Tips on How to Grade Your Student's Compositions

Below are some guidelines for grading your student’s compositions:

  • Is the first word of each paragraph indented?
  • Has the correct punctuation and capitalization been used?
  • Are any words misspelled?
  • Reread each paragraph. Are any words left out?
  • Does each paragraph have an interesting topic sentence?
  • Are all paragraphs related to the topic sentence?
  • Are the events placed in chronological order?
  • Have lively verbs and descriptive adjectives and adverbs been used?
  • Does the writer use a variety of prepositional phrases in place of adjective clauses where possible?
  • Does the writer use a variety of sentence patterns?
  • Has dialogue been used where appropriate?
  • Has the outline been followed?
  • Does the writer avoid the use of had, has and have?
  • Does the writer avoid passive voice? EXAMPLE: The food was eaten by Dottie. Replace with active voice. EXAMPLE: Dottie ate the food.

Use the checklist below to evaluate your student’s writing. Consider using this list as a guideline for your student to follow as writing is drafted. One of the most successful and widely used methods of evaluating student’s writing is called the “Six Traits.” You can learn more about this method by clicking on the following link:

Six Traits

  1. Ideas
    • focuses on a specific topic
    • contains well-developed and interesting details
  2. Organization
    • focuses on a specific topic
    • contains well-developed and interesting details
  3. Voice
    • has a voice that sounds natural
    • shows that the writer is interested in and excited about the subject
  4. Word Choice
    • contains specific nouns and action verbs
    • uses an appropriate level of language (not too formal or too informal)
  5. Sentence Fluency
    • contains complete sentences
    • flows smoothly from sentence to sentence
    • shows variety in sentence beginnings and lengths
  6. Conventions
    • follows the basic rules of capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and grammar