Assessment Rubric for Writer’s Notebooks:



Excellent (A)

Good (B)

Fair (C)

Poor (D)

VOLUME: How much and how often the student writes. Students are required to write for 20-30 minutes daily.

All required entries present; reflecting at least 20-30 minutes of writing in “H” entries. Student has been consistent and conscientious, often exceeding the requirement.

All required entries present; appreciable amount of writing in “H” entries, but not quite 20-30 minutes’ worth. Meets and occasionally exceeds the requirement.

Some entries missing, but appreciable amount of writing in “H” entries; all entries present, but “H” entries may be short. Occasionally fails to meet the minimum requirement.


Some entries missing; existing entries are consistently short, but sufficient for a minimum passing grade.

VARIETY of topics and strategies used in notebook entries. Suggested strategies can be found here.


Wide variety of writing strategies and topics. Student is writing about many different things in many different ways, actively seeking new and original ideas.


Wide variety of strategies or topics; some variety of each. Student is attempting to do different things with the writing, with some success.

Limited variety of strategies and topics; entries are generally similar or repetitive but may occasionally try something different.

No variety; journal writing only. Student is essentially doing the same thing every day.

THOUGHT: What appears to have gone into, and come out of, the writing. The notebook should be used as a thinking tool, as well as a writing tool.

Thoughtful, reflective, insightful entries that explore thoughts and ideas thoroughly, using the writing to generate thinking and to look at things more closely, thoughtfully and purposefully.

Interesting, intelligent entries that show some thinking but may be limited in scope or exploration of thoughts and ideas. May occasionally mention ideas without exploring them, or be limited to a single topic/idea.


Adequate entries that mention some ideas, but tend to be limited in scope, mostly recording information rather than thought. Ideas are mentioned but never explored.

Little meaningful thought or exploration of ideas in evidence; notebook contains only static, superficial information.


The writer’s notebook receives a failing grade (“F”) if:

·    there are no “H” (homework) entries;

·    there are no “C” entries, only quotes copied off the board;

·    a significant number of entries, “C” and/or “H,” are missing;

·    entries are consistently and significantly short (i.e., no more than a few sentences);

·    it is handed in significantly late.


The writer’s notebook receives a zero (no credit) if:

·        it is not handed in at all;

·        it has no name on it (appropriate rubric-based grade will be applied once owner is identified);

·        it is empty or near-empty;

·        it contains only quotes and/or notes copied off the board, with no original writing by the student;

·        entries were copied entirely from outside sources, such as newspapers, magazines, books, song lyrics, websites, etc., with no original writing by the student.