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UProf: Got a Tattoo or weird piercing? Have a Bad Attitude? Can’t Spell?

June 3, 2013

I’m getting better at grading papers after all these years. Wait. I’m getting better at grading in general. Only three students challenged their grades. Almost every paper in all three of my classes were awarded C’s (or lower). Since I don’t make corrections, and my handwriting is illegible, most students have no idea why they receive the grades that they receive. They can only guess, and I guess that they guess correctly because few students appeal their grades.

This is my Grading System and General Evaluation Rubric:

Got a tattoo or piercing somewhere other than your ear?   You lose ten points right off the top. (I can’t legally take off points for the tattoo or the piercing, but both are indicators that something is lacking in the student. A close examination of the paper always proves my point.

Bad attitude   You lose five points off the final grade. (Again, I can’t take off points for the attitude, but read on).

Have a bad attitude and come to class every day? Another ten points off. If you have a bad attitude, I really don’t want you to come to class.

If someone contests his grade, these are the areas in which he is officially graded:

No thesis statement/poorly defined thesis statement   Ten points off

Infrequent attendance  Ten Points off the final grade point average. Most students who have a bad attitude don’t come to class anyway, so they get docked only five points for the attitude, but they lose ten points for poor attendance.

Comma splice or run-on sentence Five points per occurrence.

Improper citation  If I catch it, it’s five points per occurrence.

Grammatical error One point per occurrence. Again, I just don’t have time to correct the language of these nitwits’ papers, so I don’t usually catch the errors unless someone contests his grade.

Improperly formatted works cited page   If I catch the errors, it’s twenty points off. I don’t bother to keep up with the finer points of citation, so as long as I am given the name of the author, the name of the source, page number and date of publication (in any order) I’m okay with it. If I were to actually go through each paper and check for every mistake, I’d have to spend hours on each paper. I know some profs who actually measure the letter spaces in the indentations (or measure to see if it’s a full half-inch. I can’t remember which standard is in vogue, and I don’t care).

Incorrect punctuation          Two points per occurrence. I don’t make a big deal about punctuation because it creates too much work for me to explain it. Most of the time, if a sentence is punctuated incorrectly, there are other problems with the sentence.

Misspelled words    One point per occurrence.

That’s where these dummies with bad attitudes and tattoos and weird piercings went wrong. They should have accepted their C’s and called it quits.When I went over their papers with them, it was discovered that each one had lost much more than twenty points from not coming to class, incorrect (or no) citations, poor grammar, and poor spelling.  When I corrected their papers in front of them, They were aghast to see how bad their writing is. Each one reversed his decision to appeal his final grade.

The three students who contested their grades knew about my rules for attendance, grammar punctuation, citations, etc., so they shouldn’t have been surprised at their even lower grades after I actually read and checked for errors.


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