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Grading Standards

What follows is meant to help students understand departmental expectations regarding the grading of course assignments. These are general expectations, but specifics will vary depending on the needs and assignments of course level, course type, and subject area.

Students have the responsibility to attend carefully to course syllabi, assignment descriptions, and oral instructions in class and in conference regarding the evaluation of course assignments. There may be additional sources of information, such as written comments on essay assignments and additional documentation on course web sites.

Some of the differences in expectations may be found in such areas as: greater outside research needed for upper level seminar writing assignments as well as expectations regarding exams and written assignments for language-related courses, as opposed to other types of courses.

A+     Work of the highest distinction, rarely awarded.


A       Excellent grasp of material, precise and sophisticated execution of assignment, reasonably free of errors. In addition, where applicable, great originality, depth of insight, and thoroughness of research will characterize work at this level.


B       Fulfillment of main criteria of assignment demonstrating good grasp of material, with high level of execution with some room for improvement. Where applicable, work at this level does not contain the same level of originality, insight, or thoroughness of research as work evaluated at the ‘A’ level.


C       Fulfillment of a good portion of the criteria of assignment demonstrating promising but incomplete grasp of material, with fair execution leaving room for improvement. Where applicable, work at this level contains some originality and insight, and research remains rudimentary.


D       Fulfillment of some of the criteria of assignment with poor grasp of material, and poor execution of assignment. Where applicable, work lacks originality, insight, and is deficient in research.


F       Work that fails to fulfill basic requirements of assignment, remains largely incomplete with little grasp of material, and fails to execute required elements properly.