6-Traits Writing Rubric

 6-Traits Writing Rubric





Not There Yet


This narrow and manageable topic is made vivid through relevant, telling, quality anecdotes and details that shares interesting information with the reader.  This writing goes beyond predictable. (ideas)

While ideas are clear, additional details would expand general ideas and enrich the essay.

Ideas, details or events seem strung together in a loose or random fashion.  Connections between ideas are unclear or not present


An inviting introduction draws the reader in to a piece where the details and sequencing  are logical &  effective, and transitions are used to show how thoughtful ideas connect.  From start to finish, organization flows to smoothly propel the reader from engaging beginning to an effective, satisfying conclusion.


The organizational structure is strong enough to move the reader through the text without too much confusion.

The writer seems indifferent, uninvolved, or distanced from the topic and/or the audience.  Because the writing lacks risk, it comes across as lifeless or mechanical.


The object has a personality that adds interest to the writing so that the reader feels an interaction with the writer. (voice)

The writer seems sincere but not fully engaged or involved.  The writing is pleasant or personable, but not compelling.

Limited, vague, vocabulary may leave the reader wondering what the author is really trying to say.

Word Choice

Words and phrases are specific and accurate.  They create images that linger in the reader’s mind.

The language is functional, even if it lacks much energy. It’s easy to figure out the writer’s meaning on a general level.  Familiar words and phrases communicate ideas, but with additional thought could communicate ideas and capture the reader’s imagination

The writer seems indifferent, uninvolved, or distanced from the topic and/or the audience.

Sentence Fluency

Sentences vary in length and in structure.  Fragments, if used, add style.  Dialogue, if present, sounds natural.

The text has a steady beat.  While it is more businesslike than musical, and more mechanical than fluid, parts of the text do invite expressive oral reading while other parts seem stiff, awkward or choppy

The writing is not compelling because there is little or no “ sentence sense” present  or too many sentences start the same way and follow the same patterns.


The writer demonstrates a strong grasp of standard writing conventions (eg. Spelling,  puncuation, capitalization, grammar and usage, paragraphing) and uses conventions effectively to enhance readability.  Errors are few in that minor touch-ups would get this piece ready to publish.

The writer shows reasonable control over a limited range of standard writing conventions.  At times conventions are handled well and enhance readability, at other times errors are distracting.

Errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, usage and grammar, and/or  paragraphing repeatedly distract the reader and make the text difficult to read.


Checklist Items:

  • Directions for format were followed
  • Essay is on-topic
  • Length adequate to articulate and develop main idea and allows demonstration of progress toward articulated targets.