My overall  Criteria for giving Letter Grades in this course

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 the Procedures for Grading Written Work

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                      Writing (Proficiency) Criteria[especially COST1610, 5899]

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 Procedures used for grading written work

>  Tests, Papers, Portfolios & most  written projects are all graded "anonymously" --i.e. with the writer's name covered over. This is done to help promote objectivity in grading.

>  Green Ink is often used for grading due to its having "calmer" connotations than red ink. [i.e. nonverbal communication in action!]

> Abbreviations are likely to be used.  Most "translations" can be found on the Commonly Used Abbreviations page.

>   As with many Professors, there is a "24--48 hour rule".  Requests for appointments for the purpose of discussing a graded item (test/paper/speech)  cannot be made for at least 24 hours after the graded item has been returned.  No discussion about the item will occur until after this minimum time period.

>  The comments & annotations written on your papers also constitute instructional aspects of the course. Therefore, any corrections/guidelines/suggestions you receive are expected to be incorporated into all future written work.   (including online quizzes)

>   If you do not understand an annotation or comment, you should ask for clarification.

>   Refer to the section below for greater insights into this professor's connotations for a particular letter grade.




The Criteria used for giving Letter Grades (for presentations, etc) :

In case you were wondering how I determine the letter grades that I use...

        a. Conform to the assigned type (e.g. Oral Interp, Informative, Persuasive, etc.)

b. Conform to the assigned time limit

c. Exhibit clear organization & planning. (in speech presentations, this includes adequate supports for the thesis statement)

d. Fulfill particular specifications for that assignment (e.g. use of visual aids, use of statistics, etc.)

e. Present valid information & credible evidence

f. Exhibit effectiveness in the aspects of message delivery -- including vocal, physical, grammatical, audience-centeredness, etc

g. Exhibit preparation and thoughtful effort

h. Include an on-time submission of a correctly-prepared Analysis Paper/Extemporaneous Outline {or other assigned submission(s) 




a. Be of more than average "stimulation" (i.e. be more of a challenge to the audience to think & intellectually respond)

b. Contain elements of vividness & special interest for audience

c. Demonstrate skill in the effective coverage of more difficult or challenging material.

d. Establish a rapport with the audience, through style & delivery (with which the speaker can achieve an "interactive", communication experience.)



a. Constitute a genuinely unique approach to affecting the thinking of the audience

b. Achieve a performance flexibility, naturalness & adaptability (As appropriate for the particular material & audience)

c. Demonstrate a "mastery" of all delivery skills--including internal transitions and use of emphasis

d. Exhibit skill in structuring the presentation in a way that strategically moves the audience through the necessary mental & emotional processes


 Yes, these are demanding criteria which explains why I often use "plusses" and "minuses".



Additional grading criteria for classes including Writing Proficiency(    e.g Senior Seminar, Dynamics of Human Communication)

>   An "A" Paper {...exceptional...}

- provides interesting and relevant thought points for the reader (even for one who is well versed in the subject)

- expresses complex & nuanced insights & connections among concepts

- analyzes &/or applies previously studied principles and ideas

- exhibits good language skills: strong vocabulary / structural competence / creative but accurate phraseology

- uses grammar & mechanics in an error-free manner and provides an effortless experience for the reader


>   A "B" Paper   {... effectively competent...}

- attempts some complexity & nuanced distinction among ideas

- provides  a clear  point/ thesis which is developed, not merely stated

- demonstrates clear organization and understanding of structure

- exhibits good language skills: strong vocabulary / structural competence / creative but accurate phraseology

- uses grammar & mechanics in an essentially error-free manner & reader's experience is mostly smooth


>   A "C" Paper  {... minimally competent...}

- meets the basic expectation for this level of study [e.g. introductory, advanced, capstone, etc]

- expresses a point although possible simplistic or unclear

- demonstrates recognizable organization, although might contain problems in logical sequence of points

- exhibits adequate language skills, however, without much insight or sophistication

- uses grammar and mechanics correctly with only minor problems


>   An "D" Paper  {... marginal ...}

- provides some valid points but the reader must work hard to find them

- has at least one valid core point, although it may not be fully clear

- exhibits a difficult-to-follow structure /\ Ideas do not lead clearly from one point to the next.

- language usage is "off"

- exhibits consistent and/or serious errors in grammar and mechanics  [ e.g. comma splice, fragment, run-on, etc]

>   An "F" Paper   {...missed the mark...}

- does not fulfill the assignment

- does not present an apparent point or clear direction

- exhibits serious errors and lack of understanding of the expectations for a college level paper.  Minimal grammatical competence is expected of all students.


>   NB: Work submitted after due date might not be accepted or read at all


>   NB: Any submission exhibiting any degree of plagiarism [incremental copy-&-paste as well as full scale lifting] will result in a zero for the paper and possibly an "F" for the course (see Communication Department statement on Academic Integrity.)




page last updated: 10/2014