Rubrics For Creative Writing

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Writing teachers can set expectations in two forms: analytical and holistic rubrics.

Both identify criteria for the essay, but then their paths diverge.

It also helps break down the barrier between critical and creative thinking.

Kevin grades both the explicative essay his students write about their fiction or creative nonfiction as well as the feedback they give their peers (a short response due before each workshop).

Holistic rubrics tend to combine the necessary criteria into one single grade assessment of the overall piece, having closely measured that piece against the requirements for the writing assignment.

Even when they’re modified to allow for more commentary on student strengths and weaknesses, some educators are convinced that rubrics do a fundamental disservice to students’ ability to learn.

Because a rubric identifies pertinent aspects of a piece of writing, these rules communicate expectations to students.

Students no longer wonder what their instructor wants, but instead consider how to fulfill specific criteria in their writing assignment.

Ultimately, though, I may abandon rubrics altogether for a style that emphasizes deliberate, student-focused feedback as a part of the writing process and prioritizes critical thinking and creativity.

Everyone knows that outside of the school building, creative writing workshops aren’t graded.


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