Grading Policies

Grading Policies: Content Courses

The Department of East Asian Studies grades undergraduate course work according to the following guidelines. The guidelines will be published on the department’s website and faculty members are encouraged to draw students’ attention to these guidelines at the beginning of the semester.

  • The A range reflects outstanding work of research and analysis in East Asian studies. The work shows originality in conceiving the topic and an ability to develop the argument in a well-organized and elegant manner. It demonstrates that the writer has conducted a close and critical reading of the relevant texts, grappled with the issues raised in the course itself, synthesized the readings, discussions, and lectures, and formulated a perceptive, independent argument. An A grade reflects clarity of expression, sensitivity to regional, cultural, and historical contexts, and is supported by a well-chosen variety of primary and secondary materials.
  • The B range designates good work, demonstrating many aspects of A-level work but falls short in either the organization or clarity of its writing, the formulation and presentation of its argument, or the quality of research. Some papers or exams in this category are superior efforts that demonstrate insight and solid command of the material, while others give evidence of independent and original thought without maximizing that potential. The lower end of this range is represented by work that shows familiarity with the material but comes up short through some weaknesses in writing, organization, argument, or use of evidence.
  • Course and independent work in the C range reflects poor treatment of a subject, offering little more than a summary of ideas and information having to do with a chosen topic. C-grade work does not respond to the assignment adequately, suffers from frequent factual errors, unclear writing, poor organization, or inadequate primary research, or presents some combination of these problems.
  • The D range designates seriously deficient work with severe flaws in the writer’s understanding of the subject of the course, command of the materials, and modes of argumentation.
  • F papers do not meet the minimal requirements of the department.

Grading Policies: Language Courses

Grades General Standards Detailed Standards Subject to a curve

A range

Outstanding: meets the highest standards

  • Attends all classes
  • Actively participate in all classes
  • Submit all assignments on time with outstanding quality
  • Much higher than average scores on all quizzes
  • Much higher than average scores on all written exams
  • Excellent command of the spoken language on oral exams

91-

B range

Good: meets superior standards

  • Attend almost all classes
  • Actively participate in almost all classes
  • Submit almost all assignments on time with good quality
  • Slightly higher than average scores on most quizzes
  • Good command of the spoken language on oral exams

81-

C range

Acceptable: meets basic standards

  • Attend most classes
  • Participate in most classes
  • Submit most assignments on time with acceptable quality
  • Average or slightly below average scores on most quizzes
  • Average or slightly below average scores on written exams
  • Adequate command of the spoken language on oral exams

71-

D

Minimally acceptable

  • Falls short in most of the evaluation criteria for C range

66-

F

Very poor

  • Less than 75% attendance
  • Falls short in almost all of the evaluation criteria for the course

Below 65

Grading Policies: Senior Thesis Work 

The thesis is read by two faculty members, the adviser and another reader selected by the Director of Undergraduate Studies Each determines a grade independently, and the final grade is the average of the two. A comprehensive exam and thesis defense will be scheduled individually.

The senior thesis represents the culmination of the undergraduate curriculum. It should be an original contribution to scholarship on East Asia, based at least in part on source materials in the student's language of specialization.

The Department of East Asian Studies grades all independent work according to the following rubric, which is made available to all concentrators in the Junior Seminar and is published on the department’s website.

  • The A range reflects outstanding work of research and analysis in East Asian studies. The work shows originality in conceiving the topic and an ability to develop the argument in a well-organized and elegant manner. It demonstrates that the writer has conducted a close and critical reading of the relevant texts, grappled with the issues raised across them, and formulated a perceptive, independent argument. An A-level thesis reflects clarity of expression, sensitivity to regional, cultural, and historical contexts, and is supported by a well-chosen variety of primary materials. 
  • The B range designates work that demonstrates many aspects of A-level work but falls short in either the organization or clarity of its writing, the formulation and presentation of its argument, or the quality of research. Some papers in this category are solid works that contain flashes of insight, while others give evidence of independent thought without maximizing that potential. The lower end of this range is represented by work that comes up short through some weaknesses in writing, organization, argument, or use of evidence. 
  • Independent work in the C range reflects poor treatment of a subject. Offering little more than a summary of ideas and information having to do with a chosen topic, the work here is comparatively insensitive to historical and cultural context and lacks complexity and insight. C-level papers often suffer from inadequate primary research. 
  • The D range designates seriously deficient work with severe flaws in the writer’s command of research materials and modes of argumentation. 
  • F-level papers do not meet the minimal requirements of research in the department.