Business, Business writing, Career

Business Writing Tips: Developing Writing Rubrics for Employees

Remember rubrics? Nope, not the block from the 1980s filled with colorful red, yellow, green and blue squares, otherwise known as the “Rubik’s cube.” I’m talking about the rubrics teachers use. They often appear in the syllabus or at the beginning of writing assignments in schools. Well, these writing rubrics can work on the job as well to help improve employees’ business writing.

Rubrics list objectives, either measured or assessed, needed to meet a goal. Teachers often use writing rubrics for quick and efficient scoring of writing assignments. These tools represent a clear consensus of good writing and give brief and definitive descriptions of what’s required from the written document. For instance, the book “Using Rubrics to Improve Student Writing, Grade 2,” says “well-organized” won’t do. The writer needs to know what constitutes “well-organized.” So, instead saying, “Clearly states sequences of events in the story and maintains control of point of view,” is more effective. Don’t start getting fancy with the language in the rubric. It should be familiar and clear.

A rubric takes the shape of a grid, generally having five columns. The criterion for quality work are stated first in the left column. The next four columns, to the right, describe the gradations of quality. The gradations either start from excellent to poor, use letter grades or are arranged via a point system.

Rubrics have four advantages:

  • they improve performance
  • they state clear expectations
  • they define what quality means to your organization
  • and they give informative feedback about strengths and weaknesses

Rubrics are a great way to stress quality and improve the overall writing of business documents.

EXAMPLE

List Criterion for Quality  QUALITY
Phrase detailing level Points or letter gradeEx. 4 points Phrase detailing level Points or letter gradeEx. 3 points Phrase detailing level Points or letter gradeEx. 2 points Phrase detailing level Points or letter gradeEx. 1 point
Ex. Organization of the Introductory Paragraph Ex. States strong thesis statement with vivid details describing at least three main points made throughout the essay. Ex. States a thesis statement with vivid details lacking the appropriate number of points in the essay. Ex. States a weak thesis statement lacking vivid details and/or main points made throughout the essay. Ex. No thesis statement provided.
Ex. Sentence Fluency
Ex. Word Choice

Photo Credit: granur razvan ionut 

One thought on “Business Writing Tips: Developing Writing Rubrics for Employees

  1. Pingback: Business Writing Tips: Subjectivity and Good Business Writing « It is Written…BY

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