Criterion Software for Editing

San Jose State has at its disposal an online electronic editing service, called Criterion, to which students have access at no cost. Papers can be downloaded on a website, at which point a text editor quickly produces an on-screen read-out with various kinds of writing errors identified. Graduate Studies has created a course – GSR290E (GSR Editing) – with the access code PD28-ZFY8 for your use.

Access to the Editor. To gain access to this service, go to the eCampus page of the Academic Technology website at and follow the following prompts for first-time registration. Under Teaching Tools on the left side of the page, select Criterion. On the Criterion page, select Student Guide for Criterion. If you later have difficulties with any part of this process, you may select Need Help? Send a Ticket on the rightmost Navigation menu and fill out a “help ticket.” When you follow the link for the Student Guide, a complete explanation of the login process for new users and returning users appears. For the first time, copy and paste the URL given (, Create Account, and fill in the fields including that for the access code: PD28-ZFY8. Then press Submit. Any subsequent time, start at this page ( rather than at the eCampus page, and simply Sign In with the use name and password you identified when you created the account.

Activating the Editor. At this point (login), a page should open with the GSREditing class shown under Classes. Click on the class and then on Assignments. Select Start Response. To enter text for editing, copy and paste from a Word document in the window at the bottom of the page. Press Response to see the analysis of writing. A dark blue header indicates the errors identified under Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, and Style. Each of those opens into a set of specific errors. Clicking on the ones with numbers in parentheses takes you to the text box below in which the error is highlighted. Passing the mouse over the highlighted text produces an explanation for the error. You must then decide whether the editor is correct so that you would change your original thesis or project writeup. To make a change, click on Revise at the bottom. With each submission, you can view the analysis under Response as you did before. Ultimately, you would copy and paste the corrected version back into your original document.

Editing Accuracy. The editor is imperfect. It misses some errors. Most of the errors it positively identifies though are indeed errors. However, one must use discretion in all cases. For example, it struggles with headers and titles, where it often calls them incomplete sentences or lacking in ending punctuation. Do not take these corrections as a way to make your paper flawless, but they can help to improve your paper if you use good judgment in choosing the suggestions to accept.