Prof. Sobredo


HOW I GRADE: I assign a letter grade to your essay/paper assignment which is then converted to the corresponding number grade. At the end of the semester, these points are added up via Excel for a total number of points, which corresponds to your class grade. These total points and their corresponding letter grades are indicated in the class syllabus.



Grading is an “art” and not an exact science. Nevertheless, here is my grading matrix for essays:


  1. CONTENT (60%): Crucial ingredients = Topics addressed
  2. FORM (40%): Clarity & Coherence of Written Communication, Logic, Grammar, Spelling



*Content is evaluated on whether essay:
a. Answers assigned questions & explains concepts/theories (40%)

b. Provides Evidence, Reasons & Explanation for premises, conclusions & arguments (20%)


FORM (40%): The content of an essay is important but FORM (how it is presented) is also important to your grade.

Student’s ESSAY answers assigned QUESTIONS & EXPLAINS concepts/theories. (40%)
*See “Grading Policy” below for a complete explanation. N.b. “E”=F.


What the letter grades mean:

A = Exemplary

B = Superior achievement

C = Satisfactory

D = Unsatisfactory but passable

E = Unsatisfactory & not passable


Essay must adequately satisfy the requirements for:

- Grammar, organization & spelling

- Adequate Source Citation

- Correct source citation format: MLA & Chicago

- Clarity, logic & coherence of written communication  (sentences & paragraphs)




Provides EVIDENCE/REASONS & EXPLANATION for premises, conclusions and arguments. 20%




Putting together the University & Department’s grading rubric, this is my detailed “Grading Policy” guide to your letter grades:


Exemplary achievement of the course objectives.

*Defines and applies concepts and ideas accurately with insight and originality. Demonstrates depth of understanding of said concepts. Author's voice is clearly articulated by incorporating personal experiences and/or contemporary examples/issues.

*Writes clearly and concisely with excellent transitions between sentences and paragraphs. Clearly communicates the main ideas and provides excellent support and detail. The writing is engaging and well structured following conventional writing standards throughout the paper. Concepts are integrated into the essay in an original manner. Grammatical and/or syntax errors are not evident.

*In addition to being clearly and significantly above the requirements, work exhibited is of an independent, creative, contributory nature.


Superior achievement of the course objectives.

*Concepts are defined and applied for the most part. May lack full definition of concept(s) or idea(s). Stock analysis given; lacks originality and creativity.

*Communicates the main ideas and provides suitable support and detail. Writing follows basic conventional standards throughout most of the paper. Few grammatical and/or syntax errors; some awkward/vague sentences/ideas throughout.

*The performance is clearly and significantly above the satisfactory fulfillment of course requirements.


Satisfactory achievement of the course objectives.

*Not all concepts are clearly defined or applied. Concepts may be defined but misapplied. Displays incomplete understanding of some idea(s)/concept(s).

*Grammatical/syntax errors are evident throughout including awkward and incomplete sentences. Does not fully adhere to conventional writing standards. Lack of proofreading evident in spelling, punctuation and format errors.

*The student is now prepared for advanced work or study.


Unsatisfactory achievement of course objectives, yet achievement of a sufficient proportion of the objectives so that it is not necessary to repeat the course unless required to do so by the academic department.

*Concepts are incorrectly and incompletely defined and/or applied. Clearly lacks understanding of concepts and ideas. Paper does not answer the question posed, regardless of writing ability.

*Does not meet the majority of conventional writing standards. Ideas are disorganized and incomprehensible in most areas. Spelling, punctuation, grammar, syntax and format errors are evident throughout paper.


Unsatisfactory achievement of course objectives to an extent that the student must repeat the course to receive credit.

*Concepts are absent in both definition and application. Demonstrates no understanding of concepts and ideas of the author(s).

*Does not meet the majority of conventional writing standards. Ideas are disorganized and incomprehensible throughout paper. Spelling, punctuation, grammar, syntax and format errors are evident throughout paper. May also include plagiarism.


N.b.*”E” = F