CS 349 Contemporary Issues in Computer Science
Alan Cline

Elaine Rich

Homework Grading Guidelines


This is a writing flag* class.  So we’ll be looking for two things as we grade your homework essays:


·         Content:  Do you have significant ideas?  Have you done research?  Do you make concise and effective arguments?


·         Writing: Is your essay well organized?  Are your sentences grammatical and clear?  Do you cite your sources?


How Will We Grade?


Each assignment is different, so there is not a single rubric that describes exactly how all of them will be graded.  But here’s an example, which we’ll modify in accord with what we’ve asked you to do:


·         Understanding of the Key Issues (15 pts) – shows a good understanding of the issues raised by the required reading.


·         Insight (10 pts) – Here’s where we’re looking for novel ideas or a particularly deep understanding of the issues.


·         Research (15 pts) – evidence of appropriate additional research.  Good use of citations when appropriate.


·         Quality of the Argument (20 pts) - general cohesiveness of thought, clear logic and clear arguments.


·         Structure (20 pts) - strong thesis statement, logical paragraph structuring.


·         Sentences (20 pts) - avoiding grammatical errors, use of easy-to-follow sentences, good choice of words, etc.


A Note on Citations


Citations are important as they allow readers to verify facts presented in papers.  Get into the habit of citing facts rather than stating generalizations or making unsupported claims. 


Online sources are fine if they’re reliable.  (You need to use judgement here, just as you would for evaluating the reliability of a print source.)


Please use either MLA or APA styles for citations (both are well-documented online).    Both of these styles now include formats for specifying online sources.




* Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your written work. Writing Flag classes meet the Core Communications objectives of Critical Thinking, Communication, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.