Teacher Education Essay Rubric

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Scoring Scale* (30pts. possible):

Unacceptable (0-22 points) (Click Here for an example essay at this level) 

Proficient (23-26 points) (Click Here for an example essay at this level)

Exemplary (27-30 points) (Click Here for an example essay at this level)

*IMPORTANT: No Category can be scored less than a "3." 

 Categories can be selected on left for more detailed information

















Ideas & Content**

-main theme

-supporting details

Exceptionally clear, focused main ideas that address the prompt; engaging w/ strong support- ing details

Clear, focused, interesting ideas that address the prompt with appropriate details

Evidence of a main idea related to the prompt with some support that may be general or limited

Main idea may be cloudy because supporting details are too general or unrelated to the prompt

Purpose and main idea may be unclear and cluttered by irrelevant details unrelated to the prompt

Lacks central idea; development is minimal or non-existent; prompt is not addressed





-logically constructed body paragraphs


Engaging intro states main topic; overview of the essay; text is relevant & body presented in a logical order; strong conclusion

Clear & logical order and essay structure; inviting intro, logical progression of body, & satisfying closure

Organization is appropriate, but conventional; attempt at introduction, logical body sequence, and conclusion

Attempts at organization; may be a “list” of ideas/ events; introduction, body, and ending not developed

Lack of structure; disorganized & hard to follow; missing or weak intro, sequence of body para-graphs, and conclusion

Lack of coherence; confusing; no identifiable introduction, logical sequence of body paragraphs, or conclusion


Word Choice &

Sentence Fluency**




language use

-rhythm, flow,


Precise, carefully chosen words; strong descriptions/

explanations; uses consistent academic language of a teaching professional; effective variation in sentence patterns

Descriptive, broad range of words; utilizes appropriate professional language that demonstrates precise vocabulary; good variety in length and structure

Language is functional & appropriate; professional language is generally consistent; lacks variety in length and structure

Words may be correct but mundane; no attempt at word choice; occasional use of informal language not used in professional writing; many similar patterns and beginnings

Monotonous, repetitious, sometimes inappropriate; frequent use of informal language that compromises professional tone; monotonous sentence patterns

Limited range of words; some vocabulary misused; regular use of repetitive phrasing, slang, informal tone, jargon, clichés; disjointed, confusing, rambling



-subject/verb agreement

-pronoun agreement


-verb tense

-run-on’sor sentence fragments

-parallel structure

-misplaced modifiers


Exceptionally strong control of grammar conventions; no subject-verb orpronoun disagreement; no run-on’s or fragments; no issues in parallel structure or mis-placed modifiers

Strong control of grammar conventions; errors are few (only 1-2) and minor (ex., use of “their” as the pronoun for “child”); no issues in parallel structure or mis-placed modifiers

Frequent control over most gram-matical con-ventions; may have 1 run-on or fragment; may have 1 issue of agreement or verb tense; may have 1 issue in parallel structure and/or mis-placed modifiers

Inconsistent control over several gram-matical con-ventions; may have 2-3 run-on’s or fragments OR may have 2-3 agreement or verb tense; occasional use (2-3 issues)of non-parallel structure and/or misplaced modifiers

Lacks control over many grammatical conventions; frequent occasions of agreement issues, verb tense, run-on’s and fragments; frequent use of non-parallel structure and/or misplaced modifiers

Lacks control over most grammatical conventions; regular use of sentences w/ agreement issues, verb tense problems, run-ons, & fragments; regular use of non-parallel structure and/or misplaced modifiers



-spelling, capitalization, punctuation,

Exceptionally strong control of standard mechanics of writing; no errors

Strong control of mechanics; errors are few and minor (ex., misplacement of 1-3 commas)

Control of most writing mechanics; occasional errors (1-3) do not interfere with readability

Limited control of mechanics; frequent errors (4-6) do not interfere with understanding

Frequent significant errors (7-9) in mechanics may impede readability

Numerous errors (10+) in mechanics distract the reader and make the text difficult to read

**Writer's voice is the individual style of the author and is supported by all elements of the composition: i.e., (1) clarity and focus of the writing (ideas and content); (2) organization; (3) word choice and sentence fluency; (4) grammar; and (5) mechanics.