Grading papers can be the most cumbersome and difficult part of teaching writing-intensive classes.
Take a look at this list of “myths” about paper grading—the realities may help you shorten your grading time and, at the same time, give students the feedback they really need.
Most teachers break grades down into categories: A, B, C, etc., so consider including your students in a discussion about what is considered an “A” paper versus a “B” paper, and so on.
A discussion about grade ranges helps students understand the differences between the grades and what you expect from them.
Although rubrics are sometimes designed specifically for grading, the rubrics below do not neatly correspond to any particular writing assignment or line up with the letter grades A, B, C, D; instead, they are expected to be used more broadly and can be adapted to particular purposes.
Be clear with students about how you will grade their papers.Spelling and Mechanics: Writing includes many distracting spelling and/or punctuation mistakes that significantly interfere with understanding.In an effort to eliminate the mystery behind the grading of written work, I will be reading and evaluating your essays according to the six criteria below.Consider handing out sample student papers (with permission from former students) or fabricated examples.Offering students a handout defining your grading criteria can be very useful, especially since the desirable features of a written text for one discipline can vary greatly from those for another discipline—something well known to faculty but not necessarily to students.Organization: There may be paragraphs but ideas may not be presented in a logical order or lack details and examples.Vocabulary: Vocabulary is somewhat limited or repetitive and not be used correctly.Grammar: There are mistakes with grammar, including verb tenses, so that the meaning of sentences may not be clear.Spelling and Mechanics: There are some spelling and/or punctuation mistakes which interfere with understanding.Vocabulary: Words are specific and varied and are generally used correctly.Grammar: Verb tenses are generally used correctly and the meaning of sentences is clear although there are some grammar mistakes.