History 6A - paper grading - "Really, I think the best...

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"Really, I think the best thing that the students could have done to improve their papers would have been to read them aloud to themselves or each other. Some of the errors seemed so far removed from what the students would say in class. .. I wonder what happens when they try to write things down. Certainly, too, if you can't say things out loud without feeling embarrassed or silly, it's probably not a good thing to include in a paper." This sort of comment always crops up in grading papers. Here is something to remember: "Young writers often suppose that style is a garnish for the meat of prose, a sauce by which a dull dish is made palatable. Style has not such separate self; it is non-detachable from content. ... The approach to [good] style is by way of plainness, simplicity, orderliness, and sincerity." -- Elements of Style Here is how we grade for 6A: An A represents a good synthesis of the relevant material plus some pushing of the material to a higher or deeper level. (If you're not sure what a "higher or deeper level" would mean, please consult your GSI.) An A paper should be generally free of grammatical mistakes and it should put forward its argument in a coherent fashion that is free of repetition and clutter, using evidence to support its argument. It uses precise language. It prioritizes information. A B+ paper has often been written too hastily. In any case, for whatever reason, the paper is marred somewhat by grammatical mistakes, by internal repetition, or by lack of organization. Perhaps it has not been proof-read. It synthesizes materials adequately but its analysis is less thoughtful than that of an A paper. A B paper is the result when nothing new (defined as "nothing outside the assigned reading") is brought to a competent synthesis of the relevant source materials. A B- paper summarizes but doesn't synthesize materials well; also, it falls short in one or
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History 6A - paper grading - "Really, I think the best...

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