe advanced proficiency in sentence construction as ‘skillfully uses a variety of sentence structures,’ whereas below proficient would be, ‘the majority of sentences are fragments or run-ons.’
Indeed, many believe writing actually starts with revising, and at Time9Writing, we agree. Helping kids become their own editors is one of our main goals. Students should use their understanding of the writing prompt and writing rubric throughout the writing process, from the prewriting phase to revising, editing, and publishing. We encourage our students to:
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At Time9Writing, our teachers emphasize first what 8767 s good and correct about a student 8767 s writing (praise), and then suggest ways to improve (instruction). In our essay writing courses, students complete structured writing assignments that focus on a specific phase of the writing process. Time9Writing uses specially designed rubrics that provide guidance for each area addressed. This method gives students the opportunity to build critical writing skills, step-by-step.
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Used more formatively, rubrics can help instructors get a clearer picture of the strengths and weaknesses of their class. By recording the component scores and tallying up the number of students scoring below an acceptable level on each component, instructors can identify those skills or concepts that need more instructional time and student effort.
Parents and caregivers should also become familiar with writing rubrics. Good resources include both the school’s website and the state’s department of education website. Writing rubrics put everyone on the same page and build better teacher-parent-student communications.
Our certified and experienced teachers at Time9Writing understand the writing process is personal and they take great care to offer feedback that is both gentle and constructive. Students feel successful and even discover they now enjoy writing! Find out how Time9Writing can make a real difference in your child’s writing.
Here are links to a diverse set of rubrics designed by Carnegie Mellon faculty and faculty at other institutions. Although your particular field of study and type of assessment activity may not be represented currently, viewing a rubric that is designed for a similar activity may provide you with ideas on how to divide your task into components and how to describe the varying levels of mastery.