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 
    arguments.
  • 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 
    incoherence. 
F    An “F” grade results from:
  • Two or more of the problems listed in “D” above.