Course Grading Policies


Assignment Grades are as follows: 


4.00 or an A
3.70 or an A-


3.30 or a B+
3.00 or a B
2.70 or a B-


2.30 or a C+
2.00 or a C
1.70 or a C-


1.30 or a D+
1.00 or a D
 0.70 or a D-


0.00 or an F =  Missing or unacceptable work

Note: Each assignment has a weighted unit value and is multiplied by the GPA value above.

Unlike essay writing, technical writing is defined by a set of standards often rendered as document templates. Faithfully following prescriptions for documents is often portrayed as the exclusive or single goal of technical writing. It is not. However, document templates will help you organize your ideas by offering a working outline. These templates also provide for transitions among ideas. As you will see in the following grading criteria, emphasis is placed on the writer clearly defining the audience, rhetoric development, clearly presenting the purpose, and a professional presentation of each document.

All assignments are graded using a standardized rubric and are assessed as follows:

A: The overall communication and presentation show a high level of understanding and perspective. This assignment should be well-conceived and descriptive. The author must have a clear understanding of the audience. The work's purpose and objectives are clearly and convincingly stated. Concise background material clearly sets the context, frames, and introduces the subject. Technical content themes are logically stated and organized and support the overall objective. Data and descriptions are objectively stated and separated from interpretations Content is detailed and suggestive. Conclusions are persuasive and well-supported by the data. The prose is easy to read. Exhibits a defined sense of unity and purpose. Includes topic, paragraph, and sentence transitions, and contains no major and few minor grammatical or technical errors. Graphics, when used, are highly informative, well-designed, and easy to interpret. The document template is used flawlessly.

A-: Generally means you meet all criteria for an 'A' except presentation and problems with one or two criteria. Audience and purpose may be clear, for instance, but you failed to develop an idea. For example, a proposal that addresses the criteria provided in an RFP (Request For Proposal) but fails to develop a section pertaining to the budget.

B+: Exceeds the criteria for a 'B' in one or more areas. For example, the purpose of the paper may possess greater clarity. Audience is clearly identified and the contexts governing the explanation and interpretation of the information are well-detailed. Greater consistency in execution than a 'B'; better paragraph development and coherence among sentences for example.

B: Paper presents content clearly and displays a firm grasp of the material but without as much focus and perspective as an 'A' paper. Successful effort is evident throughout the paper. Slight inconsistencies in identifying audience. The work's purpose and technical objectives may be somewhat ill-defined. Background material sets the context, frames, and introduces the subject. While well-written and adequately detailed, some sections may lack complete development and coherence. Unevenness in presentation and content. No major grammatical errors; some minor grammatical errors but none that disrupt an easy reading of the paper. Graphics are informative, intelligible and support the content of the paper. The document template used may be missing a minor element.

B-: A lack of connection among, for example, audience and purpose. A number of presentation errors affect the meaning of the sentences or structure of the text. A somewhat stronger relationship among the elements of the paper -- audience, purpose, content, style -- than a "C" paper. Still, the paper lacks full development of ideas and demonstrates some problems weaving together a complete understanding of the content with a clearly identified audience, purpose, and context.

C+: Exceeds the criteria for a 'C' in one or more areas. Perhaps more imagination in thought and explanation. Greater consistency in determining audience, purpose and objective. Fewer errors in technical content and somewhat greater coherence in the presentation and the conclusion. Fewer grammatical and cosmetic errors. An easier read than the 'C' paper.

C: Displays a reasonable grasp of the technical content but little original thought. The purpose of the work is inconsistently presented. The audience cannot be clearly identified. While understandable, the purpose and objective are not presented in relationship to the context set in the opening. Treatment of the topic is general. Lapses exist in coherence, organization, and development. Contains errors in technical content. Technical content marginally supports the conclusion. Some major grammatical errors and frequent minor grammatical errors. The paper is difficult to read and lack flow. Graphics do not support content objectives. The document template used may be missing a major element; a required section of a proposal for example.

C-: The elements of the paper -- audience, purpose, content, style -- are unclear and appear unrelated. For example, a final report about a weapons controversy may deal with a number of different systems in only a cursory way. No explanations are given about how the topics of the paper lead to one another. Presentation errors suggest no revision.

D+, D-, D, or F: I will ask you revise 'D' or 'F' papers until you receive, minimally, a 'C'. You have the choice of whether or not to revise. If you choose not to revise, you will receive a failing grade.