Key to Common Grading Feedback

Here’s a list of my commonly used ENG 0900 grading phrases and what they mean; those in blue are grammar and writing related and those in pink are structure, organization, or thesis related. The few green underlined comments are about citation and only relate to the last essay of the semester.

Explain more / add more depth: isolates a location in the essay that could use one or two more sentences to describe your meaning or other specific example.

Italicize / no italics: the title or name you’re referencing is in the wrong format; the title of website names or sources names such as The Atlantic or The Guardian should be italicized.

Move Thesis: your thesis is in a location other than the last sentence of your introduction paragraph.

No “I”: points out a location where you used singular first-person pronoun (I, me, my, mine) in a third-person essay assignment.

No “you”: points out a location where you used second-person pronoun (you) in a third-person essay assignment.

Needs clarification: sentence doesn’t fully explain your point; sentence is too vague.

Phrasing: the sentence reads in a confusing way, or the sentence isn’t using common English word order.

Proofing: points out a typo, a missing word, a repeated word, or spelling error.

Punctuation: the circled or referenced punctuation is incorrect.

Singular / Plural: the underlined words are not using subject/verb or pronoun/antecedent agreements.

Correct example: When someone (singular) is faced with failure, he or she (singular) has the choice to keep going or stop trying.

Incorrect example: When someone (singular) is faced with failure, he or she (they) have the choice to keep going or stop trying.

Too Short / Paragraph too short: Your paragraph doesn’t include the minimum 6-8 sentences as required.

Use quotes / no quotes: the title you’re referencing is in the wrong format; the title of an online article such as “When Internet Memes Infiltrate Physical Life” from The Atlantic should be in quotation marks.

Weak conclusion / needs part ___: the conclusion paragraph doesn’t feel convincing enough; you are missing part 1 (remind) or part 2 (how your points prove your thesis).

Weak introduction: doesn’t provide enough grounding information to prepare readers for your thesis or body paragraph content; oftentimes, simply repeats the same idea over an over in different language.  

Weak paragraph / develop paragraph more: points out body paragraphs that feel weaker than the rest of your body paragraphs.

Word Choice / WC: the word circled/highlighted doesn’t fit the context of the sentence or is the incorrect preposition.

Word Form: most often points out the wrong verb or pronoun form/tense; incorrect use of plural versus possessive; use of dangling modifiers, or incorrect homonym/homophone.

However, if you choose to rewrite an essay or are replacing a failed essay, please do not rely solely on my comments and feedback; I don’t point out each and every grammatical or mechanical mistake but those that show up “the first time,” most often, and/or appear to be distracting from your sentence/argument meaning the most.

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Replace a Failed Essay

First off, please know that it’s not thrilling to fail an essay, and I’m well aware that it’s even more upsetting to receive a failing grade. Because receiving a D or F on a formal essay makes passing one my English courses impossible for that semester, I allow students to rework such essays. However, this is a one-time opportunity that can not be repeated by the same student.

Here are my expectations and guidelines for rewriting an essay that originally received an F grade:

STEP 1: You must contact me within a week of receiving your failing grade to let me know you plan to rewrite the essay. If you turn in a rewrite without contacting me ahead of time, I will not correct it. 

STEP 2: Visit the Writing Center with your assignment sheet and turn in the writing center slip with your rewritten essay.

STEP 3: Turn in both the original failed essay and your rewritten essay by the date we determine together during STEP 1.  

STEP 4: Upload the rewritten essay to the original essay’s assignment link.

Part of the reason I allow students to replace a failed essay grade because I understand and appreciate that it’s not often done just because students are trying to get away with something. Often, a failed essay results from a lack of time-management, life circumstances, or a concern about asking for help. I hope that the opportunity to experience what it takes to improve your writing process and see the difference between the first process and the second process will allow students to learn from the situation WITHOUT it putting them an entire semester behind.

Essay Rewrites: ENG 0900

Students in ENG 0900 are able to rewrite two essays each semester and must choose to do so within a week of the essay being returned with feedback. When an essay is rewritten, I will average the two grades together to determine the new, replacement grade.

I am willing to work with students who are willing to make the effort to rework essays that earned a lower grade than expected for whatever reason; however, should not only include grammar or spelling updates but also improved sentence phrasing, clearer transitions between thoughts/paragraphs, and better argument organization.

Here are my expectations and guidelines for turning in an essay rewrite:

STEP 1: You must contact me within a week of receiving your grade/feedback to let me know you plan to rewrite the essay. If you turn in a rewrite without contacting me ahead of time, I will not correct it. 

STEP 2: Visit the Writing Center with your assignment sheet and original essay; include the writing center slip with your rewritten essay.

STEP 3: Turn in both the original essay and your rewritten essay by the date we determine together during STEP 1.

STEP 4: Upload the rewritten essay to the original essay’s assignment link.

It’s not often in the professional world that you are given a second chance, but this is an educational setting so I hope a second chance will provide student the chance to experience and reflect on the changes needed time-management, writing process, and use of student resources that result in a higher essay grade.

Key to Common Grading Feedback

Here’s a list of my commonly used ENG 1002 grading phrases and what they mean; those in blue are writing related and those in pink are citation/documentation or argument related. While grading ENG 1002 essays, I usually point out grammar and mechanics mistakes/errors without providing a suggested correction. I do this BECAUSE students are then presented with a basic question: what is wrong here and what do I know about grammar/style that could correct it? Answering the question yourself or seeking help will promote learning more thoroughly than being given the answer. Additionally, this provides a more useful rewrite process for those who decide to turn in a rewritten essay.

Explain more / add more depth: isolates a section of the essay that could use a few more sentences that describe your point, citation’s context, or the connection that you’re making. Often appears near the end of body paragraphs.

Phrasing: the sentence phrasing in this highlighted/underlined area is confusing, awkward, or unclear.

Present Tense / Use Present: highlighting moments in the essay where the student does not use present tense to discuss the event of the story/poem. Unless pointing out a sequence of events or using the perfect tense, discussion of literature is done in the present tense.

Proofing: points out a typo, a missing word, a repeated word, or spelling error.

Punctuation: the circled or referenced punctuation is incorrect.

Signal Phrase: citation or paraphrase/summary isn’t attached to or introduced with a signal phrase.

Singular / Plural: the underlined words are not using subject/verb or pronoun/antecedent agreements.

Word Choice / WC: the word circled/highlighted doesn’t fit the context of the sentence or is the incorrect preposition.

Word Form: most often points out the wrong verb or pronoun form/tense; incorrect use of plural versus possessive; use of dangling modifiers, or incorrect homonym/homophone.

WCP: Works Cited Page.

However, if you choose to rewrite an essay or are replacing a failed essay, please do not rely solely on my comments and feedback; I don’t point out each and every grammatical or mechanical mistake but those that show up “the first time,” most often, and/or appear to be distracting from your sentence/argument meaning the most.

Sigma Kappa Delta

Sigma Kappa Delta is the national English honor society for students in two-year colleges. And the IVCC chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta is looking for new members for the upcoming academic year. What is Sigma Kappa Delta? The national English Honors Society…

Qualifications:

Membership in the Mu Alpha chapter is available to students who are currently enrolled at Illinois Valley Community College and who have:

  1. completed a minimum of one college level English Composition or Literature class with a “B” average or better,
  2. completed at least twelve credit hours, and
  3. achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in general scholarship.

Additionally, new members must pay a one-time membership fee, currently $50.00, $30.00 of which covers national membership.

Essay Rewrites: ENG 1002

Students are able to rewrite one essay each semester and must choose to do so within a week of the essay being returned with feedback. When an essay is rewritten, I will average the two grades together to determine the new, replacement grade. I am willing to work with students who are willing to make the effort to rework essays that earned a lesser grade than expected for whatever reason; however, essay rewrites should go beyond simple grammar or citation updates to include updating sentence phrasing, clearer transitions between thoughts/paragraphs, better argument organization, and stronger use of quote sandwich formatting.

An essay rewrite is a one-time opportunity that can not be repeated by the same student in the same semester.

Here are my expectations and guidelines for turning in an essay rewrite:

STEP 1: You must contact me within a week of receiving your grade/feedback to let me know you plan to rewrite the essay. If you turn in a rewrite without contacting me ahead of time, I will not correct it. 

STEP 2: Visit the writing center with your assignment sheet and original essay; include the writing center slip with your rewritten essay.

STEP 3: Turn in both the original essay and your rewritten essay by the date we determine together during STEP 1.

STEP 4: Upload the rewritten essay to the original essay’s assignment link.

I include expectations and guidelines because it’s not often in the professional world that you are given a second chance, but seeing that this an educational setting, I hope a second chance in this situation will provide you the opportunity to experience and reflect on the changes to your time-management, writing process, and use of student resources that resulted in a higher essay grade.

Failing Essays: ENG 1002

Well, if you’re reading this, it’s very likely you just received on F on one of my ENG 1002 formal essays. Know that it’s not thrilling to give an essay an F, and I’m well aware that it’s even more upsetting to receive one. Because an F on a formal essay makes passing my ENG 1002 course impossible for that semester, I am willing to work with students who are willing to make the effort to rework F-level essays. However, this is a one-time opportunity that can not be repeated by the same student.

Here are my expectations and guidelines for rewriting an essay that originally received an F:

STEP 1: You must contact me within a week of receiving your F to let me know you plan to rewrite the essay. If you turn in a rewrite without contacting me ahead of time, I will not correct it. 

STEP 2: Visit the Writing Center with your assignment sheet and turn in the writing center slip with your rewritten essay. Online students can utilize the Writing Center via these guidelines.

STEP 3: Turn in both the original F essay and your rewritten essay by the date we determine together during STEP 1. Online students will simply upload the “replacement” essay to the same assignment link. 

STEP 4: Upload the rewritten essay to the original essay’s assignment link.

Part of the reason I allow students to rewrite an F paper is because I understand and appreciate that it’s not often done just because students are trying to get away with something or simply misunderstood the assignment expectations. Often, an F paper results from a lack of time-management, life circumstances, or a concern about asking for help. I hope that the opportunity to experience what it takes to improve your writing process and see the difference between the first process and the second process, will allow students to learn from the situation WITHOUT it putting them an entire semester behind.