Expert tips from an old teaching assistant and part-time professor on writing an ‘A’ paper

In your first year of university or college, you may commence to believe that “A” papers are a little like unicorns. Do they even exist? I remember feeling so angry and frustrated during first year; I experienced been an “A” student all through high school but suddenly, i really couldn’t score higher than a B+ on any of my written work. What had changed? How could I crack the code?

Now, after a PhD in English and many years of experience grading undergraduate and college papers, I’m here to tell you all of the plain things i wish I knew whenever I was getting started.

First, you should know that A’s are attainable—just rare. Some departments have recommended (if not set-in-stone) grade averages: which means the average mark for a certain course needs to be, as an example, a 70. Even without those institutional guidelines or restrictions, A-level grades are meant to be reserved for a small minority of papers that go far beyond in terms of content and execution. In a class of 50, the professor that is average teaching assistant will likely award 5 A-range grades, with almost all of those being A minuses and incredibly few (or maybe zero) As or A-pluses.

So, while I can’t promise that these tips will guarantee an A grade, i could assure you that if you follow these steps, your marks will materially improve.

Proceed with the instructions

This sounds dumb, however you could be surprised at how students that are many poorly (and sometimes even fail) since they simply try not to follow directions. That is a lot more crucial during the college level, where professors often grade assignments relating to strict rubrics. Continue reading