Grading Standards--ENG 150, Rhetoric and Composition
These comments refer to the evaluation of the end product of a lengthy process--the final revised version of a paper, not the first or even the second draft. Global and local revision are vital components any student’s writing process..
An A (outstanding) paper is unique, original, engaging, and full. It will have virtually no grammatical, usage, punctuation, or spelling errors. It has an unique "voice" that reflects an individual writer behind it, and will speak with authority and clarity. It is rich in detail, showing a clear understanding of differences in levels of specificity; it provides justification or support for all general assertions. Its treatment of the topic avoids a feeling of "anonymity." It addresses the assignment directly without avoiding specific requirements.
The B (above average) paper falls short of an A paper usually in two areas: style and development. It has some errors in grammar, usage, punctuation, or spelling, but usually very few; or it has some awkward phrases--but in neither case enough to impede the reading of the paper. Its development is consistently strong, with detail and support present in most, but perhaps not every, instance. Its sense of audience is clear. The B paper addresses the assignment directly and satisfies almost all of its requirements. The B grade is not given to a paper that is not clearly and demonstrably above average.
The C (average) paper addresses the assignment directly and relatively clearly, but without significant depth or clarity. Stylistic errors may be noticeably present, but not in such quantity as to impede the reading in a significant way. A C paper generally provides some support for assertions, but not enough to give the impression of complete thoroughness. The tone and voice of a C paper are fairly clear but often lack a sense of individuality of author or sense of authority. A C paper often has an "anonymous" quality to it, restating standard opinion or assertions without going into significant depth. A C paper is in control of its subject in a reasonable but not yet comprehensive manner.
It is important to note that a C grade on a paper does not mean that the writing, or the student's performance, is in any way poor or substandard. A C means that the work is basically solid and acceptable.
A grade of C+ may be given to a paper whose elements place it in the upper range of C papers, but which is still not of B quality.
The D (below average) paper addresses the assignment only in a brief way, avoiding some of the requirements of the assignment. Many general statements without proof, support, or justification often characterize it. Its usage, grammar, punctuation, or spelling are such that reading the paper is somewhat difficult; it has more than a few such errors per page. It is kept from being an F paper by the fact that it does address the assignment in some way and that it has some structure and does make coherent points.
An F paper has many grammatical, stylistic, punctuation, usage, or diction errors (enough to make reading the paper difficult); it makes few if any coherent assertions about the point; it has little structure; or it has any combination of these problems. A paper which may be acceptable in style and development, but which does not address the assignment at all, may also be given a grade of F.
(Based on materials from Miami
University Composition Program)