Technical Communication at the University of Kansas

How to Score Your Writing;
Also, a Handy Peer-Review Guide

Scoring Checklist

English 362 Index

Syllabus

Assignments List

Textbooks

Handouts

Web Links

Measures of Good Technical Communication

Technical Communication Defined

About McKitterick


Want to know how I score your papers? Ready to score your own? Or would you just like some guidance for doing peer-reviews? Well, here's my method, broken down as quantitatively as I can, using the factors I consider when scoring papers:

  • Does the document meet all the requirements of good technical documentation? (See the checklist below.)
    For every required measure not met, deduct approximately 5%.
  • "Grammatically correct" is weighted more heavily; for each rule broken, deduct more points:
    • Using a lot of passive voice and wordiness knocks off 5% by itself.
    • Other errors per Blake & Bly's rules knock off more points as they add up.
  • Does it exhibit standout measures? If so, add 5% for each up to 10% (one full grade) total.
  • Does it meet the requirements of the assignment?
    • If a document is incomplete but already longer than the required length, it must be clear as-is how it will work when complete.
    • If not, deduct 5-10% depending on how much it misses the target.
  • Does the document succeed in the writer's goal? If not, deduct 5-10% depending on how much it misses the target.
  • Does it contain plagiarism? Fix it! If I suspect plagiarism, I do a little snooping. If it turns out to be the case, I give a zero and we meet to discuss.

When you're performing a peer-review, this can be super-handy. Click here to get the peer-review guide document (in .rtf format) to use when critiquing your own or your partner's work.

Measure

Why does the document successfully meet this measure,
or why doesn't it measure up?
Give yourself a 1-10, with 10 being "perfect" for that measure.

Required Measures

Targeted to Correct Reader

 

Useful

 

Clear

 

Consistent

 

Accurate

 

Comprehensive

 

Accessible and Well-Organized

 

Honest 

 

Concise

 

Appears Professional

 

Grammatically Correct

 

Interesting

 

Demonstrates Understanding of the Form

 

Demonstrates Mastery of the Tools

 

Standout Measures

Novel or Unique

 

Realistic

 

Relevant

 

Social Impact

 

Overall point score (based on the assignment's value on Blackboard; not necessary for peer-review, but useful for evaluating your own work):

You can also download this as a .rtf file here. What grade would you give your own paper...?

Information is power! By critically analyzing your writing - and correcting the errors - you'll improve even before you submit it to the final reader.

 

Updated 8/27/2014.