Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Grading Rubric

Grading is a part of the course in which I do not necessarily find pleasure. While I enjoy responding to your essays and helping you improve your writing and deepen your thinking, having to put a letter at the end as sort of a final act is not fun. Still, grades are necessary parts of a college education, and after teaching for several years, I do have a clear sense of how to grade particular essays. It is my responsibility to be as clear as possible to you about how I grade and what you need to do to receive the grade you want. This rubric is meant to stimulate discussion between us about what makes strong writing. Let's go over your assignments together and talk about what to do to improve them. Use this as a starting place for learning and a guide as you draft and revise.

A "C" Essay:
  • Meets the general requirements of the prompt,
  • Follows a clear organizational plan,
  • Centers on a thesis or controlling purpose,
  • Uses concrete and specific details,
  • Provides supporting reasons and information,
  • Exhibits a basic sense of structure, and
  • Displays few grammatical and stylistic errors that do not impede meaning.
A "B" Essay:
  • Meets the requirements of the prompt fully,
  • Follows a clear organizational plan that does not feel rigid or confining,
  • Focuses on a specific and clear thesis or controlling purpose,
  • Uses concrete and specific details so that almost all reader questions are addressed,
  • Provides a range of supporting information, and
  • Displays strong sentence styles and structures.
An "A" Essay:
  • Goes beyond the requirements of the prompt,
  • Exhibits an original and insightful perspective,
  • Includes rich and vivid details that do not feel extraneous or overbearing,
  • Flows freely and never causes the reader to stumble or pause,
  • Explains ideas completely yet succinctly, and
  • Follows rules of grammar while also using a variety of sentence styles and structures.
A "D" Essay:
  • Generates text without much connection to the prompt,
  • Shows some problems in organization,
  • Follows tangents and irrelevant points,
  • Uses few details or only keeps things abstract,
  • Provides few reasons for support, and
  • Exhibits a disregard for sentence structure and grammar that impedes meaning.
An "E" Essay:
  • Does not meet the general requirements of the prompt including page length,
  • Uses little or no detail or support,
  • Does not display a clear plan for organization, and
  • Exhibits a clear and obvious disregard for sentence structure and style that impedes meaning.

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