Personal Essay Grading Rubric

Judging Criteria:








The essay has:
– an identifiable theme/clear purpose.

– well-developed arguments.

– a clear conclusion.

The piece includes some (but not all) of a strong theme, an identifiable conclusion, and a logical flow of arguments/ideas.

Problems with the essay’s organization/development prevent it from being persuasive and easily understood.


The author demonstrates: 
– a confident, engaging personal voice.

– creative word choices.

Sentence structure is clear and easy to understand.

The author experiments, as appropriate, with various sentence lengths and structures.

Efforts to create a personal style are evident.  The author uses some creative language and original expression.   

The piece is dominated by conventional ideas, language, and structure. Anyone could have written it.


The piece:
– contains accurate spelling, punctuation, and grammar. 

– conforms to the expected format stipulations (Times New Roman typeface, 12 pt. font, double-spaced).

– responds appropriately to the assigned prompt.

The piece:
– contains noticeable inaccuracies, but the language can still be understood.  

– does not conform to the expected format, but is reasonably formatted and clear to read.

Inaccuracies and non-traditional formatting make the piece difficult to understand.


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