Language Arts

For the next few weeks we will be writing reports about the planets. Students will select one of the planets in our solar system to research. You can access links to appropriate websites to help you through the web page links to left of this page.

Name___________________________ Period _____________

Expository Writing - The Solar System

Common Core-aligned rubric (6th Grade)

shared by Mrs. Smith

www.EssayTagger.com/rubric?code=

Below 6th

(weakest)

Beginning

Emerging

Proficient

Above 6th

(strongest)

Thesis Paragraph

 Writing: W.6.2a


1 - 2

Not clear what the thesis statement is


3

Thesis statement is written, may not be clear

4

Introduces the topic. Thesis statement clearly written in last sentence

5

Uses correct format. Thesis statement clearly written in last sentence.

6

Well crafted paragraph

Strong vocabulary. Grabs the reader’s attention. Thesis statement clearly written

Overall Organization


Writing: W.6.2a

1 -2

Lacks organization, difficult to read

3

Some organization noted

4

Clear beginning, middle, end

5

Organization pattern clear. The writer stays with one pattern

6

The organization makes the paper enjoyable to read

Develop Topic

whole document

Writing: W.6.2b

1-2

One basic paragraph few facts

3

Basic writing,3 paragraphs minimal facts

4

Three or more paragraphs with appropriate information

5

Four or more body paragraphs. Strongly written correct paragraphs.


6

A joy to read. Thesis is clearly discussed.The reader is left with no questions



Supporting Facts & Details

whole document

Writing: W.6.2b

1-2

Missing quotes

Few details

3

Quote is obvious

But not written in correct format

4

One quote written correctly

5

Two or more quotes used correctly

6

Three or more correctly cited quotes that flow nicely and make sense to the reader

Conventions

Grammar and spelling are correct

1-2

Several mistakes make the paper difficult to understand

3

Grammar and spelling mistakes

evident , distract from the paper

4

Grammar and spelling evident, but do not distract the reader

5

Minimal grammar or spelling issues  


6

No grammar or spelling issues

Conclusion ( ¶ )

paragraph-level

Writing: W.6.2f

1-2

Missing conclusion

3

Weak conclusion no if/then


4

Conclusion contains if/then but no new information

5

If/Then conclusion explains new information

6

Well written If/Then conclusion leaves the reader understanding new idea


Over all grade _______________________

Expository Writing: 

Two Ways to Begin an Introductory Paragraph 

_____________________________________________________________________________________ 

There are two different ways to begin the introductory paragraph of an expository essay.   They are called the gradual lead-in introduction, and the contrasting introduction.  Deciding which one you'll choose is a matter of personal style and taste.   

The gradual lead-in introduction leads the reader to your thesis statement gradually.  It begins with a broad, general statement that all readers can understand, even if they aren't familiar with what you're writing about.  Then, the next sentence provides information that's more detailed.  By gradually providing more and more details, the sentences lead the reader to your thesis statement, which is always the last sentence in the paragraph.  In a way, the gradual-lead in introduction teaches your reader some new information.   

The contrasting introduction gets its name from the fact that it surprises the reader.  It surprises the reader by providing information that might at first appear to be in contrast to your thesis.  The contrasting introduction is similar to using the phrase "Most people think...," which is one of the ways to begin a persuasive essay.  The contrasting introduction surprises readers by challenging their thinking.   

Below are examples of introductory paragraphs.  Notice that the wording of the thesis statement is changed a little when it appears as the last sentence in the introduction.  Even though the wording of the thesis is changed, its meaning remains the same! 

  

 

 

________________________________________________________________________ 

________________________________________________________________________ 

Thesis: Mercury's atmosphere will never be able to sustain human life. 

The universe is the last frontier. As long as man has lived on earth, he has explored all corners. Europeans explored and settled North America and Australiafinding new places to live. As the population grows and pollution continues to destroy our planet, man must look elsewhere in the universe for places to live.  It makes sense to look at other planets in our solar system. Perhaps one of these planets would sustain human life. The closest planet to the sun, Mercury, has no gravity. In fact, the atmosphere of Mercury is so thin it will never be able to sustain human life.  

___________________________________________________________________ 

Example Two: A Contrasting Introduction 

Thesis: Mercury's core makes it the second densest planet in the solar system. 

Mars is the planet closest to Earth. Mars and Earth are very different planets when it comes to temperature, size, and atmosphere, but geologic processes on the two planets are surprisingly similar. On Mars, we see volcanoes, canyons, and impact basins much like the ones we see on Earth. The density on Earth is one reason these geological formations occur. One would believe that the density of Mars would be closest to Earth's. However,  the make up of Mercury's core makes it the second densest planet in the solar system. 

          

_____________________



Conclusion Paragraphs

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The purpose of a conclusion is to explain why your thesis statement is important. Some writers like to think that the conclusion answers the question "So what?"

The conclusion points out connections to other people and other things. It reaches beyond what you already said in your paper.

A conclusion paragraph begins with an If/Then statement.

The "If" in an If/Then statement comes from your thesis. The "Then" connects us to new ideas.

Since the conclusion is the end of your expository essay, it should generate some emotion in your readers.

_____________________________________________________________

Example: 
Thesis statement: Mercury's atmosphere will never be able to sustain human life.

If Mercury's atmosphere will never be able to sustain human life then humans must look elsewhere for an inhabitable living area. Because of the lack of gravity, it would be difficult to build a structure that could supply the needed elements man needs to live.Perhaps people of Earth need to spend their time fixing their planet before finding other places in the universe that they will eventually destroy.