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Washington State University
Donna M. Campbell American Literature

English 573: Editing in a Digital Age (Fall 2020)

English 573: Editing in a Digital Age

 

English 573:  Editing in a Digital Age

Fall 2020, 3 credits

Wednesdays 3:10-5:40
September 15, 2020

Dr. Donna Campbell, campbelld@wsu.edu

Office Hours: Wednesdays 2-3:00, Thursdays 12:30-1:30 and by appointment

 

Course Space: Blackboard and meetings via Zoom

Because we’re meeting virtually via Zoom, our class will be divided into these segments of time:

  • First hour 3:10-4:10: online live Zoom session, usually with a student presentation on the subject of the day. You’ll sign up for topics ahead of time.
  • Break 4:10-4:45 : offline asynchronous time during which we’ll explore digital tools, take a break, or review something for the third hour.
  • Third hour 4:45-5:40 (“Digital Hour” or discussion): meet online via Zoom for further discussion or for practice with and exploration of digital tools.

You’ll need to be present for both the first and third hour of the class.

 

Requirements: Fulfills DH elective requirement, 19th-century or 20th century historical period requirement

 

The Washington State University Pullman campus is located on the homelands of the Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) Tribe and the Palus people. We acknowledge their presence here since time immemorial and recognize their continuing connection to the land, to the water, and to their ancestors.

 

Course Description

 

English 573: Editing in a Digital Age asks the following question: “What is a good critical edition, and can, or should, the same features be translated into digital form?” We’ll read Stephen Crane, Edith Wharton, Mourning Dove, and Nella Larsen in the publication context of their works both during their own day and will look at digital editions of other authors.

In this course, you’ll be introduced to traditional editing practices and to theories of digital humanities and online editions. We will also read literary criticism on the authors we read to understand the historical, interpretive, and publication histories of the author and the texts that he or she produced in a particular cultural moment.

This is not a technical DH class where you’ll be expected to use advanced tools and languages, and–very important–you do not need to know any more than basic information that you already have. We’ll look at underlying structures online and theoretical material that will help you to frame your understanding conceptually. Since this course is online, you’ll need regular access to a computer and the Internet.

This is the first time this course has been offered online, and there’ll doubtless be changes. I’ve already cut the usual number of critical articles in half to reduce the workload so that we’ll all feel less stressed. The most important point is this: take care of yourself! If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, let me know so I can make adjustments.

Required Texts

 

  • Crane, Stephen. Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. Broadview Edition, 2006. ISBN 978-1-55111-597-9

 

  • Larsen, Nella. The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen. Charles Larson. Knopf, 2001. ISBN 9780385721004

 

  • Mourning Dove. Cogewea. University of Nebraska Press, 1981. ISBN 9780803281103

 

  • Wharton, Edith. Four Novels. Cynthia Griffin Wolff and R. W. B. Lewis. Library of America College Edition, 1996. 9781883011376

 

  • Wharton, Edith. Summer. Oxford World Classics, 2015. ISBN 978-0-19-870998-5

 

Notes about the Schedule of Assignments

This schedule is divided into three components: the main reading of the day, Critical Readings, and Exhibits. You should come to class each day having read the main reading and Critical Readings.

  • Articles and other required readings are available in Perusall, which you can access via Blackboard: https://learn.wsu.edu. Perusall is designed so that you can post comments. Perusall comments and “Article Expert” posts are due by noon on the class day when the articles are listed as readings.
·      For articles on a specific book, please read the critical readings after you’ve read the book itself to avoid spoilers.

·      “Exhibits” are links to web sites, digital tools, and other materials that we’ll be discussing, but they need not be examined in detail before class unless someone’s reporting about them.

·      This schedule is subject to change.

Schedule of Assignments

Week Date Assignments
1 8/26 Introduction

To read in class: Dickinson, “Safe in their Alabaster Chambers”
Practice with Perusall

Exhibits:

Emily Dickinson Archive: https://www.edickinson.org/editions/1/image_sets/240495

Emily Dickinson Electronic Archive: http://www.emilydickinson.org/emily-dickinson-writing-a-poem/fascicle-copies-safe-in-their-alabaster-chambers

 

     
2 9/2 What difference does a paragraph make?

Crane, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

Crane, “An Experiment in Misery,” pp. 137-147
Crane, “An Ominous Baby,” pp. 154-157

Critical Reading:

Dowling, Robert M. and Donald Pizer. “A Cold Case File Reopened: Was Crane’s Maggie Murdered or a Suicide?” American Literary Realism, vol. 42, no. 1 (Fall 2009), pp. 36-53.

Perusall and “article expert” posts are due by noon on the class day during which they’ll be discussed.

3 9/9 No class
4 9/16 British vs. American: Author’s Choice?
Presenter: Matthew Kollmer
Wharton, Summer

Critical Readings:

·      Rattray, Laura. Introduction. Summer, by Edith Wharton, Oxford World Classics, 2015, pp. ix-xxxvii. [Randal Houle]

·      Dawson, Melanie. Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age, University of Florida Press, 2020, pp. 149-177. [unclaimed]

Exhibits:

·      Wharton, selected letters to Frederick Macmillan

·      Wharton, 1st American edition of Summer

Activity: identifying editions

     
5 9/23

 

Authenticity and Appropriation I
Guest: Dr. Trevor Bond, MASC

Mourning Dove, Cogewea

Critical Readings:

·      Bond, Trevor James. “From Treasure Room to Archives: The McWhorter Papers and the State College of Washington.” Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Spring 2011, pp. 67-78.
[Dillan Wright]

·      Teuton, Sean Kicummah. “The Indigenous Novel.” The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature, edited by James H. Cox and Daniel Heath Justice. Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 318-332.
[Rachael Wolney]

Exhibits:

·      MASC web site

Proposal for Paper 1 due

6 9/30 What makes a good critical edition?
Presenter: Hayden Gann
Wharton, Ethan Frome

Critical Readings:

·      Eggert, Paul. “Apparatus, Text, Interface: How to Read a Printed Critical Edition.” The Cambridge Companion to Textual Scholarship, edited by Neil Fraistat and Julia Flanders. Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp.97-118.
[Matthew Kollmer]

·      Williams, William Proctor,  and Craig S. Abbott. “Textual Criticism,” An Introduction to Bibliographical and Textual Studies, 4th Edition. MLA, 2009, pp. 71-89. [Rachael Wolney]

Exhibits:

Wharton, Ethan Frome in French: https://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Record/4769868

Wharton, pp. 1-6, manuscript of Ethan Frome

The Walt Whitman Project

7 10/7 Race and Transnationalism
Presenter: Randal Houle

Larsen, Quicksand

Critical Readings:

·      Ngai, Sianne. “Irritation.” Ugly Feelings. Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 175-205. [Nazua Idris]

·      McDowell, Deborah. From “The ‘Nameless . . . Shameful Impulse’: Sexuality in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand and Passing.Quicksand, edited by Carla Kaplan. Norton Critical Edition. W. W. Norton, 2020, 231-236. [unclaimed]

Exhibits:

Activity: locating archives

·      Winnifred Eaton/Onoto Watanna Archive

·      https://winnifredeatonarchive.org/

·      https://snaccooperative.org/ark:/99166/w6s46vs8

Paper 1 due

     
8 10/14 Authenticity and Appropriation II
Presenter: Nazua Idris

Larsen, Passing
Larsen, “Sanctuary”
Sheila Kaye-Smith, “Mrs. Adis”

Critical Readings:

·      Risam, Roopika. “Beyond the Margins: Intersectionality and Digital Humanities.” Beyond the Margins: Intersectionality and Digital Humanities, edited by Barbara Bordalejo and Roopika Risam. Arc Humanities Press, 2020, pp. 13-32.
[Nazua Idris]

·      Hochman, Barbara. “Love and Theft: Plagiarism, Blackface, and Nella Larsen’s ‘Sanctuary.’” American Literature, vol. 88, no. 3, Sept. 2016, pp. 509–540.
[Randal Houle]

Exhibits:

·      The Colored Conventions Project

·      Charles W. Chesnutt Archive: https://chesnuttarchive.org/

     
9 10/21 Manuscript, Magazine, Book: The House of Mirth
Presenter: Dillan Wright

Critical Readings:

·      Waid, Candace. “Building House of Mirth.Biographies of Books: The Compositional Histories of Notable American Writings, edited by James Barbour and Tom Quirk. University of Missouri Press, 1996, pp. 160-186. [Hayden Gann]

·      Saltz, Laura. “‘The Vision-Building Faculty’: Naturalistic Vision in The House of Mirth.” MFS: Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 57, no. 1, 2011, pp. 17-46.  [[unclaimed]

Exhibits:

·      Intro to the TEI (digital markup) https://tei-c.org/. Optional: download free 30-day version of OxYgen and install from https://www.oxygenxml.com/xml_editor/download_oxygenxml_editor.html)

·      Versioning project: House of Mirth

·      Wharton, manuscript of The House of Mirth

     
10 10/28 Digital Showcase: Class Choice (not all will be covered)

·      Omeka Nazua Idris

·      Neatline Rachael Wolney

·      OxYgen (for TEI; link above)

·      Scalar Dillan Wright

·      Python Alaa Bassee

·      Scanning and OCR Hayden Gann

·      Juxta

·      StoryMaps Randal Houle

·      Textual Analysis with R Matthew Kollmer

Critical Readings:

·      Jockers, Matthew, and Ted Underwood. “Text-Mining the Humanities.” A New Companion to Digital Humanities, edited by Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth. Wiley Blackwell, 2016, pp. 291-306. [Dillan Wright]

·      Earhart, Amy. Chapter 4, “Data and the Fragmented Text.” Traces of the Old, Uses of the New: The Emergence of Digital Literary Studies. University of Michigan Press, 2015, pp. 90-116. [Matthew Kollmer]

Exhibits:

·      AGAS Map of Early Modern London https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/map.htm

     
11 11/4 Mapping Relationships & Contexts
Presenter: Alaa Bassee
Wharton, Custom of the Country

Critical Readings:

·      Holland, Kathryn, and Jana Smith Elford. “Textbase as Machine: Graphing Feminism and Modernism with Orlando Vision.” Reading Modernism with Machines: Digital Humanities and Modernist Literature, edited by Shawna Ross and James O’Sullivan. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp. 109-134.
[Dillan Wright]

·      Towheed, Shafquat. “When the Reading Had to Stop: Reading, Readers, and the Circulation of Texts in The Custom of the Country.” Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country: A Reassessment, edited by Laura Rattray. Pickering & Chatto, 2010, pp. 29-42.
[Alaa Bassee]

Exhibits:

·      The Orlando Project: https://www.artsrn.ualberta.ca/orlando/

·      Voyant Tools

·      Vault at Pfaff’s

·      Shakespeare & Company

     
12 11/11 No Class: University Holiday
     
13 11/18 Editorial Choices: Historical Contexts and Novel into Film
Presenter: Rachael Wolney

Wharton, The Age of Innocence

Critical Readings:

·      Sampson, John. “Untimely Love: The Aesthetics and Politics of Anachronism in The Age of Innocence.” Novel 53, number 2 (August 2020): 254-273.

[unclaimed]

·      Toth, Margaret A. “Edith Wharton’s Prose Spectacle in the Age of Cinema. Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence: New Centenary Essays, edited by Arielle Zibrak, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2019, pp. 39-58. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/wsu/detail.action?docID=5984970.

[Hayden Gann]

Exhibits:

(film clips and frames; section from screenplay)

Proposal for Paper 2 Due

     
15 11/25 No Class: Thanksgiving Holiday
     
16 12/2 Academic Publishing
Guest Presentation: Ms. Linda Bathgate, WSU Press

Critical Readings (Extra Credit):

·      McGann, Jerome. “What Do Scholars Want? “A New Republic of Letters: Memory and Scholarship in the Age of Digital Reproduction. Harvard University Press, 2014, pp. 127-136.

·      Liming, Sheila. “The Library as Network: Affinity, Exchange, and the Makings of Authorship.” What a Library Means to a Woman: Edith Wharton & the Will to Collect Books. University Minnesota Press, 2020, pp. 105-135. [unclaimed]

·      Conclusion to Liming

Exhibits: (Submit your nominations for archives and they’ll be added here)

Edith Wharton’s Library at The Mount: http://edithwhartonslibrary.org/dir/home.html

Tropy (software) https://tropy.org/

Paper or Project 2 due

     
17 12/9 In-class conference
     

Attendance and Participation. Attendance and good class participation are essential.

Papers and Presentations.

  • Presentations: Each member of the class will give a 20-30-minute presentation at one point during the semester. This might take any one of several forms:
    • preparing information about the author or authors assigned for that day and presenting a set of new ideas or questions for the class to consider;
    • giving a new interpretation of the work; providing a contextual overview of an author or work; or
    • analyzing and critiquing current critical perspectives. You will need to provide a brief handout for the class, preferably one that includes a short annotated bibliography of your sources, an outline, and relevant quotations or information from your sources.
  • Papers. You’ll complete two papers or projects in this course. The first will be a conference-length (8-10 pages) treatment of a topic. The second can be either an editing project an extended paper (15-25 pages; page limits are flexible) suitable for submitting to the journal of your choice or for using as the basis of a dissertation chapter.
  • Of these projects (presentation and two papers), two can be on the same subject: for example, you might choose to rework your first paper into the extended paper, or you may wish to use your presentation for the basis of that second paper. All three projects cannot be on the same subject, however.

Proposals and Responses. Since one of your professional responsibilities as scholars will be to submit proposals to conference, you’ll prepare a 100-200 word proposal for each of the papers you will write in this class. These will receive comments but not grades. You’ll also prepare a response to a classmate’s paper or project during the last two weeks of class, which you will then deliver as part of the conference-style presentations at the end of the course.

Late Papers and Extensions. Late papers are penalized at the rate of one letter grade (10 points) per class day late; a paper that would have received a “B” on the due date will receive a “C” if handed in on the next class day. Papers turned in after 2 class meetings will receive a 50/100 toward your class grade.

You have one automatic extension in this class, which means that your paper will be due on the next class day (in our case, a week). Just let me know ahead of time, and it’ll be fine—no penalty.

Presentations and Article Critiques

“Article Expert” Critiques and Perusall. In addition to reading primary texts, we’ll be reading some classic but mostly current criticism on the works so that you’ll have a good sense of what approaches are being published now. Alternately, you’ll review current web sites on these authors.

Each week, each week two people will be responsible for preparing a brief summary (5 minutes) and critique of one article each.

You’ll post this to the “Article Experts” discussion board section of Blackboard.

These need not be terribly formal; their purpose is to allow the “article expert” to raise questions and discussion points about his or her article rather than do a formal presentation of it. You’ll all take turns being an “article expert,” but you won’t need to do this every week; you’ll be the “article expert” about four times during the course of the semester.

Here’s what should be included.

  1. Brief summary of the article (can be in point form).
  2. Your thoughts on the article. What was its main contribution to understanding the work? Did it relate to other work in the field (If you know this)? Did it have any weaknesses?
  3. At least one question either that you had about the article or that the article inspired you to put to the class.

Remember these should be brief: No more than 5 minutes, and no more than the front of a page.

In-Class Conference. During the last week of class, you’ll present a conference-length version of your second paper to the rest of the class. The presentations at the end of the course will be based on the longer paper or project, which you’ll need to edit down to conference length.

Policies

Plagiarism Policy (supplement to WSU Statement on Academic Integrity below). Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of someone else’s words or ideas. This definition includes not only deliberately handing in someone else’s work as your own but failing to cite your sources, including Web pages and Internet sources. Plagiarism also includes handing in a paper that you have previously submitted or are currently submitting for another course.

  • For a first offense, any paper plagiarized in whole or in part will receive an “F” (0 points), and the incident must be reported to the WSU Office of Student Conduct.  You will NOT be allowed to rewrite the plagiarized paper for a better grade.
  • Penalties for a second offense can range from failing the course to suspension from the university.

WSU Policy on Workload: For each hour of lecture equivalent, students should expect to have a minimum of two hours of work outside class. For this class, you should expect to work a minimum of 6 hours per week. Online Courses:  Students should expect to spend a minimum of 9 hours per week for each online 3-credit course, engaged in the following types of activities: reading, listening to/viewing media, discussion, or conversation in the LMS or other academic technology, conducting research, completing assignments and reviewing instructor feedback, studying for and completing assessments, etc.

 

WSU COVID-19 Policy. Students are expected to abide by all current COVID-19 related university policies and public health directives, which could include wearing a cloth face covering, physically distancing, self-attestations, and sanitizing common use spaces.  All current COVID-19 related university policies and public health directives are located at https://wsu.edu/covid-19/.  Students who do not comply with these directives may be required to leave the classroom; in egregious or repetitive cases, students may be referred to the Center for Community Standards for university disciplinary action.

 

WSU Statement on Academic Integrity. Academic integrity is the cornerstone of higher education. As such, all members of the university community share responsibility for maintaining and promoting the principles of integrity in all activities, including academic integrity and honest scholarship. Academic integrity will be strongly enforced in this course. Students who violate WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy (identified in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 504-26-010(4) will receive [insert academic sanction (e.g., fail the course, fail the assignment, etc.)], will not have the option to withdraw from the course pending an appeal, and will be reported to the Center for Community Standards.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26-010(3). You need to read and understand all of the definitions of cheating.  If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course, you should ask course instructors before proceeding.

If you wish to appeal a faculty member’s decision relating to academic integrity, please use the form available at communitystandards.wsu.edu. Make sure you submit your appeal within 21 calendar days of the faculty member’s decision. See also https://gradschool.wsu.edu/rights-and-responsibilities/

 

WSU Policy on Students with Disabilities:

Reasonable accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities or chronic medical or psychological conditions. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit your campus’ Access Center/Services website to follow published procedures to request accommodations. Students may also contact their campus offices to schedule an appointment with a Disability Specialist. All disability related accommodations are to be approved through the Access Center/Services on your campus. It is a university expectation that students visit with instructors (via email, Zoom, or in person) to discuss logistics within two weeks after they have officially requested their accommodations.
For more information contact a Disability Specialist on your home campus:

  • Pullman, WSU Global Campus, Everett, Bremerton, and Puyallup: 509-335-3417 Access Center(https://www.accesscenter.wsu.edu) or email at center@wsu.edu

 

WSU Statement on Safety and Emergency Notification Classroom and campus safety are of paramount importance at Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population. WSU urges students to follow the “Alert, Assess, Act,” protocol for all types of emergencies and the “Run, Hide, Fight” response for an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able).

Please sign up for emergency alerts on your account at MyWSU. For more information on this subject, campus safety, and related topics, please view the FBI’s Run, Hide, Fight video and visit the WSU safety portal.

Full details can be found at https://provost.wsu.edu/classroom-safety/

 

WSU Policy on Accommodation for Religious Observances or Activities. Washington State University reasonably accommodates absences allowing for students to take holidays for reasons of faith or conscience or organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. Reasonable accommodation requires the student to coordinate with the instructor on scheduling examinations or other activities necessary for course completion. Students requesting accommodation must provide written notification within the first two weeks of the beginning of the course and include specific dates for absences. Approved accommodations for absences will not adversely impact student grades. Absence from classes or examinations for religious reasons does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. Students who feel they have been treated unfairly in terms of this accommodation may refer to Academic Regulation 104 – Academic Complaint Procedures.

WSU Policy on Excused AbsencesSection 73 of WSU’s regulations does not permit instructors to request official documentation to allow excused absences except for military personnel and those traveling on WSU business; hence no other excused absences are permitted by WSU policy. The attendance policy for this course has been relaxed from previous versions of the course to include an additional absence to make up for this decreased flexibility in policy.

WSU Policy on Discrimination. Discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct (including stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence) is prohibited at WSU (See WSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment (Executive Policy 15) and WSU Standards of Conduct for Students).

If you feel you have experienced or have witnessed discriminatory conduct, you can contact the WSU Compliance & Civil Rights (CCR this year, formerly CRCI, formerly OEO, formerly CHR) and/or the WSU Title IX Coordinator at 509-335-8288 to discuss resources, including confidential resources, and reporting options. (Visit ccr.wsu.edu for more information).

Most WSU employees, including faculty, who have information regarding sexual harassment or sexual misconduct are required to report the information to CCR or a designated Title IX Coordinator or Liaison.  (Visit ccr.wsu.edu/reporting-requirements for more info).

Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students should be able to Course Topics and Dates Addressing this Outcome Evaluation of Outcome
Understand how research is situated in a scholarly discourse embedded in the literature ·      Weekly “article expert” presentations

·      Weekly class discussion

·      Discussing journal submissions
Student responses to final paper

·      Formal assessment of discussion, participation, and responses

·      Preparation of article for paper presentation or article submission (informal)

Engagement (comments and questions) on articles in Perusall

Select appropriate methods to investigate research questions, including databases and bibliographies Research tools discussion
Proposal workshop
Proposals
Feedback on proposals
Develop graduate-level writing and oral presentation skills through course assignments Oral presentation
Formal article-length paper
In-class conference presentation
Formal evaluation of oral presentation
Formal evaluation of paper
Synthesize research systematically Research tools discussion,
“Article expert” presentations
Formal assessment of discussion, participation, and responses
Understand the concepts behind basic tools used in creating digital humanities projects and editions “Digital Hours” Formal assessment of discussion, participation, and responses
Understand the theoretical issues and controversies current in digital humanities scholarship on editions “Digital Hours” and theoretical readings Formal assessment of discussion, participation, and responses

Grade Distributions

Approximate weights for grades:

Paper 1 (Literary analysis) 15%
Paper or Project 2 (Final Project) 40%
Presentations 20%
Written responses to readings (Perusall) 10%
Attendance and participation (including “article expert” summaries) 15%

Grading Policies and Criteria

I will use abbreviations as references to grammatical principles on your corrected papers. The abbreviations and accompanying explanations are available on the “Key to Comments” document at http://donnamcampbell.net/keyto.htm.

Grading Criteria. I will use abbreviations as references to grammatical principles on your corrected papers. The abbreviations and accompanying explanations are available on the “Key to Comments” document here: http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/keyto.htm.

A (Excellent)

  • Ideas and analysis. Greatly exceeds expectations and develops in a consistently excellent manner. Readers will learn something from this piece of writing. Ideas are original or especially insightful for the level of the class (i.e., an excellent paper in a 200-level course does not need to demonstrate the same level of originality and depth as an excellent paper in a 300- or 400-level course).
  • Organization. Organizational plan is clear, as is the thesis and purpose of the piece. Thesis is original and interesting.
  • Development and support. Develops its points effectively, logically, and in an original fashion. Assertions are supported by evidence. Paragraphs are unified, coherent, and complete.
  • Style. Sentences are fluent, graceful, and a pleasure to read. They are free from errors, although there may be a minor error in the piece.
  • Mechanics (spelling, usage, and punctuation such as commas, semicolons, and possessive apostrophes, quotation marks, and title punctuation). Papers will be almost entirely free from mechanical errors.
  • Audience. Has a clear understanding of audience as demonstrated by the paper’s use of tone and an appropriate level of diction.

B (Good)

  • Ideas and analysis. Exceeds expectations and develops in a good but perhaps predictable fashion. Paper will cover the most logical points about a piece of writing but may not provide as much new analysis. Ideas may be good but perhaps not as insightful or well developed as those for work in the “A” range.
  • Organization. Organization and thesis are logical but could be clearer. Thesis is solid but less innovative than in an exceptional paper. Some transitions may be missing.
  • Development and support. Includes a thesis idea that is generally supported by evidence and a logical order of paragraphs. Some unsupported generalizations may occur, or  some paragraphs may lack unity or support.
  • Style. Demonstrates correct sentence construction for the most part, although some sentences may be awkward or unclear. Papers will generally have few (1-2) or no comma splices, fragments, fused sentences, tense and agreement errors, or other major grammatical problems. Minor errors in grammar may occur.
  • Mechanics. One or two instances of an incorrect use of words, spelling errors, or punctuation errors such as missing possessive apostrophes may occur
  • Audience. Clear sense of individual voice and awareness of audience expectations. Level of diction may be uneven or somewhat inappropriate for the assignment.

C (Satisfactory or Acceptable)

  • Ideas and analysis. Meets expectations but does not go beyond them. May respond to the assignment in a satisfactory but predictable or superficial way. May have more plot summary than analysis.
  • Organization. Exhibits a discernable organization but may not provide a clear connection to the thesis. Thesis may be obvious or too general. Paragraphs may not follow the most logical order.
  • Development and support.Development may consist of obvious generalizations that only tell readers what they already know with limited support from the text.
  • Style. May demonstrate little sentence variety. Grammatical errors such as comma splices, fragments, agreement errors, vague or awkward phrasing may obscure the meaning of an otherwise good paper.
  • Mechanics. May contain odd word choices, consistent errors in punctuation, or problems with usage.
  • Audience. Voice and diction may be significantly inconsistent with audience expectations or the requirements of the assignment.

D (Deficient)

  • Ideas and analysis. Limited ideas and cursory development; does not meet expectations or the terms of the assignment on one or more dimensions.
  • Organization.Focus may be unclear or the essay may lack an arguable thesis. Paragraph order may be confusing. May lack adequate organization or sufficient support for its argument.
  • Development and support.Relies strongly on generalizations rather than support and may lack specific references to the text. Paragraphs may lack unity, coherence, and completeness. Paragraphs may be insufficiently developed.
  • Style. Contains many errors in sentence construction, including comma splices, fragments, fused sentences, agreement problems, and awkward sentences. Some parts may be difficult to read and interpret.
  • Mechanics. May demonstrate significant deficiencies in punctuation, word choice, and spelling.
  • Audience.Paper may demonstrate a consistently insufficient awareness of audience.

F (Unacceptable)

  • Ideas and analysis. Fails to meet expectations for ideas and analysis.May include too much plot summary or so many quotations that analysis is missing.
  • Organization. Focus many be diffuse or unclear. Sentences and paragraphs do not follow a logical order.
  • Development and support. Thesis may be missing.Generalizations may be used in place of analysis. Insufficient development for the requirements of the assignment.
  • Style. Serious errors such as comma splices, fragments, fused sentences, and agreement problems obscure meaning and make this paper inconsistent with college-level writing standards. A paper at this level may be difficult, frustrating, or confusing to read.
  • Mechanics. Contains numerous errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Audience.Serious problems with tone, diction, and sense of audience.
  • A paper will receive an “F” if it is plagiarized in whole or in part.

Grade Cutoffs for Assignments

The total number of points varies by assignment. The chart below shows the approximate letter grade for points earned in each assignment.

WSU final grade submission permits only solid, plus, and minus grades (e.g., C, C+, or C-) to be recorded
WSU final grade submission has no “A+” grade, so the highest paper grade will be “A” (95) in compliance with WSU standards. There is no “D-” grade at WSU, so a final average of 60-62 = D for the same reason.

Total Points 100 15 20 25 30 35 50 75 125 150 500 If your final % is Your final grade would be . . .
A 93 14 18 23 28 33 47 70 116 140 465 93 or above A
A/A- 92 14 18 23 27 32 46 69 116 139 463    
A- 90 13 18 23 27 32 45 67 113 135 450 90-92 A-
B+ 88 13 17 22 26 31 44 66 110 132 440 88-89 B+
B/B+ 87 13 16 22 26 30 43 65 110 131 438    
B 83 12 16 21 25 29 42 62 104 125 415 83-87 B
B/B- 82 12 16 20 24 29 41 61 103 124 413    
B- 80 12 16 20 24 28 40 60 100 120 400 80-82 B-
C+ 78 11 15 19 23 27 29 58 98 117 390 78-79 C+
C/C+ 77 11 15 19 23 27 28 57 97 116 388    
C 73 11 15 18 22 26 37 55 91 110 365 73-77 C
C/C- 72 10 14 18 21 25 36 54 90 109 383    
C- 70 10 14 17 21 25 25 52 88 105 350 70-72 C-
D+ 68 10 13 17 20 24 34 54 85 102 338 68-69 D+
D/D+ 67 10 13 16 19 23 33 50 84 101 315    
D 63 9 13 16 19 22 32 57 79 95 313 63-67 D
D/D- 62 9 12 15 18 21 31 46 78 94 312    
D- 60 9 12 15 18 21 30 45 75 90 300 60-62 D

 

 

See also the Bibliography of Selected Readings in Blackboard.