Anti-Vanilla Site

Primary Educational Resource for Humanities, Foundations I Honors, Creative Drama, and Theater Workshop

Good Writing Rubric (For All Classes Except 9th Grade CAPT Essays)


     Yes, you have to learn how to write articulately, specifically, and persuasively for a variety of audiences and purposes.  To deny that is to live in the Land of Delusion.  I teach in New Fairfield, which is far from there.  Use the following generic rubric to help you draft your writing for all assignments appropriately.

Good Writing Rubric: 

     The following is a generic rubric that will be used for the assessment of all essay and research project writing in all honors and AP level classes.  It is derived from the AP Literature and Composition Writing Rubric from Princeton, which is used to grade essays for their yearly AP English exams.  It is also a rubric commonly used by  the National Writing Project programs.

5  ("A" range grade):  Excellent thesis located in the correct place (last sentence, first paragraph); excellent illustrations through support (quotes from the primary text and secondary texts as necessary depending upon assignment) and this support is parsed (analyzed), not just included as "padding" for the paper; excellent organization which results from strong logical development and internal and external transitioning, persuasive and confident tone (measurable through dramatic diction and a notable lack of  "wuss" qualifiers like "sort of," "appears to be," and "may be," etc.); impressive stylistic control (dramatic diction and correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization); risk-taking in terms of thinking "out of the box" or presenting ideas that are not commonplace and/or literal.  MLA formats are correct.

4 ("B" range grade):  Intelligent thesis still located in the correct place (last sentence, first paragraph).  Thesis may be somewhat formulaic and/or not as risk-taking or dramatic as an "A" paper);  effective illustrations and examples (textual support), which is not just used as "padding" for the paper, sound organization; somewhat imaginative thoughts, a few lapses in sytax may be present, but for the most part, the prose style is strong and the argument is logically developed and the thesis is proven.  MLA formats are correct.

3 ("C" range grade):   Adequate thesis is located in the correct place (last sentence, first paragraph); illustrations and examples (quotes from sources) are used more sparingly or less effectively; significantly less imagination and risk-taking; a "safe" paper, carefully done; some lapses in diction or syntax may be present, but for the most part, the prose conveys the writer's ideas clearly though not with significant intellectual leaps.  Proof-reading is less evident than in more highly graded papers.  MLA formats are correct.

2 ("D" range grade):  In adequate thesis or a "buried thesis" (The reader has to guess what the thesis is because it is not correctly placed); the writer may misunderstand or misrepresent the task or use inappropriate or insufficient evidence and illustrations.  Quotes may be used randomly or not used effectively to prove the writer's point (Ie. They are thrown in to make the paper longer to fit the assignment's length criteria).  While the prose usually conveys the writer's ideas, it generally suggests an inconsistent control over writing elements such as grammar, spelling, diction, and syntax.  Organization is rambling.  Topic sentences and transitional expressions are not utilized to achieve a logical flow.  Mistakes in MLA formats occur.

1 ("F" range grade):  No discernible thesis; only tangentially addresses the assignment.  An assortment of rambling generalizations or a paraphrase takes the place of cogent analysis; there is little attention to structural techniques such as spelling, grammar, and diction. The prose reveals weaknesses in the control of elements, a lack of development and organization, and a lack of control.  No proof-reading has been done before submission, as is evident through careless mistakes in spelling, grammar, or syntax (elements students have been taught through grammar school).  MLA formats are ignored.

0 ("F-" range grade=less than 50):  Plagiarism is attempted.  All major assignments are submitted through,  a worldwide plagiarism site which identifies the sites and original sources of plagiarized materials.  This site is used by most colleges and universities.

Students who turn in late assignments will be penalized 10 points per day.  As all classes are honors or AP level, there will be no exceptions to this rule.  Parents should understand that this rule is enforced in order to build professional work ethics for their children's successful future and, therefore, should support the rigorous observation of this policy. 

So Avoid This:           

Think, Draft, Reflect, Revise, and Come for a Writing Conference.  Available any time after school and in Tutorial with an appointment in advance.