Guide to Short Essay Response Rubric

Grading Rubric for: 

Please use the rubric below to assess your essay response.

Here are a few guidelines:

  • Responses should be no more than one to two paragraphs in length and thoughtfully composed.
  • Review the tone of your response. Ask yourself what your reaction would be if you received it. Look for areas that might be misunderstood and rewrite these sentences to remove any ambiguity.
  • Please proofread your response and look for grammar and spelling errors that may detract from your meaning.


Below is a sample essay question (different from the questions used in quiz assignments) along with two sample responses from students. Using the rubric above, what grade would you assign these students? How do these compare to the response you've written for your own assigned essay prompt?



The class is nearing completion. Think back on your experiences over the last 10 weeks, the challenges you overcame to get to the end, the stories you read, and the skills you have learned.

Imagine you could go back to the beginning of the course, what one thing do you wish you would have known then that you know now? Think of some tip or suggestion that would have been the most helpful to you 10 weeks ago?


Student responses:

"After 10 weeks I would say one thing I wish would have known than that I know now is really using context clues and words to get a grip on the meaning of some things that I may be confused about. A suggestion that would have been the most helpful to me 10 weeks ago, is to read the material a couple times before rushing into anything else. I used the tips of the context clues and its surroundings in tests and homework questions to see if there was any key words that would help lead me to my answer. Also using it in reading material such as books is a huge factor. Yes, sometimes the answer or conclusion you come up with using such a technique may not always be right but if you use other resources as well it will give you a better understanding of everything that is being taught within the course."

"I really liked having an online class. I defiantly prefer it that having an English class in the classroom. English has never really been my favorite subject, so doing it online is way better than having to sit through a class. When I started the class, I kept an open mind, because I didn't know what to expect. I was kind of confused that we didn't have a textbook or any other reading material for that matter. I was really excited that everything was online and that I didn't have to read through section after section in a textbook. If you can't tell, I really don't like textbooks. It's also cheaper for the students if there isn't a textbook. I kind of wish my next English class it like this one. It wasn't complicated or anything."

Last modified: Monday, October 21, 2019, 7:03 PM