Attention High School Essay Writers—
There is a Reason Why You Get That Rubric!
Here at , we are all about finding tools for your success. That includes reminding essay writers just like you that there is a lot more to the essay than coming up with three body paragraphs and a thesis.
Here’s a newsflash for you:
If you don’t read the rubric, you could miss out on as much as 20% of your possible marks.
Teachers give out those rubrics for a reason. Rubrics often contain secrets to success that take seconds to find, and you’ll be so pleased with yourself for taking the time.
Learning how to read a rubric and spending time annotating one, long before you scream “I’m done!” and press Print for the final copy, could really boost your final grade on the assignment.
If you don’t read it, you could miss out on vital information that the teacher will be using to grade your paper. Let us break down the mystery of rubrics for you.
Let’s consider what a rubric is NOT:
- a cluttered table with teacher notes about the theory behind why you are doing this assignment
- just a summary of how you get a 4 rather than a 1 on something
- THE actual assignment outline, or
- the thing to blame when you get a 64% rather than the 84% you believe your paper deserves.
The rubric IS:
- the second thing you read, right after you carefully and completely read the assignment sheet, outline or organizer that your teacher provides
- a guide for the preferred format for submission, and
- the authority on how your essay will be graded.
The rubric can be the guide for any or all of these things, as well:
- the minimum number of quotations you should use as evidence
- the maximum number of words or pages that your paper should be
- the point-of-view, structure, and organization you might use
- the type and number of sources that a well-written paper should reference
- whether or not your teacher will consider a draft for feedback prior to final submission
- penalties for lateness
- tips on flexibility (for example: you may be permitted a title page even though you are using MLA but no graphics, please)
Comb through the rubric for details that you will need to recall when you are brainstorming the outline and circle those. Underline or highlight what features of the final copy are going to be essential to remember in the middle of the night before you hand your paper in, such as format, length, style and online link for submission.
The rubric matters in the pre-writing phase, and it should be last thing you consider before you press Submit.