Friday, February 18, 2011

Creative Writing: Workshop Grades

I wanted to let you all know how I see workshop grades in terms of your overall grades for IFP.  Writing is a subjective field, and so it is difficult to assign objective grades.  This is why I use workshop grades as indicators of your writing progress rather than the balance of your total grade.  In all, your writing ability counts toward 30% of the final grade, with a possible 10% adjustment added to the final grade for progress.

Workshop Grades Are Meant Only as Indicators of Progress
The stories for this semester (Spring 2011) are graded out of a total of 50 points. I know there's a strong temptation to think of these points in terms of letter grades, but I encourage you to avoid that. I give grades on workshop stories more to give you an indication of where your writing currently is, and to give room to show your improvement over time.

The point percentages here won't necessarily represent your overall grades for the course.  Your grades on regular assignments (100% for all on-time submissions which meet the guidelines) are meant to balance the lower averages seen for graded assignments.  A typical class average for a writing grade is somewhere around a B- in the first half of the course; class averages usually go up to A- by the end of the course.  Note that these are only approximate averages - each student is graded separately, and I do not curve.  The improved grades are due to improvement in the overall quality of the writing, and this is part of the reason why later assignments are weighted more heavily than the earlier assignments.


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