Analytical Essay Rubric

Amherst Regional High School English Department/ Rubric for Analytical Writing





5= Thoroughly or deeply

4= Essentially or mostly

3= Partially or basically

2= Barely or minimally

1= Poorly or not at all


  • The argument is clear, well-supported, and developed, with ample textual evidence.
  • Strong, controlling idea makes the essay understandable, enlightening, and interesting.
  • Student commentary focuses on the argument.
  • Examples and quotations support commentary.
  • Commentary and quotations work together to convince the reader.
  • Ideas provide unique perspective.


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  • The structure of the piece is compelling and guides the reader purposefully through the essay.
  • The introduction entices the reader and establishes argument in a thesis statement.
  • Body paragraphs have a logical progression of ideas.
  • Transitions are strong but natural.
  • Conclusion reiterates the argument and emphasizes the importance of the ideas.


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  • Energy for the subject drives the writing; the essay is lively, expressive, engaging.
  • The topic fits the topic, purpose, and audience well.
  • The writing bears the clear imprint of this writer.
  • The writer knows the audience and shows a strong concern for its needs and interests.
  • Essay is provocative, designed to hold a reader’s attention


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  • Precise, vivid, natural language creates a strong, clear, and complete argument.
  • The writer’s message is remarkably clear and easy to interpret.
  • Formal language enhances the tone of the essay.
  • Phrasing is original—even memorable—yet the language is never overdone.
  • Lively verbs lend the writing power.
  • Striking words or phrases linger in the reader’s mind.


1  2  3  4  5      Comments:


  • Sentences are well-crafted, with a strong and varied structure.
  • Each sentence relates to and builds on the one before.
  • Quotations are smoothly embedded into writer’s own sentences.
  • Sentences vary in both structure and length, making the reading pleasant and natural.
  • Fragments, if used, add style.


1  2  3  4  5      Comments:


  • The writer shows excellent control over a wide range of standard writing conventions.
  • Errors are so few that a reader can easily overlook them unless searching for them.
  • The text appears clean, edited, and polished.
  • Sources are cited correctly.


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