• Lim Wei Bin

Understanding the Rubrics requirement of essay writing

One of the tips to scoring well is to understand the rubrics and what are the requirements.

Begin with the end in mind, knowing the requirements and working towards them will help you to write a piece of top-class essay.

With specific direction in mind, you will be reminded subconsciously and consciously on what is lacking and could be improved on, while you are writing, or reviewing your work after writing. These guidelines can also help you to check your work and improve on it if you have extra time after finishing your paper.

Today I will be sharing with you on the requirements to write a piece of top essay. Below are the rubrics compiled (from different sources) to help you achieved the highest tier.

I will explain them in English with examples, below each explanation of the Chinese Language Rubrics.

Essay marking is split into Content and Language, which has equal weightage.

内容 16-20 (Content 16-20 marks)

充实度 – 充实、生动、说明详尽/内容完整、丰富;详略得当

(The content should be fulfilling with detailed explanation on how the story fares, this will include 5W1H [Who, Where, When, Why, What, How]. The relationships and events were elaborated clearly, there should be no loophole in the content. For eg. If a grandmother dropped 2 bags of oranges in the bus, oranges rolled everywhere. You can write no one bothered to help and you went on to help. BUT DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE BUS DRIVER, when this scenario happened, the bus driver cannot just drive off as if nothing happen. Everybody in that context is important.

The whole context should be brought to live, whereby readers can feel the presence of the scenario as if they are in the context.

Content should be complete, with a proper start of the compo, build up, climax follow by how the issue resolve or conclusion and reflection of the whole event.

The length for each part should also be taken into consideration. You should always emphasize and write more details on the important parts, whereas for the not so important parts, do not write too much. Things like morning wake up, brush your teeth, shower, wear socks and shoes [These are not supposed to be written, unless they serve a purpose]).

相关性 – 切合题意/完全切合题目的要求

Whatever you wrote into your essays, should always fit the needs of the question. My suggestion to students is always to check your planning of your essay against the question, so that you know which part you had missed out and could have inserted right at the start rather than to find it missing after you have completed it.

内容铺展 – 内容有层次,铺述清楚,有条理/选材有新意,富有想象力,描写很生动

There should be layering in terms of the structure of the composition. Structure means part by part should be clear. The ideas and how the situation or event unfold, paragraphing do helps in terms of clear illustration. Story should be neat, creative and imaginative. It should be written in a way where character and events come to live. (This should be help by your language skills and techniques).

Below I shall discuss the language used in essay writing.

语文/结构 16-20 (Language/Structure 16-20 marks)

结构和文法 – 语文顺畅,汉字的书写及标点符号的运用正确/段落分明、层次清晰、语言表达自然

Language should be smoothly written. Words should be written correctly. Punctuation should be correctly used. Paragraphing should be done correctly. Content wise should be clearly structured and layered. It should be natural.


Your sentence structure could be of different forms, you don’t have to use the same kind of structure in each sentence. There could be playing of techniques and writing skills beneath it. Techniques should be used correctly; language should be lively. You can use detailed descriptions on how a person look, the way they move, they way they think etc. The tip here is write it in a way whereby you are the character inside. That would help you to phrase and think better.


The structure should be tight, whereby the events written should be connected or answered if there are questionable details or content, please resolved them. Paragraphing should be clear, do not cut 1 part into 2, unless its clearly A and B. What I meant here is if its build up, don’t cut into 2, just because its 2 lengthy, the way you split them into 2 paragraphs should make sense.

词汇 – 词汇丰富、使用得当

There should be varieties of vocabularies used rather than using the same word again and again. Eg. Understand could be 明白,明了,懂了,晓得,了解,理解 etc, there are many ways of phrasing it even if u had to use the same word again. But again I emphasize, it depend on context as well. Is it in the written form, or during conversation writing in the essay.

组织 – 组织得当,衔接紧凑,表达顺畅,意思清楚

The structure of the essay should be smooth, paragraph to paragraph transition should be there (in short, there should be cause and effect or it should be jointed in some other ways). Your phrasings should communicate the ideas clearly.


More than 4 pages (this is contentious, to me, this is just a general guide, it should not be there in the first place, a piece of quality work should not be judge by the number of pages. Even though a good writer can always write more than that.


Reader should feel touched after reading the essays. To feel touched is wonderful, but we must not forget there are other feelings as well, eg. To laugh if a piece of humorous essays or creative concept is written.

If your essay can match all the points above, I am pretty sure you will score well.


Lin Lao Shi has a wealth of teaching experience and is a MOE-trained teacher. Trained in Differentiated Instruction, he has helped many students with different learning needs with their Chinese language. If you have any enquiry, call or message him at +65 9727 9365.

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