I am still seeing way too many AP style errors, typos and the like in your assignments, so I am modifying my approach to grading.
From now on, I will use the following grading rubric when reviewing your assignments:
- If you do not follow the directions for the assignment (topic/focus, format, word count, etc.), I will subtract 20 percent.
- For each error I find in AP style, spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviation, etc., I will subtract 10 percent.
- For major errors — such as starting a lead with “when” or “where” it happened, instead of with “what” or “who” — I will subtract 10 percent.
- For minor errors (using passive voice, using incorrect quote or attribution format, not using a person’s last name only after the first full reference, etc.), I will subtract five (5) percent per error.
- For errors of fact (including misspelled names), you will receive a “zero” for the assignment.
If I reach the point where I’ve deducted 40 percent of the grade, I will draw a line on your paper and stop grading. At that point, I will give the paper a grade of 60 percent and hand it back to you for revision. (The only thing that will get you into a deeper “hole” is a fact error, so I suggest you work very hard to avoid them.)
With a good revision, you can earn back up to half of the points you lost. However, you will never do as well with a revision as you would if you’d gotten it right the first time around … so try to get it right!
Earlier this semester, I suggested that instead of forming study groups, you might want to form proofreading groups. I still think this is a good idea.