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(4/2011)

6+1 Traits of Writing Rubric


A (5pts) B (4pts) C (3pts) D (2pts)
One clear, well-focused topic. Main Main idea is clear but the supporting Main idea is somewhat clear but The main idea is not clear. There is a
Ideas & idea stands out and is supported by information is general. there is a need for more supporting seemingly random collection of
Content accurate details. Supporting details and information information. information.
The meaning & Relevant, telling, quality details give are relevant, but one key issue or Supporting details & information are Supporting details and information
reader important information going portion of the writing has no relevant, but several key issues or are typically unclear or not related
development of
beyond the obvious or predictable. supporting details. portions of the writing have no to the topic.
message supporting details.
Inviting introduction and strong Routine lead and conclusion Ineffective lead and/or conclusion The transitions between ideas are
Organization conclusion Introduction clearly states the main Sequencing/pacing/order confusing missing or unclear.
The internal Main topic and previews the topic but is not particularly inviting Connections awkward or fuzzy Missing intro and/or conclusion
structure of the structure of the paper. to the reader. Formulaic structure detracts from Sequencing and pacing not present
piece Effective sequencing and pacing Mostly logical sequencing & pacing the content Connections are confusing or not
Thoughtful transitions connect Predictable connections/transitions present & hard to follow
ideas; smooth organization Basic beginning, middle & ending
Writer seems to be writing from Writer seems to be drawing on Writer attempts to make the reader Writer made no attempt to make the
Voice knowledge or experience. knowledge/experience, but there is care about topic; is not successful. reader care about the topic.
The way the writer The author has taken the ideas and some lack of ownership of the topic. The writer relates some personal The writer has not tried to
brings the topic to made them "his own." Reader/writer connection present knowledge or experience, but it adds transform the information in a
life Effective and strong reader/writer but not strong nothing to the discussion of the personal way.
connection; writer takes risks & Pleasing yet safe topic. Lifeless and mechanical
reflects interest in topic Energy level inconsistent Occasionally intrigues the reader Flat or inappropriate
Purpose is powerful and engaging Purpose is credible but not powerful Risk free; purpose lacks conviction No clear purpose
Writer uses vivid words and Writer uses vivid words and phrases Writer uses words that communicate Writer uses a limited vocabulary
Word Choice phrases that linger or draw pictures that linger or draw pictures in the clearly, but the writing lacks variety, that does not communicate strongly
Vocabulary used to in the reader's mind. reader's mind, but occasionally the punch or flair. or capture the reader's interest.
make meaning Choice & placement of words seems words are used inaccurately or seem Some words are used inaccurately or Jargon or clichs may be present
accurate, natural & not forced. overdone. are overdone. and detract from the meaning.
All paragraphs are well-constructed Almost all paragraphs are well- Some sentences vary in length and Sentences rarely vary in length, lack
Sentence with sentences varied in structure constructed with most sentences are well-constructed but have a structure and appear incomplete or
Fluency and length. varied in structure and length. similar structure. rambling.
The way the words All sentences sound natural and are Almost all sentences sound natural Most sentences sound natural and The sentences are difficult to read
easy-on-the-ear when read aloud. and are easy-on-the-ear when read are easy-on-the-ear when read aloud, aloud because they sound awkward,
& phrases flow
Each sentence is clear and has an aloud, but 1 or 2 are stiff and but several are stiff and awkward or are distractingly repetitive, or
throughout text obvious emphasis. awkward or difficult to understand. are difficult to understand. difficult to understand.
Writer makes no errors in grammar, Writer makes 1-2 errors in grammar Writer makes errors in grammar/ Spelling errors impede readability
Conventions spelling, capitalization or or spelling that may distract the spelling; distracting reader from Incorrect punctuation and
The mechanical punctuation that distract the reader from content. content. capitalization
correctness of the reader from content, so the paper Writer makes 1 or 2 errors in Writer makes errors in capitalization Many usage and grammar errors
piece is exceptionally easy to read. capitalization or punctuation, but & punctuation that catch reader's Lack of paragraphing
paper is still easy to read. attention and interrupt the flow.
Presentation consistent & uniform Handwriting mostly legible Handwriting poor, reader must Handwriting unreadable
Presentation
Good balance of space and text Spacing improves clarity exert some effort to figure out Random or lack of spacing
Overall appearance Overall appearance is pleasing Margins and headers effective some of the words. Poor use of white space
of the work Overall appearance is acceptable Some thought given to spacing Overall appearance is unacceptable
Overall appearance is distracting