Grading of Essays

Guide to Grading of Essays

There will be three essays for the course. Each essay will be given a grade between A and F. The following is an approximate guide to how the grades are determined (plus or minus grades are given for work in the top or bottom of each category):

A          Only the very best work will be awarded a grade of A or A-. Such work will typically have a clear and interesting thesis that addresses the relevant question or prompt directly and is supported by a compelling argument grounded in the judicious and careful analysis of the relevant texts; it will address any relevant counter-arguments, and be without obvious errors or omissions in content, grammar and style.
B          This grade boundary reflects work that is good, but which nevertheless contains some minor weaknesses. Such work will typically have a thesis and a supporting argument, but it may for instance have a somewhat weak thesis or conclusion, contain obvious omissions in the supporting argument, or be insufficiently grounded in the judicious and careful analysis of the text.
C          This grade is awarded to work that is competent, but which does not go far enough in terms of the level of its argument or analysis to merit a higher grade. Such work may lack a clear thesis or may be focused on material that is not directly relevant to the topic at hand or may contain only a superficial attempt at analysis of the text. Work that contains frequent errors of grammar or spelling will not be awarded a higher grade than this.
D         This is a passing grade for the course. Work that merits this grade will meet the minimum standards of argument and analysis expected to pass a college-level course, but will do little more than that.
F          Work that does not address the relevant question, or does so only tangentially, or that does not demonstrate a genuine attempt to engage intellectually with the material under discussion will be awarded a grade of F.