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Donna Oja Smith's English Class at Trenton High School

Letter to Editor/President Scoring Rubric

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You have been reading and discussing articles related to teen incarceration. Each of you has formed an opinion on whether teens should be sent to jail and under what circumstances.

As a teenager yourself, write a letter to the editor of our county newspaper or write a letter to President Obama in which you persuade others to agree with your position on teen incarceration. Use examples from your research to support your opinions. Remember that persuasive letters ask readers to take a specific action or adopt a specific belief.

CATEGORY

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Focus on Topic (Content)

There is one clear, well-focused topic. Main idea stands out and is supported by detailed information.

Main idea is clear but the supporting information is general.

Main idea is somewhat clear but there is a need for more supporting information.

The main idea is not clear. There is a seemingly random collection of information.

Accuracy of Facts (Content)

All supportive facts are reported accurately.

Almost all supportive facts are reported accurately.

Most supportive facts are reported accurately.

NO facts are reported OR most are inaccurately reported.

Pacing (Organization)

The pacing is well-controlled. The writer knows when to slow down and elaborate, and when to pick up the pace and move on.

The pacing is generally well-controlled but the writer occasionally does not elaborate enough.

The pacing is generally well-controlled but the writer sometimes repeats the same point over and over, or spends too much time on details that don't matter.

The pacing often feels awkward to the reader. The writer elaborates when there is little need, and then leaves out necessary supporting information.

Sequencing (Organization)

Details are placed in a logical order and the way they are presented effectively keeps the interest of the reader.

Details are placed in a logical order, but the way in which they are presented/ introduced sometimes makes the writing less interesting.

Some details are not in a logical or expected order, and this distracts the reader.

Many details are not in a logical or expected order. There is little sense that the writing is organized.

Commitment (Voice)

The writer successfully uses several reasons/appeals to try to show why the reader should care or want to know more about the topic.

The writer successfully uses one or two reasons/appeals to try to show why the reader should care or want to know more about the topic.

The writer attempts to make the reader care about the topic, but is not really successful.

The writer made no attempt to make the reader care about the topic.

Grammar & Spelling (Conventions)

Writer makes no errors in grammar or spelling that distracts the reader from the content.

Writer makes 1-2 errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Writer makes 3-4 errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Writer makes more than 4 errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Word Choice

Writer uses vivid words and phrases that linger or draw pictures in the reader's mind, and the choice and placement of the words seems accurate, natural and not forced.

Writer uses vivid words and phrases that linger or draw pictures in the reader's mind, but occasionally the words are used inaccurately or seem overdone.

Writer uses words that communicate clearly, but the writing lacks variety, punch or flair.

Writer uses a limited vocabulary that does not communicate strongly or capture the reader's interest. Jargon or clichés may be present and detract from the meaning.

Format

Remains true to selected format

Generally uses format correctly, although there might be a minor lapse

Writer does not demonstrate commitment to format chosen and wavers in style.

Reader unable to determine format for writing.

"He who learns but does not think is lost! 
He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger!" 
Confucius 551-479 B.C. (Chinese philosopher)

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"YOU make choices, but  CHOICES make you." (DOS)
 
“Men are not prisoners of fate, but prisoners of their own minds.” (FDR)

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DID YOU KNOW THAT NO PIECE OF PAPER CAN BE FOLDED IN HALF MORE THAN SEVEN TIMES?  TRY IT.  THEN GET BACK TO WORK.

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