Assignments, Rubrics, Grading

Assignment sequence samples, a note on rubrics, and grading policy information

Assignment Sequence Recommendations:

English 125 requires four formal four formal writing assignments: three formal papers of 3-6 pages, and an annotated bibliography assignment that asks students to write on 3-4 sources. These formal papers must be worth at least sixty percent (60%) of the final grade.

Composition courses must include a minimum of nine (9) print and/or online reading selections encompassing a range of genres, including, for example, scholarly, journalistic, editorial, reflective, and visual texts.

The course requires a final examination worth 10% of the grade.

An English 125 class should include four formal writing assignments: three formal papers of 3-6 pages, and an annotated bibliography assignment that asks students to write on 3-4 sources. All formal papers in English 125 should be written under "revision" conditions: drafts should be submitted for feedback on content and organization by peers and instructor.

The formal papers for English 125 should be written in response to readings; in them, students exercise, incrementally and repeatedly, skills of working with source material. Papers should make use of in-text citations and include a Works Cited page.

After students write an initial draft of a paper, it should be revised to respond to feedback from the instructor and peers, edited for correctness, and produced in a word-processed, polished, final version. Notice that this process requires an extended period of time (at least 1 to 2 weeks) between the initial assignment and handing in the final copy.

We provide sample assignments for the formal papers and the annotated bibliography below.

Assignment Sequence Sample #1

Assignment Sequence Sample #2


Rubric design is left up to the instructor of each section. Provided is a sample that may be used or modified:

Rubric Sample #1

Grading Policies:

The college-wide policies on grading can be found at the Grading Policies webpage.

Important considerations:

WU/F: Making distinctions

  1. The WU is a grade given to a student who stops attending before the Final Exam. A student who disappears and does not make contact (or does not respond to contact) and who has not completed the work for the course should be given a WU.
  2. An F should be given to a student who does not complete passing work for the course.
  3. However, a student who completes all of the work for the class satisfactorily, but stops coming or misses many classes should receive the relevant grade (A-D).

A student who attends the Final exam should receive the relevant grade based on the work (A-F), not a WU.

D and F: Making decisions

  1. A grade of D counts negatively in a student's GPA forever.  In contrast, the CUNY F-grade policy allows a student to retake courses with an F grade.  If the retake grade is C or higher, it is the higher grade that is computed in the GPA (up to a total of 16 credits). However, the F will remain on the student's transcript. 
  2. A student who receives an F in a course will have to pay out of pocket to repeat the course.
  3. If a student is close to graduation, a D may be the better choice of grade if it can be justified based on the grades that the students earned on assignments in the course.
  4. York no longer uses the NC grade in any course but SD110; therefore, all Fs recorded by instructors will be factored into a student’s GPA, and will be recorded on the transcript.

Incomplete (INC) Grade

The York College Bulletin states,

“This grade can ONLY be given by an instructor to a student who, because of extenuating circumstances, has not taken the final examination and/or completed the coursework, and has a passing average may, at the discretion of the instructor, receive an INC grade. The student, in consultation with the instructor, has up to 10 weeks in the subsequent semester to complete the work and have the grade resolved even if student not registered in the subsequent semester” (21; emphasis in original).

A student who has completed all of the work for the course to a satisfactory level but misses the final exam should probably be given an INC to allow them to make up the exam.

All other incompletes should be assigned sparingly, and when it is in the student’s best interest, and when you think the student has a reasonable chance of being able to complete the missing work. If you have any questions or doubts about whether to assign an INC grade, please do not hesitate to contact the Department Chair, Deputy Chair, or Writing Program Director for guidance.