A writing rubric (checklist) for students:

MCAS Bookstore








Rubrics Page

High School Page

Student Page


Download a copy of this checklist to print out and keep in your notebook.

You'll need Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer.

You can get the reader free: Get Acrobat Reader


Let's say you just wrote a composition for your teacher. How well did you do?

Fill in the checklist below and print it out. Keep it in your notebook. When you have a

writing assignment come back to this page and fill in the checklist again. We bet your two point compositions

will become four pointers in no time!



MCAS Rubric for topic development (6 points) and writing conventions (4 points).

In my four point composition:

(place a checkmark where you think you did well).

Organization and Content Checklist: How's My Style:

I used important details.

I used many different and descriptive words.

When I added details, I didn't wander from

the main idea. I remembered my Topic Sentence

and the subject of the Writing Prompt and

stayed on course.

I used words that helped people see my

meaning. They could use all of their  senses to

feel and even hear my meaning.

I organized my ideas in a logical way.

I used different kinds of sentences and didn't start each one with the same word.

My composition answered the question in the prompt.

I made every effort to make my writing legible. My spelling and grammar were the very best.

3 My writing is good but I could improve. Maybe I needed to add more

details or add information.


Organization and Content How's My Style?

I tried to explain my main idea, the one in my Topic Sentence, but I could have added more information or supporting detail.

My choice of words is good. My vocabulary choices serve a purpose. I didn't use too many extra or unnecessary words.

Once in a while my thoughts wandered away from the subject or I didn't totally answer the question in the Writing Prompt.

My sentences were pretty good, but they are mostly the same kind of sentence. The sentences could be shorter and more to the point.

My story was a little bit disorganized.


I could have been a little neater and I know I wasn't watching my spelling and grammar too carefully.

My ideas needed to be connected. I don't think every idea I had fit with the topic.

The reader can usually see my point.

2 My composition earned only two points: My writing wasn't very clear.

My ideas didn't really support the Topic Sentence and some of my information

wasn't accurate. I didn't pay attention to my spelling.


Organization and Content How's My Style?

I need to make my points more clearly. I needed to stay on the subject.

My words need to be stronger and more effective.

There weren't many details or supporting ideas in my composition.

I sometimes repeated the same idea and my writing was choppy. My sentences could have been shorter and to the point.

My paragraphs didn't have "flow". My ideas were choppy.

My handwriting was sloppy and I didn't check over my spelling.

1 My composition scored only one point. I know I need to answer the question,

stick to the point. I didn't add any details and my spelling and grammar

were not up to par. I know I can do better.


Organization and Content How's My Style?

I didn't pay attention to the question. My story wandered.

People couldn't tell what my ideas were about the subject.

I need to get organized. I could have outlined my ideas before I started to write.

I started all of my sentences the same way and didn't use descriptive words.

I need to add details and more information.

I had so many spelling and grammar mistakes that people were distracted and couldn't pay attention to what I was saying.

Clear the boxes and start another checklist.

When writing a composition or practicing a writing exercise, does your writing match

the scoring rubrics used by the test scorers and your teacher? Check out some student

writing samples in Massachusetts.



Copyright 2013 MCAS Mentor™

PO Box 101

Marblehead, MA 01945


Phone: 1-781-780-2175

Fax: 1-781-780-2176