Explanation of Letter Grades on Assignments

Letter Grade Explanation
C Meets the assignment, reasonably well-organized and developed, and shows some grasp of audience. However, the information delivered is thin and commonplace. Reader is not instructed. Paper is often too vague and general–general in that the confused reader asks, “In every case?” “Why?” “Exactly how many?” Opening is uninteresting to reader. The conclusion is not engaging but is pedantic. Transitions between paragraphs lack smoothness. Sentences are choppy and show little variety. Word choice is acceptable but not always precise containing tedious repetitions. Often contains errors that impede readability. Reader is not tempted to read the paper again.
B Paper is more than merely competent. Idea stated clearly but with little original thought. Few errors have escaped the writer’s attention. Reader feels instructed. Organizing principle stated clearly, and all points are unified around central idea. Opening draws reader in, and closing relates thematically to opening. Transitions are smoother than the C paper. Sentence structure is varied even though the prose may be a bit flabby and wordy. Diction is more concise and precise. Little is included to distract or disturb the reading process. Reading is a pleasure.
A Shows unusual polish and style. Surpasses the ordinary paper and is free of serious errors. The subject is very well developed with original and fresh ideas and depth of thought always with an eye to the reader. Reader feels delighted or instructed at every stage of the reading process. The title is engaging. The opening entices the reader to read on. The transitions are artful; the phrasing is tight; descriptions are telling and not general. The reader feels–for the entire length of his reading journey–that the writer is a careful, trustworthy, craftsperson. The reader feels bright, fresh, satisfied, and ready to reread the paper.
D Treatment and development of subject is only in the beginning stages. Organization is present but is neither clear nor effective. Sentences are awkward, ambiguous, and contain serious errors. Little or no evidence of careful proofreading exists. Reader feels writing was done in haste. Does not adequately respond to the assignment prompt.
F Treatment of the subject is superficial. Theme lacks organization. Prose is garbled. Mechanical errors abound. Ideas, organization, and style are well below acceptable college writing.

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