Where to Find Your Grades:

We will be using the Moodle grade book for this course.  You will be turning in many of your assignments through Moodle, as it is easier for me to use than the external grade book that I used in former years.   As an added advantage, you don’t have to print your papers and I can type my comments in response.  Win-win.

Click HERE to to our course Moodle site, log in, and check your grades.

Grading System:

I use a point system rather than just letter grades.  Starting at the top:

  • 96-100 is an “A+”
  • 90-95 is an “A”
  • 85 to 89 is an “A-“
  • 80-84 is a “B+”
  • 75-79 is a “B”
  • etc.

This means that you should not panic if you receive a “78” on a paper that you think ought to be a solid “B”.  It is a mid-level “B” in my point system.

One consequence of this system is that bombing a single assignment will not kill your course grade.  Though it is not terribly easy to earn an “A” in my courses, it is rather difficult to fail – if you turn in your work.

Grading Standards:

I am a relatively tough grader, largely because I take sociology seriously and want you to, also. Furthermore, this is an upper-division course that requires more abstract thinking than do courses on specific sociological topics.  That can’t be helped; social theory is by nature abstract, and there is no way to do justice to it while making it any less so.

Here is what I expect of people who earn various levels of grades:

  • A — You did everything I could possibly ask of you, and you did it extremely well. You worked very hard, learned a great deal, and showed conspicuous intelligence. The quality of your work was outstanding.
  • B —  You did all the work, and you did it well. You worked hard and learned a good deal. The quality of your work was good.
  • C — You did all the work. It is clear that you learned a number of things, though those things may not hang together in a systematic and critical understanding of the course material. The quality of your work was adequate.
  • D — You did most of the work, including all the major course requirements. You may have learned some things, but it is not clear that you learned anything important. The quality of your work was less than adequate.
  • F — You have demonstrated an obstinate ignorance. You did not complete the course requirements. You have proved unwilling or unable to do college level work in this subject area.

Grade Adjustment Option:

As noted on the Assignments page, this course has several elements.  Each one is worth a certain percentage of your final grade.  Here are the base figures:

1. Attendance REQUIRED
2. Active Daily Class Participation & Leadership 10% of grade
3. Outlines & Reading Summaries (8) 20% of grade
4. Group Presentation 10% of grade
5. Two Papers:
  • Doing all the steps of the writing process
  • First Paper
  • Second Paper
5% of grade
20% of grade
15% of grade
6. Final Exam 20% of grade

Being a life-long learner, I recognize that different people have different interests.  Some people will put a lot of effort into the papers, others will focus on the reading summaries, and still others will focus on the exams.  I want you to be free to follow your interests without worrying that doing so will hurt your grade.  

Therefore, you have the option of raising the percentage that one of these counts toward your grade, while lowering  the value of another.   This rewards you for the assignments on which you chose to concentrate your efforts.

Specifically, you may adjust two of the following elements by up to 5%:

  • You may raise the value of Reading Summaries as high as 25% or lower it as low as 15%.
  • You may raise the value of the First Paper as high as 25% or lower it as low as 15%
  • You may raise the value of the Second Paper as high as 20% or lower it as low as 10%
  • You may raise the value of Final Exam as high as 25% or lower it as low as 15%.

You may only change two of these percentages: one up, the other down.  Please download the Grade Adjustment Sheet, fill it out, and turn it in at the time of the Final Examination.

I shall not let your choices lower your grade below what you would have gotten, had you left things alone.