Rubrics can be very helpful to students as they embark on their writing assignments. In a rubric you find descriptions of each level of work, from below Basic, at or above Basic, at or above Proficient, and Advanced (from NAEP). When you share these rubrics with students they have an idea of what they need to do be considered Basic, Proficient, or Advanced. When you share exemplars of each level, students gain an even better idea of what to do in their writing assignment. They often try harder and do more research when they know what you are looking for.