Evaluating Writing

As the parent or teacher, you already know to check your students' writing for quality of content and mechanics.  What else do you look for? 

  • Is the writing concrete? Look for specific words ("farmer" rather than "man"; "raced" rather than "ran").
  • Is it clear? Are there ambiguities or inconsistencies in thought or expression?
  • Is it concise? Check for unnecessary words (shorten "in the event that" to "if").
  • Is it gracious? Christian writing should avoid rude or slang terms.
  • Does the writing contain good sentence structure and proper paragraph construction? Look for run-on sentences, subject/predicate agreement; paragraphs with more than one main idea.
  • Do descriptions involve all five senses?
  • Do homepage original stories have a resolution of the conflict in which the main character plays a significant part? Is dialogue age-appropriate?
  • Do essays flow well and express well-thought-out ideas? Are opinions well-stated and backed up with facts and illustrations? It isn't enough to state an opinion; it must be fleshed-out with solid reasoning and enough information for the reader to fully understand.