This writing rubric breaks writing skills into three parts: structure and content; style, word choice and flow; and capitalization, grammar, punctuation and spelling. It is intended to be used throughout the year for each writing assignment so that students can see where they need to improve and can work on developing these writing skills as they progress through your class. For each writing skill to be developed, there are three levels the student can demonstrate. The first level is that the criterion was not demonstrated, and therefore was not able to be graded. The second level is that the student attempted the criterion, but needs to make some adjustments in order to demonstrate a mastery of the criterion. The third level is that the student has demonstrated a mastery of the criterion with this particular composition. I have divided the rubric into three sections as a way to make the editing process more streamlined, allowing for more writing to receive meaningful feedback.
You can adjust the points as you see fit. I often double or triple the points for supporting evidence or topic sentences so that they do not count as much as one thesis statement does.
As a teacher, I tell students that I will only grade for one of the sections, or perhaps even one of the criterion in a particular section. For example, I might only grade topic sentences for one assignment. Students can then choose one piece of work per grading period to "publish" and have it graded by me on all three sections. The students must revise for all criteria in the section, for they do not know which one I will grade. This way, students write much more, and I see their work, but I just don't grade every single aspect every single time.
I designed this rubric to be as straightforward and objective as possible to encourage students rather than discourage them. Grading every single aspect of writing might result in the student receiving a page full of red. Furthermore, rubrics with lengthy descriptions of what a 2,3,4, or 5 merits often contain subjective language that is hard to grade and difficult for the student to take as constructive and improve.