Wednesday, July 20, 2016

TOS Review ~ 21 Grading Grids for Popular High School Essays and a Position Paper

Writing with Sharon Watson Review

I really struggle with grading the essays my children produce. Personally, I find it to be a very daunting task to teach high school writing, especially if you have a reluctant writer in your household as I do. I was very excited to receive 21 Grading Grids for Popular High School Essays and a Position Paper from Writing with Sharon Watson to review. I received a digital copy that I printed off and placed in a binder with my son's writing materials. I can print off more grids as needed.

Writing with Sharon Watson Review
The grading grids are a helpful tool to helping both the teacher and student work towards specific goals. The student is encouraged to look over the grid before writing his/her paper. The teacher uses the grid to give points to the student in each category. I really like that there are two separate grades, one for grammar and one for content. It is really nice to have those two areas separate so I can celebrate the child's thoughts with a positive grade. There are 21 different grids for 21 different types of essays. The types of grids are listed below.
  • Opinion Essay
  • Persuasive Essay with Thesis Statement
  • Persuasive Essay: Specific Audience
  • Persuasive Essay: Moral/Ethical Essay or Letter
  • Emotional Appeal Essay
  • Emotional Appeal Speech
  • How-to or Process Essay
  • Position Paper
  • Devotional
  • Hard News Article
  • Feature News Article
  • Biography
  • Compare and Contrast Essay
  • Literary Analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  • Literary Analysis of a Classic
  • Definition Essay
  • Description Essay on a Person of Influence
  • Personal Testimony
  • Interview into Narrative Essay
  • Personal Narrative Essay
I am so impressed with how many types of grading grids were provided to help me enhance my children's writing. The grids were originally intended to go with Sharon Watson's writing program, The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School -- 2nd Edition. However, they could work for any writing program including one that is made up by the teacher. I found that using the grid for a draft paper and a final paper allowed the child to see his/her grade improving. This is encouraging to the child.
Each question on the content part of the grid gives the teacher the opportunity to give points from 1-5 or 1-10 depending on how well the child did that part of the essay. The grammar part of the grid grades spelling, punctuation, capitalization, paragraphs, paper handed in on time and following instructions. The points for the grammar part are 1-25 for each section. 

I think these grading grids are a useful tool to teachers. They make the process of grading painless. Also, they are helpful to students. They allow students to have a constant visual reminder of what is expected in a paper. I plan to use these with both of my children as they journey through high school writing. 

To see what other TOS review crew members had to say about this product, click on the banner below.

Writing with Sharon Watson Review
Blessings, Dawn


  1. Hi, Dawn! I'm so glad that giving two grades to your son has allowed him to see where he is improving and has really encouraged him. Thank you so much for your great review of 21 Grading Grids!

  2. We loved Susan's curriculum too. Great review!