Everyone knows an essay is graded on your own original thoughts and ideas, but how well do those ideas follow a logical flow and order? Before you hand in your next essay or paper, remember that a professor or teacher will be looking for:
- Any weaknesses in your thesis. is your thesis clear and concise?
- How the topic sentences are structured and if they fail to prove the thesis that has been provided.
- How specific the support is for the thesis. Is it only a vague generalization?
- Pronouns for the objects and subjects in the essay.
- Correct use of nouns. Are they vague or specific?
If your received your paper or essay back and see a few check-marks on it, this is typically for any spelling or grammar errors your professor may have found after you proofread it. You may also see some feedback or end notes the professor may have added. These end-notes serve as a way for the professor to explain what you are doing both right and wrong and may be about any concepts that could have been be expanded.
When the letter grade is assigned, the professor will be looking at the content, organization of the essay, grammar, spelling and how well the mechanics were followed throughout the essay. Keep in mind, that many professors will give a failing grade when there is multiple grammar or spelling errors. This type of grading will depend on the professor and course as well as how strict they are.
Grading typically is as follows:
An “A” Essay:
- The thesis is strong and relates directly to the assignment.
- The organization is clear and logical. The points are well developed and are supported clearly and with concrete evidence that is specific.
- There are clear and effective transitions between ideas and concepts.
- Sentences are sophisticated and uses appropriate and correct words.
- The ideas are fresh and vivid.
- There is no grammar, spelling or mechanical errors at all in the essay.
A “B” Essay:
- The central idea is strong and related directly to the assignment.
- The organization is logical and clear, with major points. However, the evidence is not specific enough, nor is it very thoughtful or vivid.
- Words are used correctly, but there is not a style within the sentence structure. The sentences are not very sophisticated.
- There are some mechanical, spelling or grammar errors in the essay.
A “C” Essay:
- The main idea allows the reader to at least understand what the purpose of the assignment.
- There is organization within the essay, however the supporting information and evidence is very general and there are very little specific or concrete details.
- Words are used correctly, however the sentences are very simple and unsophisticated.
- There are severe mechanical, grammar or spelling errors.
A “D” and/or “F” Essay:
- There is no central idea or thesis.
- There is no organization to the essay.
- The thesis does not relate to the assignment.
- The main points are not developed or they are repetitious and illogical.
- Common words are not even used accurately.
- The vocabulary is limited and words do not serve a purpose.
- There are three or more errors in grammar, spelling and mechanics.
Keep in mind that major errors in grammar include:
- Fragment sentences.
- Comma slices.
- Fused sentences.
- The subject verb agreement is incorrect.
- Pronouns are used incorrectly.