Grading criteria for all assignments 2000-level and above:
A passing grade on any assignment first assumes competence in the mechanics of standard written English.
C To earn a “C,” a student must:
- Respond to the constraints of the assignment.
- Focus on the topic.
- Provide a clear thesis.
- Maintain a tone appropriate for a scholarly audience.
- Order essay logically, from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, idea to idea.
- Provide sufficient evidence and detail throughout the essay.
- Have sufficient control of standard written English and MLA guidelines such that errors, including any in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting, if present, do not cause serious confusion and/or distraction.
- Provide adequate, reliable, and relevant secondary documentation, where applicable.
- Demonstrate an understanding of context and purpose in relating secondary sources to paper’s claims/ideas.
- Exhibit nearly error-free incorporation of documentation into the body of the essay.
B To earn a “B,” a student must meet the minimum requirements for a “C” essay plus:
- Provide a well-framed and insightful thesis.
- Recognize complexities and show evidence of serious consideration of the topic.
- Support most points with appropriate, well-analyzed examples and intelligent arguments.
- Show logical development and organization throughout.
- Offer writing that is relatively free of grammatical and technical errors.
- Provide substantive and relevant documentation, where applicable, in support of most claims/ideas.
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of context and purpose in relating secondary sources to
paper’s claims/ideas where applicable.
- Exhibit error-free and varied incorporation of documentation into the body of the essay.
A To earn an “A,” a student must meet the minimum requirements for a “B” essay plus:
- Provide a sophisticated thesis that demonstrates independent thinking.
- Support all claims/ideas with appropriate, fully analyzed examples and compelling, insightful
- Show persuasive logical development and organization throughout.
- Maintain a distinctive voice and consistent viewpoint that incorporates interesting and varied style.
- Provide secondary sources, where applicable, that demonstrate independent research in the field.
- Enter into meaningful dialogue with secondary sources, such that the student is not just proving
someone else’s point but developing original ideas in relation to research material.
D A “D” grade results from:
- Failing to respond clearly to the assignment, or
- A lack of qualities listed under the minimum requirements for a “C,” or
- Insufficient control of standard written English, resulting in substantial errors that cause confusion or
F An “F” grade results from:
- Two or more of the problems listed in “D” above.