Compare & Contrast Essay Rubric for High School

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

Asking your students to write an essay that compares and contrasts something is an great way to get your kids to the analysis level of higher thinking. Use this rubric to help your students understand expectations and how they'll be graded.

Why use Rubrics?

Using a rubric in your lessons is an excellent way to be transparent with your students about expectations. When you are clear about what is expected with each assignment, they're more likely to turn in a quality essay. Before you begin an assignment, it may be helpful to review the rubric with your students.

Students can refer back to the rubric throughout the writing process to stay focused on the content of their essay. When their assignment is completed, they can use the rubric to assess their essay before you even read it. This can give them an opportunity to be reflective about their work and make adjustments if they're low in a particular area.

What is a Compare and Contrast Essay?

You'll probably recognize Bloom's Taxonomy of thinking skills, which is a mainstay in the education field. This taxonomy shows the different levels of thinking, ranging from remembering information to creating new information. It's important that you get your kids thinking beyond basic knowledge and recall questions. Your students should be analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating and creating on a regular basis.

One way to get your students to analyze something is to ask them to compare and contrast. You might think of a Venn diagram, which can be a great way to start your kids on this skill. You can also use a T-chart or various other graphic organizers to help students catalogue their thoughts. For your topic of study, students should find qualities that are similar or different. Having your students engage in this thinking process will have them using the basic information they know and taking it further.

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