The English Grade

Fortunately for Mechanical Engineering students at UNC-Charlotte, your professors have taken steps to ensure that you are educated and guided in the art of technical writing. This process involves careful and judicious critique of several papers that you will be turning in throughout your studies here.  Each student will receive feedback  regarding the quality of their work. The feedback will take the following format:

Overall Precision and Clarity: 80 (good)

Errors: -15

Grade: 65/D

The “Overall Precision and Clarity” grade is a general, subjectively-determined assessment of the precision and clarity of your document as a whole. The “Errors” grade is the sum of all grade penalties resulting from errors in writing mechanics, format, spelling, etc.  The “Grade” is the sum of these two numbers.

Overall Precision and Clarity: 60*

Errors: -27

Grade: 23/R*

A grade of “R” will require you to meet with me individually so that we can address your writing in a one-on-one conference. This grade does not mean your writing is "bad" or hopeless in any way. It simply means that your problems would be better addressed verbally than in margin notes. Papers that receive the grade of “R” that are not revised within the designated time-period will receive a 0.

Many of you will be receiving English grades that are far lower than your technical grade, and this will be disheartening for some of you; however, you should not fear. You are allowed to revise your papers that are graded for English, and you are free to meet with me to discuss any questions that these grades raise.  The objective here is for students to learn how to more clearly and precisely communicate as engineers through the processes of drafting, proofreading, and revision.

Few writers will get it right the first time. There is so much to remember and to keep an eye out for in the technical writing process that most of you will make many mistakes the first time; however, through repeated revision and an expanding awareness of the common problems that technical writers face, your writing grades will improve.