Make A Rubric For Essay Writing

Make a Rubric in Less Than 5 Minutes

Using rubrics is an easy way to grade student papers and projects. Rubrics let students know what teachers expect on assignments and give teachers a standardized, compact checklist from which to grade. The best part about rubrics is that they're easy to make; you could make a rubric for almost any assignment in less than five minutes! Read on to learn how.

The basic idea behind any rubric is to score students based on their effort, performance and ability to follow directions. The first step to creating a rubric, then, is to write down exactly what you expect in a project. Make bullet points that clearly indicate what the student should turn in. For example, with an essay, you would probably write down "introduction," "body," and "conclusion." Within each bullet point, write down the elements necessary for successful completion of that section. Again, with an essay you might put "thesis," "hook," and "creativity" under "introduction." Continue to do this for all the main bullets you listed.

After you've identified the components of a project and how to create these components successfully, you're ready to add a few more sections to your rubric. Most teachers like to reward students for technical ability and creativity. So, for example, you may want to include sections for grammar and originality on your essay rubric. If you're making a rubric to grade an artistic project, you might want to include something abstract like "effort" for students who may not be the best artists but still try hard. Write down anything that you would consider when assigning a grade for a project.

Rubrics come in a variety of forms, but the most common types are table rubrics and list rubrics. If you'd like to use a list form, then you've already got a basic outline set with your main points and supporting details. For a table, make the main points run down the left side of your page. Across the top, write in evaluative terms from poor work to excellent. Then, under the excellent column, write your ideal project descriptive terms according to the elements you've listed. Fill in a description of the project under each other skill level too. For example, under "good," you would fill in a description of a project that's almost perfect; "poor" would be a project that meets none of your expectations.

Next, determine the points you'd like to make each component of the project worth. It's easiest if you make your points add up to 100; then, you'll have the student's grade just by adding together the points he or she obtains. Alternatively, you could make total points any number that suits your grading system. Go through each bullet point and assign points for that section. Then, break down these points among the subsections you added. Let's consider the essay example again: you might decide that the "introduction" section is worth 20 points. Of that 20, you could break down the subcomponents so the thesis is worth 10 points, the hook, five, and creativity worth another five points. In a table system, each capsule is usually worth a certain number of points. For example, an introduction that's rated "good" according to all the descriptive terms would get five points, while "poor" would only get one.

Continue to assign point values until you've filled out all sections of the rubric. And then you're done! You've just completed your first rubric. Of course, your rubric will need to be typed, formatted and saved so you can use it for multiple projects in the future. But, all in all, the process of creating a rubric should take no longer than five minutes to write it down and another 10 to type it up.

Once you've make your rubric, distribute it to your students before their project is due. This way, they'll know exactly what you're looking for. They'll be able to better meet your expectations, and you'll be able to grade your students' work to a standard. Rubrics, therefore, work wonderfully for everyone. Once you use your first rubric, you'll be hooked!

Is 5 minutes too long? If you would like to create rubrics in seconds, you could always use our Rubric Maker.


Available Printable Rubrics By Category

General | Language Arts | Math | Process | Science | Social Studies

Premade Printable Rubric Collections

  1. K-12 Everyday Rubric Pack
  2. K-12 Math Rubric Collection
  3. K-12 Project Rubric Collection
  4. K-12 Reading Rubric Collection
  5. K-12 Science Rubric Pack
  6. K-12 Social Studies Rubric Pack
  7. K-12 Writing Rubric Collection

Learn All About Rubrics

  1. 10 Uses for Rubrics You Never Thought Of
  2. 5 Features of a Highly Effective Rubric
  3. How Rubrics Make Elementary Teachers Day Easy!
  4. How Rubrics Make Middle School and High School Teachers Day Easy!
  5. How Rubrics Make Scoring Quick And Easy
  6. How to Create an Outline for a Rubric
  7. How to Make a Rubric in Less Than 5 Minutes
  8. How to Tell If Your Rubric Works?
  9. Students Grading Themselves? - Rubrics Can Change Everything
  10. The Pros and Cons of Using Rubrics
  11. Why Rubrics?

How To Use The 5 Best Free Rubric Making Tools For Teachers

Editor's note: We have originally written and published this article in January 2014. Thanks to your useful suggestions and our own following of the latest developments in the fast paced field of technology, we have updated this piece in November 2015 in the hope that you will keep finding it useful. Thank you for sharing! 

  1. Annenberg Learner
    • About Annenberg Learner:
      Annenberg Learner is a tool that allows teachers to specify the appearance of their rubric and the criteria on which students will be graded. The service then creates a rubric based on those specifications for educators to use.
    • How To Use Annenberg Learner:
      Click the link above to go to the Annenberg Learner page. Once there, click the bold “Build a Rubric” text in the middle of the page. On the next page, specify the title of the rubric and your name, and then click “Next”. Now choose whether you want your rubric to be in a table or list format and click “Next”. On Step 3, select the rating system for your rubric and click “Next”. For Step 4, determine how you would like your rating system to appear on your rubric. On the next page, determine the criteria that students will be graded on and click “Next”. For Step 6, decide how you would like these criteria to appear in your rubric and click “Next”. Your rubric is now complete! Annenberg Learner’s Build a Rubric system has created a rubric for you based on your own specifications. To view your rubric, click the “Completed Rubric” hyperlink on the Step 7 page.
  2. EssayTagger Common Core Rubric Creation Tool
    • About EssayTagger Common Core Rubric Creation Tool:
      The Essay Tagger Common Core Rubric creation tool is a service that allows teachers to simply and easily create rubrics based on Statewide Common Core Standards.
    • How To Use EssayTagger Common Core Rubric Creation Tool:
      Click the link above to visit the EssayTagger Common Core Rubric creation tool. Once there, click the “Begin” button at the bottom of the page. First, select the grade level of your rubric and click “Continue”. On the next page, determine the elements from the Common Core Standards that you would like students to be graded on and click “Continue”. On the next page, customize the Common Core elements you specified and click “Continue”. Now input the title of the rubric as well as your personal information and click “Create Rubric”. Now you are able to print, download or share your new Rubric!
  3. iRubric
    • About iRubric:
      iRubric is a service provided by that allows users to create a rubric that they can save and edit at any time.
    • How To Use iRubric:
      Click the link above to visit the iRubric homepage. Once there, locate the hyperlink that reads, “Get started” directly below the slideshow and click it. You will now be taken to a signup page; designate which type of account you would like to create and click “Continue”. On the next page, enter your username, email address, and password and then move on to the next step. On the next page, you will enter your personal information and then click “Save”. After completing the signup process, you will be taken to a “Quick Links” page. Once here, locate the tab to the top right of the screen that reads “Rubrics” and click it. Select “Build” from the dropdown menu. To create a new rubric, select “Option A: Build From Scratch” and click “Start”. On your rubric creation page, first enter the title, description, keywords, and grade level of your rubric. Then select a primary subject and type. Scroll down to your rubric. In the first column, enter a title and categories on which students will be graded. In the remaining columns to the right of the screen, include the specifications for those categories. Add a level or column by clicking “Add Level or Column” to the right of the screen. Once you are done with your rubric, find the “This Rubric is:” heading and click “Ready to use”. Under “Gallery Viewing” decide whether or not you would like to keep your rubric private or open it for public viewing. When you are done, click “Save”. You will now be redirected to a page where you can decide if you would like to share your rubric, print it, or do a multitude of other things.
  4. RubiStar
    • About RubiStar:
      RubiStar is a simple and easily customizable rubric creation tool.
    • How To Use RubiStar:
      Click the link above to visit the RubiStar site. Once there, scroll down to the “Create a Rubric” heading and click the blue button for the subject that you would like to create a rubric for. RubiStar will now redirect you to a page with customizable rubric template to choose from. Choose the rubric template that is most similar to the assignment for which you are creating a rubric. You will now be redirected to the page where you will create your rubric. First include general information for the rubric, like your name, the name of the project, the zip code in which you are teaching, and whether or not this is a demonstration rubric. After specifying basic rubric info, you are able to begin customizing your rubric under the “Creating and Editing your Rubric” heading. Under the “Category” column, choose the categories on which students will be graded. In the remaining columns to the right of the “Category” column, include the specifications for student work that is below standards, approaches standards, meets standards, or is above standards; include scores if you wish. Once you are done customizing your rubric, click the “Submit” arrow at the bottom of the screen. RubiStar will now redirect you to a screen on which you are able to print, download, or make your rubric available online.
  5. Teachnology General Rubric Generator
    • About Technology General Rubric Generator:
      The Teachnology General Rubric Generator is a rubric generator that is incredibly easy to use and produces a rubric with a clean look.
    • How To Use Technology General Rubric Generator:
      Click the link above to visit the Teachnology General Rubric Generator. Once there, locate the text boxes under “Step #1: School, Title, and Teacher Name” and input the required information. Choose a picture for your rubric under “Step #2: Pick a Picture”. In “Step #3: Body of Rubric”, you will create the specifications for the assignment. In the text box next to the gray boxes that read “Stated Object or Performance Number”, input the category on which students will be graded. In the text boxes next to the blue boxes that read “(Beginning, Developing, Accomplished, or Mastery) Level of Performance for Objective #” input the specifications on which students will be graded. Once you are done editing your rubric, click “Generate-Rubric” at the bottom of the page. Teachnology will now provide you with a plain text version of your rubric that you are able to either print or copy and paste into a document or email.

Free Educational Technology

Now that you have the 5 best free Rubric making tools for teachers, there’s no reason not to utilize them in order to make grading every assignment easier!

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