What kinds of feedback can I expect to receive?

During your composing process, you can expect to receive specific assignment guidelines and evaluation criteria, and you can expect to receive feedback and grades on your assignments based on these criteria in a timely manner. Instructors are required to provide you with feedback by the seventh week of the course. Feedback may be delayed in extraordinary circumstances, such as instructor illness. 

You will receive feedback from your instructor in the form of written and/or verbal comments on your work that will help you revise and improve your writing and composing. Initial feedback is not always accompanied by a grade for the assignment or activity, but at some point, your instructor will assign a grade to your work. Most instructors grade your projects with either the number of points you earned for the assignment (and out of how many points) or with a percentage grade. Your instructor will include on your syllabus how much each assignment or project is worth, and you can expect to receive an explanation of why your assignment earned the grade that it did. 

Assigning grades is how instructors give you an evaluation of your work and progress in the course, and you will receive grades throughout the semester. You should have an idea of where you stand grade-­wise at any time during the semester. If your instructor does not use Blackboard or display your grades on a course management system, you can keep track of the graded work that’s been returned to you.

Sometimes, your instructor may require you to come to their office hours to discuss your grade.

Grading Posting Policies

While it would be nice to have your instructor remind you of your grades via email from time to time (or to share that information with curious parents) neither of these is actually possible because of FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) which prevents instructors from emailing or posting grades in non­secure locations such as office doors (even if they are listed by anonymizing numbers). For this reason, you can expect your grades to be shared with you only through secure, university approved means such as MyPurdue or Blackboard.

What Grades Mean

The following section offers you some meaning behind the letter grades and points your instructor will use while assessing your work. Your instructor will include on the course syllabus whether your final course grade will be a regular A, B, C, D, F letter grade or whether you will be on the +/­ grading system. 

The A range: You did what the assignment asked at a high quality level, and your work shows originality and creativity. Work in this range shows all the qualities listed below for a B; but it also demonstrates that you took extra steps to be original or creative in developing content, solving a problem, or developing a verbal or visual style.

The B range: You did what the assignment asked of you at a high quality level. Work in this range needs little revision, is complete in content, is organized well, and shows special attention to style and visual design.

The C range: You did what the assignment asked of you. Work in this range tends to need some revision, but it is complete in content and well organized. The style, verbal and visual, is appropriate but unremarkable.

The D range: You did what the assignment asked at a low level of quality. Work in this range tends to need significant revision. The content is often incomplete and the organization is hard to discern. Verbal and visual style is often non­-existent or chaotic.

F: A grade of F is generally for students who don’t show up or don’t do the work. If you feel you put in your best effort and still received an F, you might talk to your instructor or advisor about dropping the class.

Grades of Incomplete: A grade of incomplete is given to a student only under extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control, such as a serious illness or accident. Purdue’s University Regulations states, “A grade of incomplete is a record of work that was interrupted by unavoidable absence or other causes beyond a student’s control, which work was passing at the time it was interrupted and the completion of which does not require the student to repeat the course in order to obtain credit. The incomplete grade is not to be used as a substitute for a failing grade.” If you are in a situation in which you do need an incomplete, you should first talk to someone in the Office of the Dean of Students to have your extended absence recorded.

More information on university grade policies can be found here: https://www.purdue.edu/studentregulations/regulations_procedures/grades.html

Grade Appeals

University Regulations states that:

The grade appeals system affords recourse to a student who has evidence or believes that evidence exists to show that an inappropriate grade has been assigned as a result of prejudice, caprice, or other improper conditions such as mechanical error, or assignment of a grade inconsistent with those assigned other students. Additionally, a student may challenge the reduction of a grade for alleged scholastic dishonesty.


The burden of proof is on the student, except in cases of academic dishonesty, where the burden of proof is on the instructor. 

If you have concerns about your composition class at any time during the semester, please see Linda Haynes, Assistant Director of Composition in Heavilon 314C (lhaynes@purdue.edu).

Procedure for ICaP Grade Reviews

If you wish to challenge a final course grade, you must first discuss the situation with your instructor. If you are not satisfied with the results of that meeting, you may then request an ICaP Grade Review. If you are not satisfied with the decision made by the ICaP Grade Review, you may then appeal your grade through the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).

Step One: Contact your instructor.

  • Visit, call, or email your instructor to discuss your grade. In some cases, a scoring error may have happened, which can be easily fixed. Or, your instructor can explain how they arrived at the grade you received.

Step Two: Fill out electronically an ICaP Grade Review Form and include your packet of graded materials with a cover letter. Bring this packet to the Writing Programs Secretary in Heavilon 302.

You may obtain an ICaP Grade Review Form from Joy Kane, ICaP Secretary (jakane@purdue.edu). The grade review packet you submit should include all of your graded work for the class including the instructor’s comments and/or the grading rubric that your instructor filled out. We will not accept items that do not show comments from the teacher. Also, write a 1-2 page cover letter that explains why you believe the grade you received does not reflect the work you submitted for class. See the checklist on the grade review form for more information.

Step Three: Wait a week.

We will respond to your grade review in written form within one week. You may then pick up the response and your materials at the desk of the Writing Programs Secretary in Heavilon 302.

If we determine a higher grade is warranted, we will make the change automatically through the Office of the Registrar. You should see the new grade reflected soon after in your records. 

ICaP Grade Review requests must be submitted before or during the third week after the start of the following regular semester. We will not accept requests that arrive after Friday at 3:00pm of the third week of the following regular semester in which you received your grade. 

If you are not satisfied with the results of your grade review, you may appeal the grade through the College of Liberal Arts. A CLA Grade Appeal must be initiated within 30 calendar days after the start of the regular semester following the one in which the questioned grade was given.

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