# Prof. Sekula's Paper Grading Formula

• These is an exponential penalty for the "Topic Suitability" category. The exact formula is TS = (1 - exp(-T/0.1)). Basically, if the topic is suitable (T=3) then there is no discernable penalty. If the topic is either T=1,2, then it might be redeemable and there is a small penalty. If the topic is unsuitable, T=0, then your entire grade is a zero. This function multiplies the remainder of your score.

• Your page length fraction is either PF = 1.0 (you met or exceeded the page length requirements), or it's a number less than 1.0. It is computed by dividing the number of pages you wrote by the target, PF = N/Nrequired. Your page length fraction multiplies the rest the your score.

• The remainder of your score is determined by weighting the other categories (Organization, Research, Analysis, Writing, Citations, Quote Content) as follows:
• O: 10.00%
• R: 20.00%
• A: 25.00%
• W: 15.00%
• C: 15.00%
• Q: 15.00%
The above weights represent my belief in the importance of each category to the quality of your paper. Writing and Organization are important - indeed, poor writing and organization will prevent you from getting better than a C (75%) on the paper even if the rest of your paper is PERFECT. I prize Research and Analysis highest of all - after all, this is a critical thinking research paper on a pseudoscientific topic. You can have a pefectly written paper with perfect organization, and bomb the mid-term paper because your analysis was weak or non-existent.

• ESL students get consideration on the writing part of the score, and won't be graded AS HARSHLY as the non-ESL students. However, you will likely also be recommended to take your paper to the SMU Writing Center if your writing is too poor. Failure to show significant improvement in writing on a second draft, or on the final paper, will be taken into consideration when grading writing. We do expect improvement.

• Here is the final formula for your grade: TS * PF * ( O/3*0.10 + R/3*0.20 + A/3*0.25 + W/3*0.15 + C/3*0.15 + Q/3*0.15)