Creative Writing

BFA Grading Guidelines

The following list provides a guide to course grading at UNCW for undergraduate writing students. While a grade of C is considered average campus-wide, the department expects students in the major to earn B's. The highest grade, A, is reserved for outstanding work. Instructors will develop criteria for particular assignments.

  • The A student handles language and grammar as if instinctively, though the student may have spent hard hours learning it. Attendance, for this student, is not an issue:he/she is committed to being in class and always makes up missed assignments. The A student is an asset to the class and the instructor, questioning and probing toward a personal aesthetic. His/her work is uniformly arresting and, whatever its apprentice flaws, always contains something of original value. The A student may have abundant natural talents, but also works harder and more relentlessly with what he/she has. The result is exciting work, clearly more accomplished than that of B students. The A student displays passionate commitment to writing.
  • The B student is proficient with language and grammar. His/her work often has bright moments of originality. All assignments are handed in on deadline, attendance is nearly perfect, and the student participates fully in workshop or other classroom activities. This student may or may not be highly talented but is making much of whatever talent he/she has.The student takes chances in writing, and some pay off with rare and wonderful images, memorable characters, inspired situations, wonderful lines of dialogue, wise insights, beautiful language, etc. The work might be uneven, but it shows promise and direction.
  • The C student has some ability and routinely applies himself/herself but, compared to classmates and compared to a universal standard, with no noticeable distinction.Creative work graded C usually lacks luster and a strong voice, and may be disorganized or loosely organized, but will have genuine structure and purpose.The C student demonstrates a basic knowledge but not mastery of technique.The C student's work over a semester might have highs canceled out by lows, or it might be a flat line when what is wanted is a rising curve of interests and performance.
  • The D student's work is often grammatically or syntactically incorrect, or the creative work lacks almost all originality, or the student has missed the equivalent of two weeks of classes without being excused by instructor, or the student has failed in some assignments or scored below 70% on exams, quizzes, and other non-creative work in the course.In general, the D student lacks ability and does not make up for it with effort, or has some ability but gives the course spotty effort and attention. The D student is not doing work of a caliber appropriate for a university student
  • The F (failing) student's work is grammatically and/or syntactically incorrect in a serious way, and the student has made no successful effort to remedy the problem.Standard editorial format is not observed, or creative work is completely unoriginal or plagiarized, or the student has missed one-third or more of the class meetings (excused absences excepted), or the student has failed to hand in a significant portion of the assignments, or scored below 60% on exams, quizzes, and other non-creative work in the course.In general, an F student shows basic lack of interest and ability and should not be encouraged to pursue further study in creative writing.