Writing—whether a persuasive essay, lab report, constructed response or research paper—is a consistent element of performance tasks that are most used by teachers to measure their students’ knowledge, understanding of concepts, and skills. The causes are many, but perhaps the most crucial is the fact that very act of writing, which requires students to help make sense of information and ideas and also to express that understanding coherently, is itself a critical skill.
And yet, despite its importance, there was little consensus among educators at any grade level about what constitutes effective writing, how it should be measured, as well as how it custom writings should be taught.
One step toward solving this conundrum may be the consistent use of a broad analytic writing rubric. An analytic writing rubric, as with any rubrics, contains sets of criteria aligned to progressive amounts of performance. However, unlike a writing that is holistic , which evaluates all criteria simultaneously to arrive at just one score, an analytic writing rubric separates the criteria into discrete elements, such as for instance controlling ideas, organization, development, diction and conventions. One of the advantages of the rubric that is analytic that, in its most general form, you can use it with a variety of writing tasks—helping students learn the qualities of effective writing, irrespective of subject area. (more…)