High School Persuasive Essay Rubric

Understand the scoring criteria for the persuasive essay for content, organization and language use - Prepared for high school students

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PDF Persuasive Essay Rubric

University Level Rubric


  • The writer identifies the subject/proposal of the essay.

  • The thesis statement includes the claim and purpose of the essay and targets a specific audience appropriately.

  • The writer utilizes reason and emotion to persuade the reader; including sufficient supporting facts, opinions and/or examples.

  • The writer acknowledges the opponent's viewpoint and uses a counterargument.


  • The essay starts with an interesting beginning, or hook. (i.e. anecdote, analogy, statistic, research, question, etc.)

  • Each paragraph of the paper has a topic sentence and supporting detail sentences that connect to each other in a logical order using appropriate transition words to indicate cause-and-effect, compare and contrast, opposing viewpoints, etc.

  • The writer concludes with a detailed summary linked to the purpose of the composition, and restates the thesis.

    Language Use

  • The writer uses conditional statements and questions using if and auxiliary verbs would, will, might, must, can, could, should. (Ex: if you do this, you will...)

  • The writer uses a variety of sentence structures.

  • The writing has been edited for grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and indentation.

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