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UIUC GER 251 - Grading Standards

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GER 251/CWL 254/ENG 266 Grading Standards These are the criteria we use when evaluating your examinations, essay-format quizzes, and in-class participation/preparedness. The descriptions below explain the qualities work in each category is likely to have. We will do our best over the semester to help you realize your potential as a critical thinker, so please consult us whenever you have questions about any aspect of the class. "A" Work is Excellent (A = 93-100; A- = 90-92)Examinations and other work in this range speak with a lively and intelligent voice, have something interesting to say that goes beyond issues we have discussed in class, and/or cast new light on those issues. This work is well organized, fully developed, and has few or no mechanicalerrors. Sentences are clear and unambiguous and, ideally, stylistically elegant. An "A" examination demonstrates detailed understanding of the texts under discussion and supports claims with examples whenever necessary. The essay responses in the best "A" exams are clear, relatively complex, and immediately engaging. The student who does “A” work in class has not only read the assigned texts with care, but has prepared them actively, taking notes."B" Work is Very Good (B+ = 88-89; B = 83-87; B- = 80-82)Essays and short answers on examinations in this range have a clear thesis, effective organization, and good continuity. Students who do “B” work present ideas that are reasonable and with well-supported claims. "B" work is solid but not striking; the student has a definite point to make and makes it competently. Essays in this range may contain minor mechanical errors, but no major ones; the style may be slightly awkward at times. Students who do “B” workare clearly well prepared and have read all assigned texts actively. "C" Work is Passing (C+ = 78-79; C = 73-77; C- = 70-72)Examinations and other work in this range typically suffers from relatively weak or fuzzy argumentation; if the arguments are solid, they remain undeveloped, or weak logic undermines an otherwise solid effort. A "C" examination may display some confusion about what the text at hand actually says or insufficient understanding of the issues under discussion. Organization in essay responses may be haphazard or intermittent. If examples are offered, they typically do not support claims well. "C" work will usually contain minor mechanical errors and perhaps some major ones. Often potentially good ideas remain latent and underexplained. A "C" is, however, genuinely not a poor grade; rather, it is an indication that the student needs to develop his or her thinking more thoroughly. Consulting the instructor for additional help is recommended. "D" Work is Poor (D = 60-69)Examinations and other work in this range reflect either a lack of effort or a lack of basic writing skills, or both. Essays and short answers either have no point to make or lose their purpose early on. Essays may have no thesis, major mechanical problems, poor organization, serious misreadings, and/or other serious shortcomings. The student should consult the instructor. If the student genuinely has poor writing skills, he/she likely can improve by consulting a tutor at the Writers Workshop (http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/; appointments available at 333-8796, or on a drop-in basis)."F" Work is Failing (F = 59 and below)Examinations and other work in this range show general weaknesses even graver than those of "D" work, or this work is plagiarized in whole or in


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