Grading Criteria

(Revised 05/02)

The following is a description of the standards by which your papers will be graded. It by no means fully describes every paper which might receive a particular grade. Exceptionally fine performances in one or more areas will raise your grade even though your paper exhibits most of the characteristics listed for a lower grade. Similarly, exceptionally poor performances in one or more areas will lower your grade even though your paper exhibits most of the characteristics listed for a higher grade. Thus, for example, a paper might fulfill the standards set for a "B" paper and contain so many errors that it would receive a "D" – or even an "F."

NOTE: The grade of "F" has been removed from the tables to help with readability. An "F" paper contains few of the virtues of the "D" paper and many of its failures, or it may be obvious and superficial in its treatment of ideas.

 

Criteria for Grading Controlling Idea

A B C D
Characteristics Single, well-defined, and insightful.
Single, well-defined, and significant.
Single and adequately defined.
Vague or confused or not related to tde rest of tde paper.

 

Criteria for Grading Organization

A B C D
Unity
Every paragraph contains a polished topic sentence that develops the controlling ideas of that paragraph; each sentence in each paragraph develops the topic sentence of that paragraph. 
Every paragraph contains a polished topic sentence that develops the controlling ideas of that paragraph; each sentence in each paragraph develops the topic sentence of that paragraph.
Every paragraph contains a topic sentence that develops the controlling idea; each sentence in each paragraph develops the topic sentence of that paragraph. Contains two major errors, for example: irrelevant sentences within paragraphs, an irrelevant paragraph, missing topic sentences.
Introduction
(Development):

contains engaging and thought provoking information narrowing to the controlling idea.
contains interesting, general information narrowing to the controlling idea.
contains general information narrowing to the controlling idea.
contains nothing but a controlling idea or the controlling idea and and some general information not precisely related to it.
Body (Development):
contains one or more paragraphs each of which has sufficient and perceptive explanations and examples supporting the paragraph's topic sentence. Completeness, insight and maturity in handling ideas.
contains one or more paragraphs each of which has sufficient and perceptive explanations and examples supporting the paragraph's topic sentence.
contains one or more paragraphs (usually three) each of which has some explanation and perhaps a few examples supporting the paragraph's topic sentence.
contains one or more paragraphs (usually three) each of which contains redundant and repetitious generalizations rather than detailed examples and explanations.
Conclusion (Development):
contains a well-phrased restatement of the controlling ideas, a concise and thoughtful summary of the main ideas covered in the paper and leads the reader to think further on the subject.
contains a well-phrased restatement of the controlling ideas, a concise and thoughtful summary of the main ideas covered in the paper and leads the reader to think further on the subject.
contains a restatement of the controlling ideas or a summary of the main ideas covered in the paper or leads the reader to think further on the subject.
contains vague general statements and sometimes introduces a new idea or ends abruptly.
Coherence The order of the paragraphs within the paper, like the order of the sentences in each paragraph is logical and effective.  Transitions between paragraphs and between sentences are implicit.
The order of the paragraphs within the paper, like the order of the sentences in each paragraph is logical and effective. Transitions between paragraphs and between sentences are implicit.
The order of the paragraphs within the paper, like the order of the sentences in each paragraph is logical.  Transitions are explicit, consisting primarily of transitional words and phrases.
The order of the paragraphs within the paper, like the order of the sentences in each paragraph is sometimes illogical and ineffective. Transitions are generally missing.

 

Criteria for Grading Style

A B C D
Sentence Structure
Sentences skillfully constructed with ease and variety.
Sentences skillfully constructed and somewhat varied.
Sentences generally simple to compound.
Sentences are simple or rambling and confused.
Diction Choice of word is idiomatic, appropriate, economical. Ease and variety in word use.
Choice of word is idiomatic, appropriate, economical and varied.
Choice of word is idiomatic, generally appropriate, but sometimes repetitious.
Choice of words is frequently unidiomatic, inappropriate, imprecise and repetitious.

 

Criteria for Grading Mechanics

A B C D
Characteristics With a few minor exceptions, grammar, punctuation, and spelling are correct.
With a few minor exceptions, grammar, punctuation, and spelling are correct.
There are several minor errors, and perhaps one or two major errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
There are numerous minor errors and several major errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling.