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Writing 465 holds up high standards for its students to meet, because it is designed to help you meet the expectations for communicating on your job. Therefore, the following standards apply to your grades.

In written communication:

A These documents represent polished, appropriately-designed efforts that would be completely acceptable in a professional situation. They are totally error-free; moreover, they are executed with creativity and sensitivity to the nature and needs of the audience and make the best use of available communications presentation technology. The topic is substantive; the prose style is mature and tight, well-organized, and free of lard. Every part plays an important role in the document=s effect and is connected by appropriate transitions. Any graphics are smoothly integrated and effectively placed for communicative success. The content shows that the writer knows how to find, select, and present information in the manner best suited to this audience.

B These documents are less polished and appropriate than A documents, but again would be acceptable (if not notable) in a professional situation. They are also totally error-free, but are weaker than A papers in one or more of the following ways: The topic is less ambitious; the style is less tight or more lardy; transitions may be weaker; the appeal to the audience is less certain; the presentation is less polished; graphics may be less appropriate or less smoothly integrated; the content may be less complete or less sophisticated; the use of technology may be less fluent; or the writer may not demonstrate the ability to find, select, and present the right information in a totally appropriate manner.

C These documents are virtually error-free, but they are not yet appropriate for a professional situation for one or more of the following reasons: the style is immature, wordy, stilted, or inappropriate for the audience; the topic is mundane; the content is insufficiently developed or presented in a less-than-effective organization; the presentation is uncertain and shows amateurism; graphic information is ineffectively presented or interpreted or inappropriately placed; technology may not be used effectively; appropriate sources of information may not have been consulted; documentation of secondary information may be incomplete or inaccurate. With appropriate revisions these documents may be acceptable in a professional situation.

D These documents contain errors in any or all of the following areas: spelling, grammar, mechanics, punctuation, or format. They may also suffer from one or more of the following weaknesses: inappropriate or casual style; insufficient audience analysis; poor organization or transitions; incomplete or inappropriate content; sloppy, hasty, or amateurish presentation; inaccuracies in data; poor choice of graphic contents, placement, or presentation; inappropriate, incomplete, or missing research; serious faults in documentation; or problems using available technology. These documents require substantial revision to be acceptable in a professional situation.

F These documents do not meet basic standards for professional communication. They may exhibit one or more of the following weaknesses: inability to use standard grammar, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics; missing documentation; poor treatment of content; careless or inappropriate format and presentation; no control over technology; illogical organization; or an obviously inadequate amount of preparation. These documents must be completely rewritten before they can be used in a professional situation.

In oral communication:

A This presentation is a solid, creative, well-organized communication on an engaging topic that is totally suited to the needs of the particular audience. It has a discernible and appealing structure, memorable content, and engaging presentation. Transitions are smooth and the speaker avoids verbal distractors, inappropriate language, or grammatical mistakes; is audible and clear; and makes positive eye- and rhetorical contact with all members of the audience. The speaker manages her/his time well. Visual aids and technology, if used, are well-designed, appropriate for the audience, and thoroughly integrated into the presentation. Handouts are well-chosen, free of error, and used effectively. The speaker projects knowledge, confidence, and self-possession. The presentation prompts questions and discussion. This presentation would be totally acceptable in a professional situation.

B This presentation lacks some of the verve and imagination of the A presentation but is still well-suited to its audience. The topic is appropriate if not noteworthy; the organization is strong, although it may not be projected as smoothly or discernibly; the content is complete if less persuasively presented; and the speaker makes a degree of contact with all members of the audience. The speaker avoids verbal distractors, inappropriate language, and grammatical mistakes, and may have some trouble with time limits, but is audible and clear. The question inspires some questions. Transitions are more obvious but still present. Visual aids and technology, if used, are well-designed but may not be integrated as smoothly or thoroughly into the presentation. Handouts may be less polished but still support the speaker. The speaker may seem slightly less sure of his/her authority. The presentation is not as memorable, but would be acceptable in a professional situation.

C This presentation is complete but hardly memorable. The speaker shows some lack of confidence or knowledge, or may not connect with parts (or all) of the audience, or may have trouble maintaining a clear and/or audible flow of words. The organization and content are pedestrian, requiring little effort on the audience=s part, and the presentation inspires few if any questions. The flow may be disjointed or missing. Visual aids may belabor the obvious; handouts may merely repeat the visual aids, or contain errors or inaccuracies. The speaker avoids most verbal distractors, inappropriate language, and grammatical mistakes, but is definitely not polished and mature in presentation. Technology may not be used smoothly. The audience may concentrate at first, but then lose interest. The speaker may mismanage the allotted time. The presentation would be marginally acceptable (but not memorable or praiseworthy) in a professional situation.

D The presentation suffers from one or more of the following weaknesses: serious problems in time management; inappropriate or insufficient content; poor suitability to the audience; indications that insufficient preparation time was spent; missing or misused handouts or visual aids; grammatical mistakes; inappropriate language; frequent verbal distractors; obvious evidence of nervousness; mumbling or inaudibility; faulty or missing organization; or insufficient audience contact and engagement. Handouts, visual aids, or technological assistance may contain errors or inaccuracies, or be poorly handled by the speaker. The presentation would not be acceptable in a professional situation.

F The presentation is totally unacceptable for one or more of the following reasons: complete inaudibility or indecipherability; poor time management; substantive problems in organization, content, audience connection, use of visual aids and/or technology, or presentation; poor or incorrect grammar or language choices. The presenter may obviously be Awinging it.@ Handouts or visual aids may have been forgotten. It must be recast entirely for a professional situation.




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