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Criteria for Grading Short Papers


by Ann Owen
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  1.  Does the opening paragraph succinctly state the conclusion/main idea?
  2. Is the argument well structured? Is it clear how each point relates to the other points and to the main conclusion?
  3. Is there evidence to support the conclusion? Is it used/presented correctly?
  4. If necessary, are legitimate alternative views considered?
  5. Does the conclusion succinctly emphasize the major points?
  6. Is the grammar correct? Are the word choice and sentence structure appropriate?

When grading a large set of papers, I find that I need to have this list in front of me so I stay focused and have some consistency to the grades. This seems especially important when I have lots of papers and have to grade them over several days. I share it with the students in the hope that they will give me what I am looking for and make it easier to grade the papers.

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