How I Grade Research and Term Papers

Grading term papers is a three stage process:

Stage 1:   The reference page is examined first.    Compliance with APA standard is assessed.    Next, the cover page, the abstract and the table of contents is examined.    Finally, the body of the paper is skimmed to assess APA standards.   If a large number or serious errors are identified, the student is dropped a letter grade.   Notes are made for the professor to use in giving a final grade.


Stage 2: The body of the paper is read thoroughly.   When I see a problem I make notes on the paper.   I will not accept: second person pronouns (you), colloquial expressions ("a lot"), writing as if the writer is speaking, fragmented paragraphs, incomplete ideas.    After reading the paper, I make a shorthand note which only I understand.  Based on my notes, the papers are placed in piles: A, B, C, D, and F.   


Stage 3: I take each pile starting with A and rank them.    The papers are compared!    A number grade is given based on how each student performed in contrast to other students in the same pile.   A number grade is awarded.