Standards-based Teaching and Learning AIMS Six Trait Analytic Writing Rubric
Official Scoring Guide
Student work produced for the AIMS extended writing piece will be scored using the Six Trait Analytical Writing Rubric developed by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL). This rubric identifies and evaluates six traits, or characteristics, of effective writing on a six point scale, with 6 the highest score and 1 the lowest. This rubric was selected primarily because it is research-based, provides specific information about student performance, and is supported with classroom instructional activities developed by NWREL. It is not specific to a particular mode or genre of writing; it is designed to provide a consistent scoring method based on recognized characteristics of effective writing common to all genres. It would be beneficial for teachers and students not only to be familiar with the six trait rubric so that the expectations for writing will be clearly understood, but also to experience using it in the classroom. It provides not only an effective, consistent measure of student writing, but also a means to improve writing.
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Ideas/Content: This trait addresses the writer’s theme along with the supporting details that develop and enrich that theme. Regardless of the type or purpose of writing, ideas should be clear, complete, and well-developed. One clear focus should be apparent, but development and details should be thorough, balanced, and well suited to audience and purpose.
Organization: This trait addresses the structure of a piece of writing including the thread of central meaning and the patterns that hold the piece together. Regardless of the type or purpose of writing, a well-thought out order of ideas should be apparent. The structure should suit the topic, with a consciously planned opening and closing, each paragraph specific to one central idea, and transitions that tie the details together.
Voice: The type of voice will vary according to the purpose and type of piece, but it should be appropriately formal or casual, distant or intimate, depending on the audience and purpose.
Word Choice: This trait reflects the writer’s use of specific words and phrases to convey the intended message in an interesting, precise, and natural way appropriate to audience and purpose.
Sentence Fluency: This trait addresses the rhythm and flow of language. Sentence structure should be strong and varied.
Conventions: This trait addresses the mechanics of writing, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and paragraph breaks. It can also include proper format.