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Now that you understand why profs are such format sticklers, take a look at the rubric: The rubric is a list of direct touch points that will be examined by the professor as they grade your work.Take note, they’re specific and they break down your potential performance.Imagine just how much variation and diversity would occur between those 75 people and their papers if the prof left it all to chance—all of these students like different fonts, would cite things differently based on their preferences, and would hand in widely varied papers, at least doubling the time it would take to read those papers. Make that prof love you by following these directions.
Remember, the rubric for the course on the assignment sheet you’ve been given, you will find a general rubric in the class syllabus, or the professor will include a rubric with an assignment sheet.
If the professor does not provide these things to you, don’t be afraid to ask for them.
The prof will add up the categories and multiply that number by 4 to get your grade: 4 5 5 4 5 = 23 x 4 = 92.
To get an A on this paper, you have to perform with excellence in 3 categories and above average in at least 2 of the other categories. Which three categories are you going to absolutely kill in? All it takes is attention to detail—Microsoft Word has all the tools you need to score perfectly there.
Let’s take it section by section, one directive at a time. Go through and find the concepts the prof wants you to cover in the paper. Lord love ‘em, but professors are notorious for giving more information than necessary or saying more than what needs saying, so do your best to boil the assignment down to the essentials with your highlighter: Take note, these macro concepts are often suggestions, not commands. These are the items that must be included in the paper for you to get a good grade.
They are the prof telling you how to be impressive, clear, or to raise your grade through a demonstration of your wits and knowledge. Usually they are very specific: Clearly, if your paper uses first-person pronouns, it will irk the person giving you the grade—probably best to stay away from that.
So, here it is, step-by-step: Now, let’s take a look at a sample assignment.
Say you have to write a paper for your Linguistics class.
This paper better be formatted in a particular way! Your profs aren’t trying to bust your chops (they do, in fact, have other things to do than make you miserable)—they’re trying to streamline the grading process.
Also, watch for specific requests about format changes and due dates. These are no-nonsense statements/compromises that the prof needs you to abide. Imagine you have 75 papers to grade written by your 75 students.