Oct 11, 2008

Giving Graders a Break

Kari Patterson has a nice post on grading and graders As one who has done a fair amount of grading myself, I can only say 'Amen." Among other things, Patterson notes,

Ways to Bless Your Grader

Consider thanking your grader. Consider letting him or her know that you appreciate the time they put into laboring over your work. Oh, and while you’re at it, consider these few things, they will certainly bless your grader, and might make a difference in your grade(!):

1. Please please please please please don’t tweak your margins or your font size to make your paper longer or shorter. After reading 25 papers, a tweaked margin/font size jumps out and screams, “I can’t follow directions! I refuse to make my paper meet the assignment requirements so I was just lazy and changed the parameters. Please grade me down!” Call me a stickler, but this just bugs me. If the paper is 10-12 pages double spaced in 12 pt. font, write a 10-12 page paper double spaced in 12 pt. font. No more, no less.

2. Save the plastic binder/cover things for saving your children’s artwork. They don’t make the paper any better, they just mess up the stack and make them hard to tote around.

3.Use the appropriate citation form. If your professor says Turabian, use Turabian. This is a really easy way to make your grader happy. I have written “please see Turabian form for proper citation method” a thousand times.

4. Humility goes a long way. I’ll admit, a paper with a cocky author just begs for red slashes. Consider your voice. Better yet, consider your character.

5. Use quotations sparingly. Papers filled to the brim with quotations make you realize that author has no idea what they are talking about and is settling for sticking in other people’s thoughts. Quotations are meant to support your claims. When possible, incorporate material into your own words to demonstrate your comprehension.

6. Lastly, please realize that you have to use a source in order to include it in your bibliography. Listing 25 books is not impressive if you only used 3.

Read the entire post here.

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