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Course Projects & Grading

We do a lot of reading, writing, and revising in this course, and we will review and discuss your work at various stages in its production. You should plan ahead in order to stay abreast of the course calendar and to allow time for the most important parts of the writing processes: rereading, revising, and rethinking. The revision process that occurs between your first and final drafts usually requires attention to several elements, such as critical thinking, mechanics, tone, and arrangement, and our grading criteria includes an evaluation of your initiative and follow-through in the revising process. Your evaluations and grades also include in-class writing and your timely, substantive, and professional feedback in peer-editing workshops.

Each major assignment must be completed to receive a passing grade in the course. Deadlines are negotiable only in cases of a documented medical emergency; without prior arrangements, late work will be marked down one letter grade for every day it is late.

Grading and Evaluation Criteria

Your contributions to the intellectual life of our class:

  • Raising interesting, relevant, and generative questions that help us understand issues under discussion
  • Being respectful
  • Active & empathetic listening (excellent background on Listening and Critical Thinking), which includes eye contact and appropriate body language, which are seen as important components to active listening
  • Please refrain from “playing devil’s advocate.” The devil has enough advocates. Instead, take responsibility for positions that you hold or for “thinking aloud” if that is what you wish to do. If you are looking for ways to express that you want to know what dominant culture thinks about “x” or “y” topic, go ahead and ask it in that way.

All of the writing and document design you do in this class is evaluated with this criteria in mind:

  • Your ability to articulate an intended rhetorical effect, and the steps taken to achieve that effect
  • Your attention to the rhetorical situation and your ability to adapt to multiple audiences
  • Your effective and appropriate use of visuals
  • Your ability to edit and revise

A The writing is exceptional. This is the kind of text that might  lead to promotions in the workplace. It is professional and reflects the writer’s careful consideration of audience and purpose. It contains all necessary information, is written in an appropriate and engaging style, is memorable, and its delivery is visually appealing. It is free of mechanical errors.

B The text is strong. It would be considered acceptable in professional contexts. It too reflects consideration of the rhetorical situation. It is generally above average in terms of the criteria mentioned above, but falls short of excellent in one or more category. It is free of mechanical errors.

C The text is competent. It would probably be returned for revision in professional contexts. It is generally average in terms of the major criteria listed above. It  has few mechanical errors.

D The text is weak. It would probably get the writer into a bad situation in professional contexts. It falls below average in terms of one or more of the major criteria.

F Pink Slip