Essay Outline

Title: __________________________________________________________________


       I.            Introduction

      A.                       Introductory statement and/or Central Idea (ATTENTION GETTER):


       B.                    Supporting Argument 1:


      C.                    Supporting Argument 2:


      D.                    Thesis statement:  



    II.            Body

      A.                       First Supporting Idea (Topic Sentence):











       B.                       Second Supporting Idea (Topic Sentence):  












 III.            Conclusion

      A.                       Restate thesis:



       B.                       Closing statements:



      C.                       Extend - General statement (with punch!):

Essay Rubric  

Student Name: ___________________________


Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Focus on Topic
Support for Topic

Vague, unclear or missing thesis.





Supporting details (references and examples) are a seemingly random collection of information, unclear, or not related to the topic.

Thesis is somewhat clear but more supporting details are needed.


Supporting details (references and examples) and information are relevant, but key points are unsupported.

Thesis is clear but supporting information is general.




Supporting details (references and examples) are relevant, but one key issue is unsupported.

There is one clear, well-focused thesis. Thesis stands out and is supported by details.


Relevant, telling, quality details (references and examples)  give important information, going beyond the obvious or predictable.



There is no clear introduction of the main topic or structure of the paper. 





There is no clear conclusion, the paper just ends.

Introduction states thesis but does not adequately preview the structure, nor is it particularly inviting. 


Conclusion is recognizable, but does not tie up all loose ends.


Introduction clearly states thesis and previews structure, but is not particularly inviting to reader.



Conclusion is recognizable and ties up almost all loose ends.


Introduction is inviting, states the thesis, and previews the structure of the paper.




Conclusion is strong and states the point of the paper.


Many details not in a logical or expected order; a sense of disorganization. Transitions between ideas are unclear or nonexistent.  Pacing is often awkward. 





Writer elaborates when there is little need, and leaves out necessary support.

Some details not in logical or expected order and this is distracting. Some transitions work well; connections between other ideas are fuzzy.




Pacing is well-controlled, but sometimes the same point is repeated, or too much time spent on less significant details.


Details are in logical order, but may be presented in less interesting ways. Transitions clearly show how ideas are connected, but there is little variety.




Pacing is well-controlled, but there is a lack of elaboration in some areas.

Details are in logical order. A variety of thoughtful transitions show how ideas are connected.







Pacing is well-controlled.  Writer elaborates when needed.


Inappropriate tone;
Reader is left with several questions.





Sentences are awkward, distractingly repetitive, or difficult to understand. Several are incomplete or rambling.  Word choices include several slang phrases.


Appropriate tone; Reader is left with one or two questions, more information needed.


Most sentences natural-sounding, but several are stiff and awkward, or difficult to understand. One or two slang or jargon phrases.

Appropriate tone;
Reader's questions are anticipated and answered to some extent.


Most sentences well-constructed with varied structure;
Jargon-free word choice.

Appropriate tone, distinctive voice;
Reader's questions are anticipated and answered.


Sentences varied for rhetorical effect; Vivid diction, precise word choices.


More than 4 distracting errors in usage, spelling, or punctuation

3 to 4 errors in usage, spelling, and punctuation that distract the reader. 

1 to 2 errors in usage, spelling, and punctuation that distract the reader. 

Consistent standard English usage, spelling, and punctuation. No errors.