Skip to content

Social Media Opinion Essay Rubric

Second Grade - ELA

Third Grade - ELA

Fourth and Fifth Grades - ELA

Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grades - ELA

High School -ELA

Notes on ELA rubrics:

  • The grade 2 rubric has not changed.
  • Grade 3 has a new writing rubrics aligned to writing standard W.RBPK.8.
  • The content of the rubrics has largely remained the same in grades 4 through high school with some language revised for clarity. Perhaps the largest revision is found in the sequencing of the four traits. While the traits remain the same, Focus and Organization has been reordered to come before Development. This placement reflects the logical order of the writing process as well as best instructional practice—writers focus their ideas and then supply relevant evidence to support those ideas.

U.S. History

The Tennessee writing rubrics for U.S. History are designed to score the student responses from the writing portion of the TNReady assessment. It was crafted in 2014 and has two strands: content and literacy. The content strand is focused on a student’s knowledge of prompt specific U. S. History, while the literacy strand focuses on ensuring that ELA skills are also present in a student response. Though the rubrics are not explicitly designed to be used as instructional resources, the department provides the writing rubric in advance so that educators can prepare students for the writing portion of the TNReady assessment.

Anchor Papers

The TNReady writing rubrics are designed to be applied holistically rather than through a checklist. Each student response is unique, and each rubric score point is broad. Annotated student anchor papers serve as examples of how the rubrics are applied to individual papers and represent a range of performance levels.

Among their many uses, anchor papers can be used to:

  • Deepen understanding of the writing rubrics
  • Serve as model essays during instruction
  • Guide discussions about feedback and revisions
  • Build confidence and consistency in scoring

Educators can find writing prompts and annotated student responses in EdTools under "2017 Writing Resources."

REQUIREMENTS | Discuss Rubric Traits

While you will not be showing your students the prompt for the timed writing ahead of time, you can reveal the grading rubric. Have them look at each trait and list what they think that trait includes. What kind of questions would the evaluator be asking about the writing for this trait based on the descriptors at each level? What parts of the essay will the evaluator be looking at?

EVALUATE | Grade a Sample Essay

Distribute a sample essay written in response to a different prompt. Have students evaluate the sample according to the rubric. Then, poll the students as to what score they gave the essay in each domain. I normally have the students put their heads down and raise their hands when I come to the score they gave it in a particular domain. That way, they’re less likely to be influenced by how their peers scored it, and you will be able to see who is a little off. Reveal the score that the majority of the class gave the sample in each domain and discuss which specific features earned the essay the score they gave it. Reveal the actual score the essay received and discuss the differences and what they may show about how the students are evaluating the essay. 

BRAINSTORM | Use Quick Prewriting Strategies

If time permits, remind students of the strategies that they have already been taught for brainstorming and outlining (e.g. free writing, listing, mapping, cubing, napkin outlines, tell me/show me/so what?).