Grades will be computed on the following standard scale:
A+ 97.5% and above B+ 87.5% and above C+ 77.5% and above D+ 67.5% and above
A 92.5% and above B 82.5% and above C 72.5% and above D 60% and above
A- 90% and above B- 80% and above C- 70% and above E below 60%
Good writing relies on argument, evidence, and what William Strunk Jr. (http://cstw.osu.edu/) called the “elements of style.” An A paper is distinguished by an original, compelling argument; a judicious use of well-digested evidence; and an effortless command of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. A B paper is marked by an argument that is well-crafted, but predictable; evidence that is appropriately placed but inadequately exploited; and serviceable but not seductive prose. A C paper is characterized by a loose or regurgitated argument; mechanical citation and support; and awkward paragraph structure, repetitive constructions, lapses into colloquialism, and overuse of the passive, adverbs, and the exclamatory voice. A D paper is marred by assertions rather than argument; the misreading or misuse of evidence; and simple grammatical and spelling mistakes. An E paper lacks an argument; shows no familiarity with relevant evidence; and has consistent problems with basic sentence construction.
Participation involves preparing for class, listening to your colleagues, and contributing to the discussion in process. It does not mean showing off, monopolizing the conversation, or asserting your prejudices. An A means that you have read the material carefully and that you are ready to summarize its argument, ask questions, and offer a critique; that you are attentive to the ongoing discussion and your colleagues’ contributions; and that your own contributions build on the discussion by making links, asking questions, or revealing aspects that have not been previously apparent. A B means that you have read the material and are an attentive, active participant in the discussion, but that your contributions remain within the boundaries set by the materials, your colleagues, or common sense. A C means that you have read the material, but that your contributions are occasional and out-of-focus. A D means that you have only skimmed through the material, and that your contributions are either minimal or off-point and distracting. An E means that you show no familiarity with the material, that you make no effort to contribute to the discussion, or that you continuously disrupt the work of the class as a whole.
Late papers.Extensions for the paper are granted to those students presenting valid and verifiable excuses, preferably at least one day before the due date of the assignment. Papers that are received late without just cause or without a previously approved extension will be graded down per day late.