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Writing Help (formatting, templates, and writing samples): How you are Graded

APA, MLA, Chicago styleguide help; sample assignment, templates, etc.

Think about it

When you write your paper, do you think about how it will be evaluated by your professor?

 Most professors have grading criteria in mind before you turn in your work; if you keep their criteria in mind when you create your paper, you will get a better grade.

Many professors use a "grading matrix"; the grading matrix can actually help YOU write a better paper - so if your professor gives you a grading matrix, or hands you "grading criteria" use it to your advantage; they are trying to help you write better.

Note:  List of expectations concerning college writing can be found at the UWB website.

Helpful Books

sample grading matrix

If you want an A on a paper, keep these things in mind:

RULE 1!! You must know what your professor expects from you.
Rule 2: Your professor is not usually asking you to summarize your  readings. Words such as "show how" and "explain" and "illustrate" do not ask you to summarize a reading.

RULE 3: Details Matter. See below.

Spelling and Punctuation

  • No spelling errors - use the spell check, but remember that is won't check for correctly spelled but misused words!
  • No punctuation errors

Sentences (click on link for help with that problem)

Organization of Paper

  • Strong Introduction of Main Idea (thesis)
  • Supporting paragraphs for Main Idea are clearly introduced and developed
  • Paragraphs are coherent, with supporting evidence that is effectively developed and discussed
  • Transition sentences between paragraphs are used effectively
  • Conclusion ends

Starting out

Get your assignment, but don't put it down and forget about it for a few weeks! When your professor first hands you your assignment, stop and take a few moments to note any verbal instructions, and to think about how long the assignment might take. A three page paper might only take a few days, while a ten page paper might require more resources, more time, and of course, more effort. DON'T PANIC! Whether it is a presentation, or a paper there are lots of ways to approach your topic and make it your own. The library has plenty of help, and if you use your time wisely, you can get an A on that assignment. It is natural to feel a little anxious at first, but you can do it!

Stay in the Race

We are here to make sure you have help, and are there for you from the start of your research, to the final edit! We are just a phone call or email away! or  (800) 359-5945. We also have two writing instructors to help you with your papers! John David Harding and Angel Jimenez.