Grading a Short Story: A Checklist

A few days ago I posted some notes on grading stories for my high school creative writing class. A couple people wanted to see my list, so here it is. It has been through several versions as I have added more detailed questions based on the kinds of errors I see in student stories.

Keep in mind that the stories I grade are written by novice writers for a high school elective class. The questions are very basic. I am not suggesting in any way that these same questions are a valid way to evaluate the stories of more experienced writers.

You will notice the first item: Is it a story? This may seem like a ‘duh’ question, but I occasionally receive strange documents that bear little resemblance to a story. If a student hands it in, and it’s a story, they get half the points. The remaining points are harder to win. When I compare the results of a checklist assessment with my gut feeling about a story, they are usually pretty close. If you can think of any questions to add, please suggest them!

A Checklist for Grading Short Stories More
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