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Narrative – Grades 9-12

Write narratives to create real or imagined events using story structure, details, and descriptive writing techniques.

  Score 4 Score 3 Score 2 Score 1
Introduction and conclusion

Establishes one or multiple points of view and orients the reader to the narrator and/or complex characters

Engages the reader by establishing a conflict, character or setting that entices the reader

Conclusion develops naturally, unifies experiences and provides closure for the reader

Introduces one point of view and orients the reader to the narrator/character or setting

Engages the reader by establishing a conflict, character or setting

Conclusion unifies experiences and connects to previous events from the story and resolves all conflicts

Introduces an unclear point of view and simple or cliché characters with minimal development

Presents a vague setting, conflict or underdeveloped character

Conclusion resolves conflicts and relates to previous events in a predictable, generic way

Introduces point of view, narrator or character that is difficult to understand and follow

Presents a setting, conflict and/or character that lacks clarity or is inappropriate for the piece

Conclusion is incomplete, irrelevant or illogical based on previous events and experiences

Organization and progression

Follows a cohesive progression of experiences/events to build upon and unify the piece

Paragraphs are used effectively to maintain smooth progression between events, convey passage of time or varying view points while creating a cohesive piece

Transitional language and techniques such as flashbacks, subplots, foreshadowing, etc. are integrated seamlessly to effectively connect events and/or show the passage of time

Follows logical sequence of experiences/events to build upon events and unify the piece

Paragraphs are used to develop progression between events, convey passage of time or varying view points while maintaining a focus

Transitional language and techniques such as flashbacks, subplots, foreshadowing, etc. are integrated to connect events and/or show the passage of time

Follows a linear sequence of events

Paragraphs are used to show the passage of time or show a new character is speaking

Basic transitional language (e.g. later that day, after) is used to move the reader through events

Events are out of order in a way that confuses the reader and detracts from the main storyline

No evidence of purposeful paragraph formation; paragraph separations occur at illogical points in the piece

Transitional language is basic or repetitive and transitional techniques impact the clarity of the piece

Plot & Story Development

Multiple plot lines are used to develop complex characters, conflicts or experiences

Plot or story structure effectively creates a cohesive and fluid story

Techniques such as sentence structure and word choice are used purposefully and effectively to alter the pace (e.g. used to build suspense)

Multiple plot lines are used to introduce well-developed characters, conflicts or experiences

Plot or story structure effectively creates a cohesive story

Techniques such as sentence structure and word choice are used to alter the pace (e.g. used to build suspense)

Primarily dialogue and description are used to tell details about characters and conflict

Plot or story structure follows a linear sequence

Pace is varied unintentionally and/or inconsistently, at inappropriate points in the piece

Little evidence of narrative strategies, details about characters, conflicts and events are simply told

No identifiable plot or story structure; events presented in an illogical order

No identifiable shifts in pace and limited progress from one moment to the next

Descriptive writing techniques

Characters and their motivations develop through integrated use of dialogue, action, thoughts and feelings; character personality emerges through descriptions and experiences

Voice/tone/mood of the piece strengthens the purpose, audience and characters

A wide variety of concrete, figurative and sensory language are used to develop experiences and events that the reader can picture

Characters and their motivations develop through use of dialogue, action, thoughts and feelings; character personality emerges through descriptions and experiences

Voice/tone/mood of the piece is consistent with the purpose, audience and characters

A variety of concrete, figurative and/or sensory language are used to develop experiences and events that the reader can picture

Characters and their motivations are inconsistent or underdeveloped; some dialogue, actions, thoughts or feelings are used to retell events

Voice/tone/mood is inconsistent throughout the piece or not appropriate for the purpose, audience or characters

Primarily concrete, literal language and descriptions are used; events are told rather than described

Character is introduced but details about the character’s personality and motivations are minimal and simply told rather than described.

Voice/tone does not align with the purpose, audience, or characters

Basic and literal language is used and events are told in a list

Language, Vocabulary and Conventions

Effectively uses a wide range of sentence structures and a variety of precise vocabulary

All spelling, grammar and punctuation are accurate

Uses a variety of sentence structures and of vocabulary

Minor errors in grammar and punctuation occur; errors do not impact meaning

Uses simple sentence structures and generic vocabulary

Frequent errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation do not impact meaning

Sentences are incomplete and basic or repetitive vocabulary is used;

Multiple errors in spelling, grammar,and punctuation impact meaning