Characteristics to note in the guide:

  • Language is descriptive, not evaluative.
  • This guide is less formal than a rubric while providing guidelines.

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Grading Guide

Note: Papers not turned in on or before the due date will lose one-half grade per day late--no exceptions.

A Paper: This paper does not just fulfill the assignment, it also has something original and important to say and the points it makes are supported well. It is organized effectively, develops smoothly, and it is written clearly and correctly. It is based on data or a review of the literature clearly related to the points it has to make. The sources cited are authoritative, current, and appropriate in scope and quantity. Findings from the literature are integrated into a readable essay. The conclusion suggests that the writer has synthesized the literature, reflected on it and arrived at a position, stand or perspective on the topic. It is correct in mechanics and APA citation style.

B Paper: This paper fulfills the assignment well. Its general idea is clear and it is effectively presented. It handles its sources well, with no serious errors of fact or interpretation. It reports on adequate literature, but sources are not as authoritative or current as they should be. Generally, the paper is correct in usage, appropriate in style, and correct in mechanical standards of writing, including bibliographic citation.

C Paper: This paper is adequate to fulfill the assignment, but it might be better described as an annotated bibliography. Points may be hard to follow and the paper may be poorly organized (e.g., unbroken narrative with no headings or clear relationships; literature review that summarize sources in sequence instead of synthesizing points supported by references). Sources of information are poorly chosen -- insufficient in number, of inappropriate types, too old, lacking in authority, etc. There may be errors in usage, the style may be inappropriate for the assignment, or there may be errors in mechanics of writing or citation.

D Paper. This paper meets only the minimum requirement of the assignment. The paper may lack adequate focus and instead attempt to cover too broad a topic. There may be serious error of fact or interpretation. Cited information comes from no authoritative sources in this field. Citations are incomplete or inaccurate or are formatted incorrectly.

F Paper: This paper does not fulfill the assignment. It may omit important material lying within its declared scope or make repeated errors of fact or interpretation.