Work which uses an assignment as the occasion for a piece of writing compelling enough to engage readers on its own terms. It presents an individual insight or viewpoint with enough fullness and cogency to command readers' respect, if not their assent. It complements its fresh thought by creating a distinctive voice through aptly chosen words and through sentences both grammatically accurate and rhetorically sophisticated.
Work which meets all an assignment's expectations with clear competence. Usually lacking A work's fresh thought or approach or its compelling development, B work nevertheless demonstrates its author's ability to respond intelligently to an assignment's demands, to structure and focus writing clearly, to select significant details and examples and to organize them effectively, to choose words accurately, and to revise sentences for conciseness and emphasis.
Work which is entirely adequate but not more, C work meets the assignment's specifications, has a serviceable structure, and provides enough elaboration with appropriate examples or analysis to make its intent understandable. Its sentences are almost always grammatically correct and reasonably varied, its paragraphs usually coherent. Nevertheless, C work lacks the sharp focus, the full and purposeful development, or the stylistic awareness necessary for a higher grade.
Work which is clearly inadequate in at least one way. Although D work may demonstrate competence in other facets, its strengths will be outweighed by one or two pervasive weaknesses: failure to engage meaningfully an important aspect of the writing task or to maintain a focus; skimpy or illogical development; significant errors in grammar or persistent lack of subordination; repeated distracting errors in mechanics or in idiom.
Work which fails to respond acceptably to an assignment, F work may misunderstand or disregard the assignment's intent, lack any pattern or organization, or make enough errors in Standard English sentence structure to make it difficult for a reader to follow the author's thought. While F will be given for unsubmitted or uncompleted work, it should not be understood solely as a penalty grade: it will be given to any work which fails to meet an assignment's demands or to meet the minimum standards of college discourse.