Some characteristics of:
An A paper
· Demonstrates not just an adequate, but a thorough knowledge of its subject.
· Is based on an unusually acute perception of the possibilities in its subject; uses the most persuasive arguments and responds skillfully to the most persuasive counter‑arguments.
· Develops its argument in a provocative or even an original manner.
· Possesses highly effective organization.
· Is not just accurate but felicitous in expression.
· Has effective sentence emphasis as well as effective rhetorical emphasis.
· Has an individual style or “voice.”
· Carefully avoids jargon and clichés.
A B paper
· Has an effective organization, including a clearly stated thesis and appropriate evidence to support it; the paper does not, for instance, merely follow the chronological order of a text or rehash a series of lectures.
· Has rhetorical emphasis.
· Uses clear sentence structure and correct diction: sometimes, however, sentences may lack variety or power, and sometimes word choice may be proper but dull.
· Shows a command of the principles of grammar and punctuation.
· Makes an adequate response to possible counter‑arguments.
C paper (Remember George Bush was a AC@ student! You could be president some day...)
· Does NOT show a pattern of major grammatical mistakes (it often reveals, however, a less than perfect understanding of grammar). Essays with major consistent problems of expression should not be considered “C” work, regardless of their content.
· Has at least a fundamental organization; its thesis is apparent, although it may not be precisely state or fully supported.
· Contains no errors in logic that directly damage presentation or substantiation of its thesis.
· Often shows a lack of economy: unnecessary words in a sentence, unnecessary sentences in a paragraph.
· Often has a “voice” that sounds anonymous, lifeless, and/or unengaging.
· Sentences may often be stilted and laborious.
A D Paper
· Lacks an organizing principle.
· Does not advance beyond the very obvious.
· Is frequently unclear.
· Shows a pattern of major grammatical mistakes.
An F Paper
· Fails to address the assigned topic, or shows no commitment to facts or text.
· Shows a fundamental ignorance of the structure of English sentences, or disdains the basic principles of their construction.
· Is so poorly phrased that its argument can be understood only with difficulty.
· Is plagiarized
(Note: any one of these four characteristics justifies an “F”, and plagiarism always does.)