This easy to use English essay rubric is a game changer
This easy to use English essay rubric is by far my favourite out of all the ones I’ve ever created. It is specifically for analytical text response essays, the most common essay type students write in English. Over the years I have cut it up, changed entire columns, given it a lot of little polish ups. I find that rubrics are never finished and always a ‘work in progress’. I hope that you’ll make this rubric your own and make changes where you see fit.
This English essay rubric is perfect for all student levels
This English essay rubric is perfect for students who are learning the basics of essay writing all the way up to students who are honing their analysis stills and using literary devices to inform meaning and interpretation in the text. I have used the rubric with students from Year 7-11.
The great thing about having reliable rubrics that you consistently use is that you can adjust it based on the things you’d like to see students doing. I often think of rubrics as a “checklist for success” in essence that they contain everything that I want students to do when writing essays.
Students can use this rubric as a step by step guide on how to write an English essay
Rubrics are direct and don’t beat around the bush. This essay rubric gives students a step by step guide on how to write a great essay and achieve success.
Depending on the type of text being studied, and the class level, I adjust some of the columns or levels in this essay rubric. Or if studying a film text, I adjust the literary devices column (in red) to film techniques.
How to get maximum engagement with the rubric from your class
If you are thinking about using this English essay rubric with your class, it is really important to spend the time going through each description in detail. This can sub in for much of the essay writing skills refreshing with the older year levels. Here is a video example of me doing exactly this.
I make sure to dedicate 30 minutes of a lesson before students start writing their essays to going through this essay rubric with them.
It can be unnerving and, like me, while explaining to the class you might be thinking “this is so dry and boring” and “the students will be tuning out”.
I always do a number of temperature and speed checks after the 1st, 2nd, 5th columns. “Is this helpful?” *vigorous nods* “Should I keep going” *more nods* and I am always astounded by how engaged students are.
I guess as teachers we need to back ourselves a little more?!
Create positive learning habits for students
To really maximise your rubric success I’d encourage you to constantly refer to it when conferencing with students.
Here’s an example:
“What do I need to put in my body paragraph?”
“Have a read of this blue section here.” *points to rubric* “Start with this first part ‘topic sentence’. What do you think you need to have based on what it says in this line?”
If you are giving draft feedback and asking students to redraft, remind them that the success behaviour you want to see is rubrics out on desks while they work on their essays. Encouraging them to use the rubic allows them to have a sense of ownership over it.
Download a free copy of our English essay Rubric
And of course, it is really important that you have a sense of ownership over the rubric as well. I’d encourage to make edits and adjustments that suit you, your school, and the needs of your students.
I’d love to hear how you go with the rubric and of course, any constructive feedback is always welcome. I am always looking for ways to improve!
If you’d like to download the editable copy of this English essay rubric please use the button below.