Q: As a homeschool parent, what should I be looking for to make sure my child is writing a good essay?

Writing rubrics are guidelines that allow teachers and students to be on the same page when it comes to writing an essay. Rubrics give reference points as to what should be included in the essay to achieve the highest grade possible. As students can use a writing rubric to their advantage, so can parents. After your child has completed their essay, parents can go in and make sure all key points of the rubric are included within the essay, allowing your child to earn the top grade.

With Time4Writing’s essay writing courses, students complete structured writing assignments that focus on a specific phase of the writing process. Your child’s assignment will be graded by a certified writing teacher that will assess what is good and correct within the essay, and then give instructions and offer suggestions to make improvements within the student’s essay.

The rubric below is an example from our Exploration in Essay Writing course. It shows how the essay will be graded and the percentage weight of the total grade for each element:

  1. Introduction (10%): Includes an attention grabbing sentence; provides background information, and provides a clear and focused thesis statement.
  2. Body (45%): Contains three paragraphs that follow the pattern of organization established in the thesis statement.
  3. Conclusion (10%): Revisits the thesis statement, connects back to an example in the introduction.
  4. Transitions (5%): Essay flows smoothly from start to finish, with a logical flow of progression from one point to the next.
  5. Grammar (10%): Sentence structure
  6. Usage (10%): Subject/verb agreement
  7. Mechanics (10%): Spelling and punctuation