Grading, policies, and rubric

Course Evaluation and Grading Policies

Your grade in this course will consist of three components, enumerated in items 1-3 below.

(1) Quizzes. About ten in-class quizzes. I will count the best seven of your quizzes toward your final grade for a total of 70 points. Quizzes will be in a variety of formats, as appropriate–multiple choice, short answer, etc. There are no make-ups for in-class quizzes.

(2) Blogging. Blogging assignments on the class’s Word Press blog. These will involve your commenting on what happened in class, or commenting on a post I put up on the blog. There are detailed instructions on the site itself, but I will be blogging after just about every class. Each commentary you write is worth up to 10 points. I’ll take your seven best for a total of 70 points.

(3) Paper. A short paper worth 60 points, due on the day of the final exam. We’ll have a brief exercise of some sort on the final exam day. The paper must be turned in to

(3) “Incompletes” in the course will be granted only in highly exceptional circumstances, at my discretion, subject to sufficient documentation of the circumstance to prove its exceptional nature. For a medical emergency, medical documentation will be required. For the death of an intimate, documentation of the death will be required. (For obvious reasons, there is no way to present an exhaustive list of “highly exceptional circumstances.”)

(4) Grades will be calculated by adding earned quiz, blog comment, and paper grades, dividing by 100, and treating the quotient of that division as a percentage which determines the letter grade (i.e., the formula is: points earned/200 = x%, where x determines your grade by the Grading System just below).

Grading System

A: Outstanding 95-100 = 4.00
A-: Excellent 90-94 = 3.67
B+: Very good 87-89 = 3.33
B:  Good  83-86 = 3.00
B-:  Above average 80-82 = 2.67
C+:  Average 77-79 = 2.33
C:  Acceptable 70-76 = 2.00
D:  Poor  65-69 = 1.00
F:  Failure  64 or below = 0.00

Scoring Rubric for Paper/Blog Posts

CRITERIA FOR “A” RANGE GRADE (90-100%): Students show that they understand the material very well and are able to construct an essay which expresses the relevant ideas, concepts, and arguments in their own words, which incorporates their own insights, and which is presented in a clear, well-organized form. The essay has a well-supported thesis, incorporates relevant distinctions, definitions, and other issues raised by the materials covered. The essay is well-written and has few or no grammatical mistakes. The assignment directions have been followed.

CRITERIA FOR “B” RANGE GRADES (80-90%): Students show that they understand the material well but their own contribution is more limited. The arguments are not as convincing, and the materials covered are less well incorporated. There may be a few issues regarding the clarity of writing, but generally, the essay is still easy to follow. All assignment directions have been followed.

CRITERIA FOR “C” RANGE GRADES (70-80%): The essay reflects that students understand some issues, but miss some important points. The essay is not as well-written and lacks some clarity, but it can still be followed. The arguments are unconvincing, perhaps because key issues are missed or because the writing affects the content. Some assignment directions were not followed.

CRITERIA FOR “D” RANGE GRADES (65-70% Points): The essay does not show sufficient understanding of the key issues. Materials covered are largely or entirely missing. Writing is disorganized, has an awkward sentence structure and/or poor grammar and spelling. Some assignment directions were not followed.

CRITERIA FOR AN “F” GRADE (under 65%): The essay does not show understanding of the key issues. Materials covered are largely or entirely missing. Writing is disorganized, has awkward sentence structure, poor grammar and spelling. Most or all of the assignment directions were not followed.

Other Course Policies

(1) Please turn off electronic devices in class.

(2) Please do not speak when someone else has the floor. If you do this, I will either ask you to leave class or leave class myself, and leave you responsible for what I intended to cover that day. I’m the arbiter over who has the floor at any given time.

(3) Students are expected to abide by the Felician University Honor Code. Please familiarize or re-familiarize yourself with the Honor Code; I intend to follow it precisely as written. The Honor Code applies to every single assignment in this class regardless of point value. Notice that according to the Honor Code, the instructor has exclusive authority for the part of the penalty for violation that depends on the grade. The Honor Council determines such things as suspension or dismissal from the University. My blanket grading policy in all cases of honor code violations is to fail the student for the course regardless of the point value of the violation. I accept no excuses of any kind for any reason on Honor Code issues, and make no exceptions to this rule. Your agreement to remain in the class constitutes an agreement with both the Felician University Honor Code and the “blanket grading policy” stated above in italics.

(4) The following is the Philosophy Department’s Attendance Policy:

  • Missing (either excused or unexcused) more than the equivalent of four weeks of classes, as counted for a normal semester course, will result in either receiving a failing grade for the course or being asked to withdraw from the course.
  • The Associate Dean of the Humanities (Dr. Mara Zukowski) shall be the final arbiter regarding disagreements concerning the Departmental Attendance Policy. This policy in no way limits your right to a grade appeal in accordance with existing College policies and procedures.


(1) College-wide policies are available in the Felician University Catalogue.

(2) Course policies and schedules are subject to revision in the event of unforeseeable circumstances.

(3) Last day of Drop/Add is September 3, 2019. Last day to withdraw is November 11, 2019.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s