Gradebooks  Feedback  Drafting and Revision  Grammar and Usage 
Plagiarism  Grading Strategies  Grading Rubrics  Final Grade Calculations 
Grading
Gradebooks and Attendance
Teaching Fellows must take attendance and keep a gradebook. According to the university lawyer, instructors are not allowed to discuss specific grades in email, so use GeorgiaVIEW or facetoface conferencing.
Paper gradebooks are available in the department office, or you can set up GeorgiaVIEW to keep track of grades, or you can use spreadsheets to store individual assignment grades and calculate final grades. Here are sample gradebooks:
 Quattro Pro gradebook by Alex Blazer
 Excel gradebook by Alex Blazer
 Percentage gradebook by Rachel Marsom
 Point gradebook by Rachel Marsom
Feedback
While informal writing like journals may be graded with simple checks, you must provide feedback on formal papers. Return graded papers within a timely manner; no more than one week is the best practice for paper return. We recommend a combination of writing in the margins and composing an endnote. Do not simply assign points or a letter grade; explain to your students what they've done right and well, and what is ineffective and/or unsuccessful. It’s a good idea to put what you’re looking for in your assignment prompt, and develop your grading rubric from there. If you peer review, which we encourage (see below), you can adapt the peer review questionnaire for your grading rubric. Besides providing discursive feedback, you may also conference.
Drafting and Revision
English 1101/2 should teach writing as a process, not simply the finished product. Walk your students through the stages of the writing process─from the invention stage of freewriting and brainstorming, to constructing a working thesis, to organizing ideas into an outline, to developing an outline into complete sentences and paragraphs, to sharing a draft with peers and instructor, to incorporating feedback from others as well as their own selfcriticisms in the second draft or even third draft─and have them practice those phases in informal writing assignments and drafted and revised formal papers. Because drafting and revision are core outcomes of the course, at least two of the four formal papers must be revised, which means that two papers may be graded in the "standard" onedraft way. Because midterm grades are mandatory, you cannot use the pure portfolio method in which instructors provide feedback only (sans grades) until the final draft. However, you can devise a midterm and final portfolio system. Another possibility is using two drafts, both of which are graded; you could average the two grades, have the second replace the first, or have the higher grade stand. We recommend that peer review also be incorporated in the process so students can see receive feedback from multiple perspectives as well as practice evaluating others' writing.
There are a number of ways to grade revisions. While you should teach, encourage, and reward revision, be careful not to equate effort with excellence.
 Provide only discursive feedback (no grades) on the first draft; then grade the final draft. This method allows the instructor to provide first draft feedback without being tied to a specific grade to base the second draft grade upon.
 Grade both drafts and average the two grades. This method allows instructors to grade realistically on the first draft and generously reward revision on the second draft without allowing revision to overtake excellence (a C on the first draft averaged with an A for effort second draft becomes a final grade of B).
 Grade the first draft as a tentative grade that can be completely replaced and the second draft as a final grade that will be official in the grade book. This method works best when grading extremely harshly and rigorously on the first draft and more lightly on the second assuming the student made an effort at revision (first drafts earn "F"s, "D"s, and "C"s while second drafts with solid revision earn the more average "C"s, "B"s, and "A"s).
Grammar and Usage
Although grammar should be taken into account, it should not be the main focus of your grading. For example, if I mark more than five grammar errors on a first draft, I penalize the paper 1/3 of a letter grade, points which can be earned back in the second draft. I often refer to page or section numbers in the writing handbook for students to learn how to correct their mistakes; I usually don't correct it myself, but simply circle or highlight it.
Plagiarism and Originality Courseware
GCSU has a license for the originality courseware TurnItIn.com. Follow this handout when dealing with a case of plagiarism.
Grading Strategies
Do not tolerate grade campaigning. Develop your rubric and stand by it. Regarding grade distribution, we recommend a bell curve: An A should stand for excellence, therefore give them sparingly, say four or five per course. Because of the drafting and revision process, B’s will probably comprise most grades. Because everyone does not have the same above average competence, you need to assign some C’s and perhaps even a D. As with the grading feedback above, you should contemplate (and share with your students) the characteristics of effective writing, and adapt those characteristics to the letter grade scale. One way to get more revision effort out of your students, even the ones who come into the class with exceptional writing skills, is to grade more harshly on the first draft. Do not conflate or confuse revisionary effort with an A.
To find your (or any instructor/course/department's) official grade distribution, go to PAWS > GCSU Reports > Grade Distribution. Suggestions for better grade distribution:
 grade weighting: if you grade easy on an assignment like informal writing, make it less of a percentage of final course grade. For example, in my classes with no revisions, I give one or two assignments that are easy A's and worth 510% of the final grade,
 grade with a spreadsheet: so you know your running average as you are grading
 read papers twice: What I do, for example, is make comments and assign the paper a grade range (like B to B+, which I enter into a spreadsheet) on the first reading. On the second reading, I finalize grades by looking at the spreadsheet.
 set grade limits: for example, allow only 1/3 of papers per assignment be A's (out of 23 students, 8 may be A's)
 create your own system: The important thing is that you do not give out 50, 60, or 70% A's.
There are two activities to help you to think about your grade distribution and rubric:
 Assignment in Common / Grading Partners: Fellows will be paired up to create, assign, and grade a major paper in common (but not the final essay) between two of their class sections.
 Sample Graded Papers: during our observation debriefing, we'll also discuss a sampling of graded papers from your current course.
Grade Rubrics
It's a good idea to provide your students with a description of effective writing, of what constitutes an "A," "B," or "C" paper in your class. Here's mine, along with a walkthrough of how I calculate grades.
Before you grade a batch of papers, develop a rubric, a template from which to assess the essays. Here's the generic rubric I use based on an A paper being worth a 4.0. For instance, if a research paper is good overall (answers the prompt, has a thesis, analyzes the primary text, and is wellorganized), but has no conclusion (worth onethird of a letter grade in my rubric) and misuses secondary sources (worth onethird of a letter grade), it earns a B+ (4.0  [1/3*2] = 3 1/3 = 3.3 B+).
essay element  grade weight 
introduction and thesis  1/3 
addressing/answering the assignment prompt  3/3 
analysis  2/3 
incorporation of primary textual evidence  1/3 
incorporation of secondary textual evidence  1/3 
internal paragraph coherence  1/3 
organizational coherence  1/3 
voice/diction and grammar/usage  1/3 
conclusion  1/3 
total 
12/3 = 4.0 A 
This is my particular rubric. Here's another, designed for a Writing about Literature course. As you grade papers this year, decide for yourself what you value in papers in general and an assignment in particular.
While some instructors prefer to give wholistic feedback that responds to an entire paper in discursive/paragraph form that assesses the various elements of writing, other instructors implement a point system like the one above, add comments, and give it to their students, like this:
essay element  points possible 
points earned 
comments 

introduction and thesis  10 
10 

addressing/answering the assignment prompt  25 
25 

analysis  15 
15 

incorporation of primary textual evidence  10 
10 

incorporation of secondary textual evidence  10 
10 

internal paragraph coherence  10 
10 

organizational coherence  10 
10 

voice/diction and grammar/usage  5 
5 

conclusion  5 
5 

total 
100 
100 
A 
Final Grade Calculation
These instructions explain how to calculate final course grades. You can set up a spreadsheet to do this for you.
Instructors Who Assign Number Grades on Assignments
First, weight assignment grades. Multiply the numerical grade for the assignment by the percentage of the final grade. For instance, if a student earned an 85 on a paper that was worth 25% of the grade, multiply 85 by .25, which equals 21.25.
Assignment  Grade  
Second, total the weighted grades. For instance, if each of the four graded assignments in the course are worth 25% of the final grade, and a student earned an 82, 89, 91, and 95, respectively, on them, then the final, numerical grade would be 89.25.
22.75 

23.75 

FINAL GRADE

Third, use the following numerical range to determine the final grade. For instance, 89.25 equals a B in the course.
Grade  From  To 
A  91  100 
B  81  90 
C  71  80 
D  61  70 
F  0  60 
You can set up spreadsheets to automatically make these calculations. Here are sample gradebooks by Alex Blazer in Quattro Proand Excel. Here are sample gradebooks by Rachel Marsom using the points and percentage systems.
Instructors Who Assign Letter Grades on Assignments
First, convert individual assignment grades into numerical values using the following scale:
Grade 
Value 
A 
4.0 
A 
3.7 
B+ 
3.3 
B 
3.0 
B 
2.7 
C+ 
2.3 
C 
2.0 
C 
1.7 
D+ 
1.3 
D 
1.0 
D  0.7 
F 
0.0 
Second, weight assignment grades. Multiply the numerical grade for the assignment by the percentage of the final grade. For instance, if a student earned a B on a paper that was worth 25% of the grade, multiply 3.0 by .25, which equals .75.
Assignment  Grade  
Third, total the weighted grades. For instance, if each of the four graded assignments in the course are worth 25% of the final grade, and a student earned a B, B+, A, and A, respectively, on them, then the final, numerical grade would be 3.50.
1.00 

FINAL GRADE

Fourth, use the following numerical range to determine the final grade. For instance, 3.50 equals an A in the course.
Grade  From  To 
A  3.50  4.00 
B  2.50  3.49 
C  1.50  2.49 
D  0.50  1.49 
F  0.00  0.49 
Grade Distribution
PAWS > GCSU Reports