Narrative marking rubric

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Simple language

Appropriate words or word groups

Some use of figurative language

Language choice is well matched to genre.

Confident use of figurative language


Small selection of simple connectives

Repetition of nouns or unreferenced pronouns

Cohesive devices are used correctly to support reader understanding

Meaning is clear and text flows well in a sustained piece of writing.

An extended, highly cohesive piece of writing showing continuity of ideas and tightly linked sections of text.

Sentence structure

Simple sentences are correct

Meaning is predominantly clear.



Simple & compound sentences are correct

Most complex sentences are correct


All sentences are correct. Writing contains controlled and well-developed sentences that express precise meaning and are consistently effective.


Punctuation is minimal and of little assistance to the reader.

Some correct punctuation across categories

Punctuation is accurate and provides precise markers to pace and control reading of the text.


Correct spelling of:  most simple words, some common words


Correct spelling of: simple words, most common words, some difficult words.

Correct spelling of most words, including difficult and challenging words.




Text features specific to Narrative


Simple narrative:

– simple titles

– formulaic story opening


Contains sufficient information

for the reader to follow the story fairly easily

Engages the reader through deliberate choice of language and use of narrative devices

Text structure

Minimal evidence of narrative structure, eg a story beginning only or a ‘middle’ with no orientation


Contains orientation, complication and resolution


Coherent, controlled and  complete narrative, effective plot devices in the narrative structure, and including an effective ending


No use of paragraphing


Paragraphs used to separate the introduction or conclusion from the body of the narrative

All paragraphs are focused on one idea or set of like ideas and enhance the narrative



Ideas are very few and very simple

Ideas appear unrelated

All ideas relate coherently to a central storyline

Ideas are skilfully used in the service of the storyline

Character and setting

Only names characters or gives their roles


Only names the setting: (e.g. school, the place we were at) Setting is vague or confused

Suggestion of characterisation through brief descriptions or speech or feelings, but lacks

substance or continuity


Suggestion of setting through very brief and basic descriptions of place and/or time


Effective characterisation.

Details are selected to create distinct characters.


Maintains a sense of setting throughout. Details are selected to create a sense of place and atmosphere.





Details about each marking criteria

NAPLAN marking criteria


The range and precision of contextually appropriate language choices


The control of multiple threads and relationships across the text, achieved through the use of referring words, ellipsis, text connectives, substitutions and word associations


The production of grammatically correct, structurally sound and meaningful sentences


Use of correct and appropriate punctuation to aid the reading of the text


The accuracy of spelling and the difficulty of the words used

Elements specific to writing genre: Narrative


The writer’s capacity to orient, engage and affect the reader

Text structure

Text structure The organisation of narrative features including orientation, complication and resolution into an appropriate and effective text structure

Character and setting


Character: The portrayal and development of character

Setting: The development of a sense of place, time and atmosphere


Use of paragraphs that assists the reader to negotiate the narrative


The creation, selection and crafting of ideas for a narrative