Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 3

Blumner 1

Jacob Blumner

English xXx

Professor Blumner

1 May 2010

How I Grade

I would like to add a brief, generic message to everyone regarding my commenting on

essays so you know what you are looking at, more specifically to the kinds of comments I will

make on your essays. I make two kinds of comments in the margins. One kind of comment is as

a reader, so you’ll see things like “cool” or “ouch” or “gross” or “I’m confused here.” Those are

to give you feedback as to what I was thinking as a reader. I would never write “gross” in the

margin to imply your writing was so disgusting that I was compelled to add the adjective to the

margins of your work. Reader comments tend to be positive unless I have questions of

understanding, and I try to be as clear as margins allow.

The second kind of marginalia is teacherly. I write comments and questions I have about

your writing that I think will make the essay better with revision. So, if you see “rework” in the

margin, that means I think you should rework the sentence so it is grammatically correct or

clearer to the reader. You should review those places and consider my comments accordingly.

A third kind of commenting I do (arguably not marginalia) is highlighting parts of your

text (This parenthetical statement is highlighted. Can you see it?). That means I think you need

to revise something there. Most typically it’s a grammar or punctuation problem. I don’t correct

them because you would simply return to your word processors, make the changes and learn

nothing from it. I would do this, too. No, I want you to learn, given this is a class on improving

your writing, so you need to find what is wrong and try to fix it. If you cannot figure it out on
your own or in the Writing Center (308 Library), I would be glad to help you understand my

note. But be warned, I will ask what you did to understand it and ask you what you think the

problem is. I expect you to correct those problems, particularly if you decide to resubmit your

essay for grading.

Occasionally I will use the Track Changes feature of MS Word to identify formatting

issues or if you have a grammar or punctuation issue that is so obscure or difficult to figure out

that it wouldn’t be worth the wild good chasesnipe hunt to find it.

I use the Review feature in MSWord for two reasons. The first reason is because I want

my comments to be legible. If you’ve seen my handwriting you would understand. The second

reason is that I want my comments, at least theoretically, to be temporary. It’s your text, you

own it, and I don’t want my comments to permanently impinge on that. So, you could, if you

wanted, delete what I wrote. It’s a philosophical point, but an important one to me. I respect you

all as writers, and this is one way to show it.

My feelings aren’t hurt if don’t understand my comments and you ask me what I they

mean. My theory is that conversation is one of the best ways to improve writing, and writing is a

poor sibling to talking when it comes to communication such things. Writing is a slower,

oblique, and more cumbersome way to talk about writing style, technique, and rhetorical choices.

All writers, teachers, and students are limited by time when communicating about writing. Talk

allows a lot more to happen in a shorter time. It also limits miscommunication. I prefer

conversation. So, if I can engage you in conversation about writing, I’m happy. Talk to me.

Eek! You didn’t get the grade you wanted? You have the opportunity to revise your

essays and turn them in to have them regarded. You have two weeks from the time I return your

essays to resubmit. (This prevents me from being inundated with revised papers at the end of the
term – it’s happened.) I am happy to work with you on your essays as much as you’d like

(within reason) before you resubmit, but once you say “grade this,” that’s it. If you resubmit,

review resubmission requirements in the syllabus. I will talk more about resubmitting in class.

I think that’s it for now. I hope you find this helpful. Thanks in advance for the enjoyable

reads. I look forward to each batch of papers you write; they are a highlight of my week.