6+1 Writing Rubric

Category: Education

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6 + 1 Writing Rubric



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How 2 Right Good

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What it is...

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The 6+1 approach is a scoring guide which serves as a rubric for writing and grading essays. With a clear understanding of what a teacher (reader) expects to see in a high-quality essay, a student has a much better chance to achieve that quality.

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There are six qualities or traits that comprise quality writing. They are: Ideas Organization Voice Word Choice Sentence Fluency Conventions Presentation (the +1)

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The ideas are the heart of the message, the content of the piece, the main theme together with the details that enrich and develop that theme.

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So, what are good ideas? - They have a purpose. - They make sense. - They’re interesting.

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The paper is clear and focused. It holds the reader’s attention. Relevant details and anecdotes enrich the central theme or story line.

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How You’re Graded Ideas are fresh, and original. Shows insight, an understanding of what’s significant. Relevant, important information beyond the obvious or predictable. Developed in enlightening, purposeful way. Every piece adds something to the whole.

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Organization is the internal structure of a piece of writing, the logical (and hopefully intriguing) pattern of the ideas. It needs to be compelling and move the reader along.

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So, what is good organization? An interesting beginning. Everything ties together. The ideas build on one another. A reader can easily follow your line of thought. The ending makes the reader think.

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How You’re Graded Introduction draws reader in. Details fit and sequencing is logical and effective. Controlled pacing. Thoughtful transitions connect ideas. Flows

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Voice is the heart and soul, the magic, the wit, along with the feeling and conviction of the individual coming out through the words.

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“I know why I’m writing and who my audience is.” “This really sounds like me.” “I’ve been honest and written what I think and feel.” “I want you to experience this with me.”

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“We must teach ourselves to recognize our own voice. We want to write in a way that is natural for us, that grows out of the way we think, the way we see, the way we care. But to make that voice effective we must develop it, extending our natural voice through the experience of writing on different audiences, or using our voice as we perform many writing tasks.” Donald Murray Write to Learn

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How You’re Graded Speaks directly to reader individually and expressively. Reader feels strong connection with writer. Tone and voice appropriate for audience. Honest, appealing, written from the heart. Shows strong commitment to topic.

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Word Choice

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Word choice is the use of rich, colorful, precise language that moves and enlightens the reader.

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Powerful Words Powerful writers and powerful speakers have two wells they can draw on for power. One is rhythm; the other is vocabulary. But vocabulary and a sense of rhythm are almost impossible to “teach” in the narrow sense of the word. So how are children expected to develop a sense of rhythm or a wide vocabulary? By being read to... a lot!”

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How You’re Graded Shows a love of language, passion for choosing the right word. Specific and accurate, easy to understand. Natural, individual phrasing. Lively verbs and precise nouns/modifiers create picture.

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“Editing is easy, all you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” Mark Twain

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Sentence Fluency

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Sentence fluency is the rhythm and flow of the language, the sound of word patterns, the way in which the writing plays to the ear - not just to the eye.

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Sentence Fluency The sentences begin in different ways. Some sentences are short and some are long. It just sounds good as you read it aloud - it flows. The sentences have power and punch.

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How You’re Graded Sentences constructed to make meaning clear. Each sentence builds on the one before it. Writer has thought about sound as well as meaning . Varied length.

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Conventions are the mechanical correctness of the piece - spelling, grammar and usage, paragraphing, use of capitals and punctuation.

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Few mistakes. Capitals used correctly. Periods, commas, exclamation marks and quotation marks are in the right places. Almost every word is spelled correctly. Each paragraph indented. How You’re Graded

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Presentation (the + 1)

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Presentation focuses on the form and layout of the text and its readability; the piece should be pleasing to the eye.

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Your paper looks neat and is legible. Someone could easily read your paper. How You’re Graded

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“If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.” George Orwell

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Ideas/content The main message of the piece, the theme, with supporting details that enrich and develop the theme. Organization The internal structure, thread of central meaning, logical and sometimes intriguing pattern or sequence of the ideas. Word Choice The use of rich, colorful and precise language that moves and enlightens the reader. Sentence Fluency The rhythm and flow of the language, the sound of word patterns, the way in which the writing plays to the ear, not just to the eye. Conventions The mechanics; spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar usage and paragraphing. Presentation The form and presentation of the text which enhances the ability for the reader to understand and connect to the message. It is pleasing to the eye. Voice The unique personality of the writer is evident in the piece through the use of compelling ideas, engaging language, and revealing details. 6+1 Traits of Writing

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