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Critical Thinking: A Guide for Students: How you are Graded (sample)

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.

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