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I've been using a version of this rubric for both composition and literature courses for well over a decade. It's easily modified to address any traditional essay - The rubric here is for the Thesis-Driven-Essay, but remove 2 lines and it easily works for an Exposition Essay (for example).
Students get this rubric along with essay directions, so everyone knows precisely what will be assessed. The rubric can also be used for in class workshopping, and students may also use it for at-home revisions with a parent or tutor's help.
Assessment is in 3 categories: Clarity, Style, and Mechanics. Assessment ranges from Yes -- Somewhat -- No. By giving these criteria their own line you can make the assessment into more of a sliding scale.
The 4th category addressees the typical issues that could use improvement, and the 5th includes links for assistance in typical MLA and formatting issues. This last section contains links to OWL Purdue, Chapel Hill's Writing Center, and Wikipedia.