Grades for the CourseYour final grade will be calculated in one of two ways:
- If you pass the final portfolio process and have submitted all required annotations, drafts, peer reviews and revisions, your top three grades, plus a second instance of your highest grade, will be divided by four. This means the lowest grade of a submitted and revised essay will be dropped and the highest grade will take its place. YOU MAY NOT SKIP ANY WORK AND DROP THAT GRADE! Additionally, if you earn at least a 2.0, miss no more than two classes and have met the above criteria, you will earn up to a 0.3 bonus.
- If one or more essays do not pass the final portfolio process, your final grade will be an average of the four essay grades along with a 0.0 for the portfolio grade which will also be part of the average. You will NOT receive greater than a 1.0
Department Grading Criteria, known as "Garrison."An "A" paper . . .
- Conveys immediately the person behind the words: an individual voice speaking clearly from the page;
- Has a title and lead that work together smoothly to indicate the direction, scope, and tone of the whole piece.
- Readers feel the writer's assurance and have no doubt about what is being communicated. Offers an original and engaging focus; Is packed with information and pertinent detail. Carefully chosen examples have a "just right" feel to them. Vivid language, deft comparisons, and colorful images both please and inform;
- Organizes the material smoothly, logically. Readers do not stumble or hesitate over the sequence of facts or ideas; Has varied sentences, with rhythm and emphasis appropriate to the meaning. Phrasing is often fluent, even graceful, and the sentences read well aloud;
- Offers accurte word choices, especially verbs, that are consistent, unambiguous, and sensitive to connotations;
- Has appropriate, helpful punctuation;
- Displays next to no errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.
An "A" paper is not necessarily flawless; there is no such thing in writing. But it reflects a writer who is in full control of the material and the language.
A “B” paper has many of the fine qualities of an “A” paper, but . . .
- the voice and tone are less apparent, though the writing is ultimately successful;
- the introduction fulfills its purpose, though readers may sense that it hasn’t delivered on its promise or that it could be more developed;
- the thesis is specific and controls the paper, though the writer may not explicitly connect the supporting evidence to the thesis;
- the information is integrated effectively, with only an occasional awkward passage;
- the analysis is effective, though it would benefit from a little more commentary and insight ;
- the writing exhibits clarity of expression, with only an occasional lapse into wordiness or cliché;
- diction is largely effective, though verbs may lack energy and action;
- syntax and mechanics are mostly successful: very few errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation characterize the prose.
A “B” paper reflects a writer still developing mastery over his or her material and style.
A "C" paper has a number of these characteristics . . .
- a thesis controls the paper, though it may be awkwardly worded or vague; the focus may occasionally digress in such a way as to distract readers;
- organization is occasionally tangled or difficult to follow; information is adequate, though the development may lack concrete detail or be too general, inappropriate, or repetitive;
- sentences have little structural variety, and phrases may often be awkwardly placed;
- diction may lapse into wordiness or clichés;
- some errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation may distract the reader.
A "C" paper will do: it's adequate, but it gives readers the impression of fuzziness or of the writer’s lack of assurance. Readers must work to understand what they are reading.
A "D" paper has has a number of these characteristics . . .
- writer's haste, carelessness, lack of attention, or inability to craft direct or even simple sentences;
- is not adequate in the categories listed above for C, B or A papers;
- may make sense, but only when readers struggle to find that sense. The writer obviously has scant control of the material;
- displays multiple grammar and spelling errors and often a sloppy visual presentation as well.
A “D” paper compels readers to work unnecessarily hard to comprehend the essay.
An "F" paper . . .
- is unacceptable because it contains plagiarized material, shows a complete misunderstanding of the assignment whatever its quality, or its prose fails to meet the basic communication requirements of standard written English.
Particular criteria and expectations will be provided with each assignment.