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Help with WWS Rubrics


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I'm not clear about how to use the rubrics in Writing With Skill in order to determine a grade. Do you assign a value to each component? What does that look like for you? It just seems that if there are 6 (in some cases more) separate things listed under Organization and another 6 listed under Mechanics that it would get too complicated.

Maybe I'm overthinking this. The only writing rubric I'm familiar with is from Essentials in Writing which was very easy to use and understand. With EIW rubrics there were only four different sections with an overall total of 16 possible points. I would just use the rubrics from EIW, but they are more vague and I like how WWS rubrics include more specifics to check for content and skill sets.  I would appreciate any advice or tips.

Thank you!!!



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I use the rubrics as a guide for making corrections to the compositions, but because neither of mine are in high school yet I don't bother assigning a grade. Just off the top of my head, if I were using the rubric to assign grades, I would do it like:

To get at least a D- (not fail the assignment): at least half of the expectations in Content and half the expectations in Mechanics fulfilled
To get an A+ (best grade possible): all of the expectations in Content and Mechanics fulfilled, PLUS Mom can't see any possible way you could have written a better paper. (I've always been pretty stingy with As.) Then I would basically go with my gut to discern whether something in between those extremes should be a C or a B.

In my experience as a grad student TA, grading of compositions is always highly subjective. My fellow TAs and I would sit together and read all the papers, determine whether the "best" one was A-worthy, and essentially work down the pile from there, coming to a consensus about each one. The only time we ever actually gave someone an F on a paper, it was because they consistently used the word "pedagogy" (meaning: education) when they meant "pederasty." It was obvious that the person didn't even care enough about the assignment to check the meaning of their own keywords. (The essay topic was not assigned; they could write about anything so long as it had to do with Edo-period Japanese samurai culture. This person chose to write about how we here in America should build a culture of man-boy gay relationships, because warrior cultures like Sparta and early Japan had them, and therefore we should too. Yes, that was the whole argument.) The professor was a softie, though, and allowed the student a complete rewrite and graded it himself rather than sending it back to us.

When I was in high school, we were allowed 48 hours after receiving the grade to make edits according to the teacher's comments and resubmit. I'll probably operate that way next year when DS starts 9th.

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