EALL Grading Policy
While agreeing that there is value in developing consistent grading criteria, the faculty of EALL feel that no one grading system can encompass the distinct learning goals associated with our different course offerings. Instead, we offer the following explanation of what areas instructors consider when assigning grades. Individual faculty have the discretion to weight various aspects of each course differently to achieve desired learning outcomes depending on the goals of the specific course.
Because students come into language classes with a broad diversity of linguistic backgrounds, final grades take into account proficiency as well as the degree of improvement of various language skills.
Factors taken into consideration:
- Oral production of language: successful completion of task; inclusion of new vocabulary and grammatical forms; pronunciation, intonation, fluency and naturalness of speech , appropriateness of register; apppriateness of body language; complexity of ideas communicated.
- Written production of language: successful completion of task; inclusion of new vocabulary, expressions, grammatical forms and structures; accuracy of grammar, diction, and orthography; complexity, coherence, and flow of longer written units.
- Aural and Reading comprehension: the ability to answer questions about information learned through written texts or oral speech.
- Daily preparation of homewor
- Active participation in class activities
The following is based on standards developed by the Bok Center at Harvard University. When grading papers, the grader focuses on four major areas: thesis, use of evidence, design (organization), and basic writing skills (grammar, mechanics, spelling).
The A Paper.
The A paper has a distinctive thesis that lays out a significant issue covered in the course. The evidence is well chosen, cited properly and supports the writer’s argument. The paper is well-structured and develops the author’s individual perspective on the topic. It may have a proofreading error or two, or even a misspelled word, but the reader feels that these errors are the consequence of the normal accidents all good writers encounter. Reading the paper, we can feel a mind at work. We are convinced that the writer cares for his or her ideas, and about the language that carries them.
The A+ paper goes beyond the materials assigned for the course and / or develops ideas presented in the course in a significant and distinct direction that bring new insights to bear on materials/ concepts discussed in class. For graduate papers, an A+ represents a significant contribution to the field.
The A- paper is similar to an A paper with a less distinctive thesis and more mechanical errors.
The B Paper.
The content of a B paper typically follows course materials (either readings or lectures) very closely. The thesis is less distinctive and provocative than an A paper. The reader of a B paper knows exactly what the author wants to say. It is well organized, it presents a worthwhile and interesting idea, and the idea is supported by sound evidence presented in a neat and orderly way. Some of the sentences may not be elegant, but they are clear, and in them thought follows naturally on thought. The paragraphs may be unwieldy now and then, but they are organized around one main idea. The reader does not have to read a paragraph two or three times to get the thought that the writer is trying to convey.
The B paper is always mechanically correct. The spelling is good, and the punctuation is accurate. Above all, the paper makes sense throughout. It has a thesis that is limited and worth arguing. It does not contain unexpected digressions, and it ends by keeping the promise to argue and inform that the writer makes in the beginning
The B+ paper is a very well written summation of ideas and materials discussed in class but does not go beyond any of the exact examples discussed in class.
The B- paper is similar to a B paper but with a less significant thesis and more mechanical errors.
The C Paper.
The C paper has a thesis, but it is vague and broad, or else it is uninteresting or obvious. It does not advance an argument that anyone might care to debate. “Henry James wrote some interesting novels.” “Modern cities are interesting places.”
The thesis in the C paper often hangs on some personal opinion. If the writer is a recognized authority, such an expression of personal taste may be noteworthy, but writers gain authority not merely by expressing their tastes but by justifying them. Personal opinion is often the engine that drives an argument, but opinion by itself is never sufficient. It must be defended.
The C paper rarely uses evidence well; sometimes it does not use evidence at all. Even if it has a clear and interesting thesis, a paper with insufficient supporting evidence is a C paper.
The C paper often has mechanical faults, errors in grammar and spelling, but please note: a paper without such flaws may still be a C paper.
The C+ paper has a more interesting or significant thesis than a C paper but does not provide appropriate evidence to support the thesis.
In addition to the weaknesses listed above, the C- paper engages with texts assigned for the course but does not reflect any of the major themes or methodologies discussed in the class.
The Unsatisfactory Paper.
The D or F paper either has no thesis or else it has one that is strikingly vague, broad, or uninteresting. There is little indication that the writer understands the material being presented. The paragraphs do not hold together; ideas do not develop from sentence to sentence. This paper usually repeats the same thoughts again and again, perhaps in slightly different language but often in the same words. The D or F paper is filled with mechanical faults, errors in grammar, and errors in spelling.
D papers show some familiarity with the content of the course.
An F will be given in cases of plagiarism or when the paper shows only a minimal connection to the course leading the instructor to wonder if the student made any effort to learn anything new in the course.
EALL Grading Rubric
97% to 100% = A+
94% to 97% = A
90% to 94% = A-
87% to 90% = B+
84% to 87% = B
80% to 84% = B-
77% to 80% = C+
74% to 77% = C
70% to 74% = C-
67% to 70% = D+
64% to 67% = D
60% to 64% = D-
59% or below = F