Assignments, Rubrics, Grading

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

Assignment Sequence Recommendations

WRIT 300 requires four formal writing assignments: three formal papers and an annotated bibliography (and research proposal) assignment. All formal papers in WRIT 300 should be written under revision conditions: drafts should be submitted for feedback on content and organization by peers and instructor.

The three formal papers must comprise at least sixty percent (60%) of the final grade. *Provide the breakdown of specific assignments by percentages (for example: Paper #1 is worth 10%).

Paper #1 (three to four pages) should ask students to analyze and draw critical connections between two texts. These texts may include the assigned readings for the course (see sample assignment sequence for specific details). This assignment functions as an exercise in close reading, analysis, and the basics of citation.

Paper #2 (four to five pages) should ask students to synthesize three texts. This is an opportunity for students to begin the work of composing a multi-source paper; it should serve as preparation for the final research paper assignment. For Paper #2, you may ask students to incorporate sources beyond the scope of texts they've been assigned in the course (see sample assignment sequence for specific details).

The Annotated Bibliography assignment should ask students to find EIGHT scholarly sources through library databases. The expectation is that these sources can be used for the final research paper. To help students prepare their annotated bibliography, you may wish to book a York College Library information session. You may also wish to book a computer lab and use class time to guide students through the process of finding sources through the library databases. Note: some instructors choose to assign the annotated bib separately from the research proposal assignment, but the choice is yours to make.

The Final Research Paper (eight to ten pages) should ask students to undertake research writing that incorporates EIGHT sources. This assignment is a culmination of the skills students have developed throughout the semester: focused analysis, synthesis of multiple sources, citation and so on (see sample assignment sequence for specific details).

Many instructors use the final examination to have students engage in reflective writing about their coursework.

A sample assignment sequence for WRIT 303 is provided here, and it can be modified for use in other WRIT 300 courses:

WRIT 303 Sample Assignments


Rubric design is left up to the instructor of each section. You may wish to modify the rubrics used in other composition courses, adding specific attention to the research component in WRIT 300.

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.