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Grading Standards

What follows is meant to help students understand the departmental consensus, to the degree that there is one, regarding the grading of individual assignments and exams. Each faculty member in the Department of Classics, however, will have her or his own interpretation of this consensus. The student should attend closely to the course syllabus, assignment descriptions, oral indications in class and in conference, and written comments on graded assignments in order to gain a more precise understanding of the interpretation that guides a given course.

1. Language: Grading policy for assignments and exams in language classes is based on the following criteria: the ability to identify and analyze correctly the grammar and syntax of Greek and/or Latin; the ability to render accurate, clear, and polished translations of Greek and/or Latin into English; the ability to accurately render English into Greek or Latin; the acquisition of Greek and/or Latin vocabulary; the ability to recognize and analyze the distinctive style of classical authors; and the ability to interpret a passage of Greek and/or Latin in the greater context of an author’s oeuvre, of the genre, and of the sociopolitical conditions of the period.

A = superior command of Greek or Latin appropriate to the course level

B = good command of Greek or Latin appropriate to the course level

C= rudimentary command of Greek or Latin appropriate to the course level

D= inadequate command of Greek or Latin appropriate to the course level

F= inability to master any criteria of proficiency in Greek or Latin appropriate to the course level

2. Literature and culture: In general, essay assignments and presentations in literature and culture courses are graded according to the following criteria: organization, argumentative structure (including adequate transitions and meaningful articulations), internal organization of paragraphs, level of historical, cultural, philosophical, and/or theoretical reflection and insight, interpretive creativity and precision, definition of terms, clarity of style, correctness of syntax, and bibliographic references.

A = Work that, in addition to being well executed and reasonably free of errors, distinguishes itself through its originality and superior critical thinking

B — Work that satisfies main criteria of the assignment, reflecting sincere effort and basic comprehension but lacking the distinction of originality and/or superior critical thinking

C — Work that demonstrates some success in meeting minimum requirements only, but displays poor organization, many errors, and lack of critical thinking

D — Work that demonstrates a poor grasp of the material and/or is executed with little regard for college standards, but which exhibits some engagement with the material

F — Work that is weak in every aspect; satisfies none of the assigned criteria

NOTE: In the Department of Classics, a grade of A+ is rare. 100% with perfect attendance or total points or straight As across a term do not guarantee an A+ . Instead, this grade is entirely a  matter of subjective instructor evaluation above and beyond the excellence described for an A grade.


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