Students feel more engaged when they have the chance to determine criteria for how their writing will be assessed.


At the beginning of the term or before an assignment, students are invited to brainstorm what they think counts as excellent writing. Students then discuss their definitions in small groups, and share their consensus and conflicts with the class. On the board, develop a rubric for written assignments with the class based on this exercise.

Further Reading:

United Federation of Teachers – Student-Created Rubrics

Carnegie Mellon University Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation – Grading and Performance Rubrics

Berkeley Graduate Division Teaching and Resource Center – Grading Rubrics

Depaul University Teaching Commons – Types of Rubrics

The Graduate Center, CUNY The Teaching and Learning Center – Essay Rubric

Elbow – Writing with Power (1998)

Bean – Engaging Ideas, Chapter 14: Using Rubrics (2011)

Created by Kaitlin Mondello
Reviewed by Louis Olander

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