Essay Marking Rubric University

Examples of Rubrics

Several examples of rubrics that can be found on the web are linked below to aid in the development of rubrics for post secondary education settings.

Template for Creating a Rubric

The below link is to a MSWord file that contains a template for a rubric and instructions for how to use and modify the template to meet individual grading needs. Instructors can download this file and modify it as needed to construct their own rubric.


The AAC&U VALUE initiative (2007-09) developed 16 VALUE rubrics for the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. Elements and descriptors for each rubric were based on the most frequently identified characteristics or criteria of learning for each of the 16 learning outcomes. Drafts of each rubric have been tested by faculty with their own students’ work on over 100 college campuses.

The VALUE rubrics contribute to the national dialogue on assessment of college student learning. The AAC&U web is widely used by individuals working in schools, higher education associations, colleges, and universities in the United States and around the world.

Instructors can use the rubrics in their current form. They can also modify the language and rubric elements to meet the specific needs of their assignment or assessment goal.

Access to the VALUE Rubrics is free. AAC&U requests that users register before downloading PDF or Word versions of the rubrics to assist their research on rubric use.

External link to AAC&U Rubric download page:

Collections of Rubric Links

Classroom Participation

Graphic Organizers

Interactive Quality of an Online Course


Short Essays

Student Paper

Student Peer Review

Team Participation

Theses and Dissertations

Updated: 06/20/16 gb

  1. Advice from Experienced TAs
  2. Grading Labs
  3. Grading Essays
  4. Rubrics (Grading Templates)

1) Advice from Experienced TAs:

  • Marking takes longer than you expect, so put a good chunk of time aside
  • The first time you mark will take double the time compared to the next assignment
  • It’s not mean to give bad grades. I struggled with a lot of guilt the first time I graded assignments
  • I was such a mean grader. It’s important to remember that they’re 17 years old. They’re not graduate students. Put yourself in their shoes and don’t have crazy expectations about what they’re capable of
  • Mark in little bits each day to spread the work out (like grade all the question #1s at the same time, then take a break). You’ll make fewer mistakes and it will seem more manageable.
  • Do your marking WELL in advance of the date you’re supposed to hand them back

2) Fast and Equitable Grading (Trace Tips from the University of Waterloo)

Grading Labs

  1. Teaching Tips. Fast and Equitable Grading of Labs

Grading Essays

  1. Tips for Efficient and Equitable Essay Grading
  2. Responding to Student Writing (Essays and Short Answers
  3. Johnson, Frances S. “Death By Paper: Ten Secrets for Survival.” The Teaching Professor 20.6 (June/July 2006)

Rubrics (Grading Templates)

  1. Weimer, Maryellen. “Rubrics: The Essentials.” Faculty Focus. November 30, 2010
  2. Stevens, Dannelle D. & Antonia Levi. “Leveling the Field: Using Rubrics to Achieve Greater Equity in Teaching and Grading.” Essays on Teaching Excellence. POD Network.
  3. “What is a Rubric?” Relearning by Design, Inc. 2000
  4. Cluster, Rodney L. “Rubrics: An Authentic Assessment Tool for Technology Education.” The Technology Teacher
  5. Steps to Create a Grading Rubric. Educational Development Centre, Carleton University
  6. Website that allows you to create your own rubric, revise your existing rubric, or examine pre-existing rubrics designed by other educators (*You may need to create a free account)
    1. Laboratory Assignment Rubrics
    2. Essay Rubrics

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