English 1108--Comp I


Inver Hills Community College

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Eng 1108


This page explains the 100 X's (or 100 points) grading system.  It also gives you the steps you can use to figure out your own grade.                                    

What are the basics of grading for the semester?

The grading for the semester is divided as follows:

  • Attendance: about 1/3rd

  • Writing: about 2/3rds

  • Participation/improvement: up or down a
    letter grade after everything else is totaled

  • Extra credit: as much as you want to earn

The overall grading is based on a simple point system.  For attendance and for your weekly papers and drafts, each "X" you receive is worth one point.  There are 100 X's or 100 points (1 X is the same as 1 point) for attendance and writing.  Then your participation and improvement grade may add or subtract points, depending on how much you have participated and improved.

Writing: up to about 66-67 points/X's
Attendance: up to about 32-34 points
Participation: + or - up to one letter grade after the above is totalled
Extra Credit: You may earn additional or make up points/X's

You need to build up at least 70 points to earn a "C" in the course.  You also must do a number of drafts of papers.  There are four Draft 1 papers (four different kinds).  You'll then pick two of these and turn them into two different Draft 2's.  Once your Draft 2's are completed (and if you also have 70 points total), you will receive a "C" for the course.  To get a higher grade, you must do more drafts and earn more points.  Here are the requirements for passing or earning higher grades:

For a better understanding of this, please examine the chart below.  It explains the three major activities you must complete to get a grade in the course, and what you much do for each activity to get the grade you want.


You must satisfy all three of these requirements!

(1) Earn 70+ points for a C (or 60+ points for a D) out of 100+ points total.

 90-100 points earns an A   

   80 - 89 points earns  a  B     

   70 - 79 points earns  a  C     

   60 - 69 points earns  a  D     

   0 - 59 points earns  an F    

See "Table of Grades" below for more details.  Earning extra credit also is possible. 

Warning: The more you procrastinate, the less chance you will have to earn a sufficient number of points to pass. 

Note: If you do not get the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum or a two-year degree from Inver, then a "D" may not transfer elsewhere.  Also, a D does not allow
you to move on to the next higher composition class (Eng 1111 or Eng 1114). 

AND (2) Write the following "Drafts" for the following grades:

 D = 3-6 Draft 1ís + 3 Draft 2's*                               
(& also earn 60+ points)


 C = 3-6 Draft 1ís + 2 Draft 2's1 Draft 3                
(& also earn 70+ points)


 B = 3-6 Draft 1ís + 2 Draft 2ís + 1 Draft 3                
(& also earn 80+ points)


 A = 3-6 Draft 1ís + 2 Draft 2's + 1 Draft 3  + 1 Draft 4  (& also earn 90+ pts.)

Warning: Even if you have enough points for a higher grade, you cannot get it unless you also have the minimum number of Drafts.

AND (3) Attend regularly and turn in assignments.

Weekly attendance and completion of homework is a must to do well in this class.  Warning: If you miss two weeks in a row, you will receive an automatic "F" in the class (which you may then ask to have changed to a "W" or "Withdraw").  


What is my grade? - How do I figure it out?


Up to about 64 Points/X's

            This portion of your grade will be determined by how many of your weekly, rough-draft, non-graded assignments you turn in. You will get X's rather than letter grades once your work is sufficiently completed.  The total point value is high--100 points/X's or half of your total grade--partly because this is a course in learning how to write better, and partly because there are no graded papers.  Instead of graded papers, there are X's for a series of rough drafts in four stages: Draft 1, Draft 2, Draft 3, and Draft 4.  There are several of each of these.  See "HOMEWORK/Weekly Papers" for more details.  For more details, also see the chart of assignments and the X's they are worth: this chart is in your "Course Packet" you must buy from the bookstore for this course.  The chart there shows you how all 100 X's/points are distributed.  


ATTENDANCE GRADE: Up to about 36 Points/X's (more w/extra credit)

            Attendance is very important. Why? Most of the course will not be lecture (and when it is, I'll try to offer something not in the textbooks, or bring together parts of the textbooks in ways the books themselves do not).   Instead, the course will have more of a practical workshop format: you'll actually be doing something much of the time--writing or practicing writing as a class, in small groups, or individually.  Everything in class is designed to draw together the writing and homework for the course, so it's important to be there every time (or do significant makeup work--see below).  You need to attend every time.  For each full attendance day, you'll receive one X (1 point).  If the course has bulletin boards, then this all includes bulletin board attendance, too--the bulletin boards are part of attendance, not homework. 

You also should know about four other important elements of attendance:

  1. You get only half credit for attendance if you are 10 min. late/early, or if you are late/early for even five or ten minutes on a regular basis.

  2. Some days may only be worth 1/2 credit later in the term, in the last half of the course.  If so, they'll be marked as 1/2-credit classes.

  3. If you miss 2+ wks., you can automatically get an F for the entire course.  It is a school policy that instructors may automatically flunk a student who does not attend class for two weeks or more.  I carry out this policy in my classes because I have found that people who do nothing for over two weeks, not even contact me, almost never pass the class when given an additional chance, and they also take up about twice as much of my time as an average student, thus keeping me from spending enough time with other students who are doing the work.  So, if you run into a problem, please get in contact with me immediately and do attend before your two week period is over.  School must come first, like a professional job; if something so overwhelming happens that you need time off, then you should withdraw from your classes (or choose one or more of them to drop).  Call or email me if you're not sure what to do, and I'll be glad to help you decide in a balanced way.  I, myself, have withdrawn from one or two classes in my own college years.  (If I drop you during the first two-thirds of the term - or you decide to drop -  then you should apply for a "W" ("Withdraw").  A "W" does not count against your GPA.  (But it does count against your fail-to-finish rate.)  However, to get the "W," apply for it during the first two-thirds of the course.  Otherwise you may be too late, you will receive an "F," and the "F" will be counted as part of your GPA.   

  4. It is possible to do make-up work for missing attendance, and to also to get extra credit (extra X's or points) in the same way - by doing additional attendance make-up work.  In this way, you actually can increase the number of total points you earn for the semester.  For a list of all the different types of make-up/extra-credit work available, see the Web page "ATTENDANCE/Make Up and Extra Credit."  



            Is this an area in which you can coast?  Nope.  You'll have to actually work at this, too, even if writing is easy for you.  Your participation/improvement can add or subtract points from your point total, depending on how well or poorly you have performed and acted in the course and class.   If you have performed and acted unusually well, they'll be higher.  If you've performed or acted unusually poorly, they will be lower.  Here is what you can do to make your participation/improvement points be as high as possible:  

Positive Performance/Action

  • (a) Participate very verbally by talking in the face-to-face class - or in written form on the bulletin boards in online classes - and in your small-group sessions and class trips, and/or in seeking me out for questions and help before/after class, in my office, or by emailing or telephoning me, 

  • (b) get 1 hr. or more of tutoring help from tutors (or me) when you are revising and editing your drafts (more time counts for more credit), 

  • (c) form and work in study/writing//editing/help groups of two or more people outside of class, and report the time you spent working together, a sentence or two about what you did, and the person/people with whom you worked,

  • (d) show significant extra effort on assignments--by extra length of writing or, clear for me to see, extra time, 

  • (e) Attend the individual consultations between you and me that are planned as part of this course, or otherwise get help from me when you need it in my office, and 

  • (f) demonstrate significant attention to and good attitude about learning--not just to me but also to others in our class.  

Can this part of your grade go lower? Yes. Here are some behaviors you can demonstrate to make your total participation/improvement point count go lower:

Negative Performance/Action

  • (a) keep quiet in class (or give few, poor, or overly short or overly simple answers and responses), 

  • (b) avoid me, 

  • (c) avoid consulting with me or with Writing Center tutors, 

  • (d) be negative or cynical about learning or about other students, 

  • (e) leave work unfinished, 

  • (f) have poor attendance, 

  • (g) have a poor turn-in rate for your weekly papers.  

You may figure how well you are doing in reaching the grade you want simply by adding up your points.  Recommendation: Try figuring two times--once for how many points you actually have, and once for how many points you expect to get.  

Here are four simple  steps to help you:

STEP A: Add your attendance points (using the attendance chart passed around at each class).

STEP B: Add your weekly-papers points (using the weekly-papers chart passed around regularly).

STEP C: Add "A" and "B" above so you have a total.

STEP D: Add or subtract points for improvement and participation.  To do so, look at the two lists above--the "Positive" and the "Negative."  For each positive, give yourself an extra point.  For each negative, subtract a point.  If you fall between positive and negative for a given quality or action, then do not add or subtract anything for it.

When you are done, simply see where your total fits into this scale. 

 90-100 points earns an A   

   80 - 89 points earns  a  B     

   70 - 79 points earns  a  C     

   60 - 69 points earns  a  D     

40 - 59 points earns an F    
     0 - 39 points earns an F-      

This will not show you what grade you have at present.  Instead, it will show you how close you are to your goal, and how many points you still have to go.  Then you can look at the remaining assignments and see how many more points you will probably be able to earn.  (If you want to figure out what your actual grade is likely to be, then figure out what assignments and attendance you plan to complete by the end of the course: total those to see what your grade will be.)

Another helpful hint: Plan what grade you will earn.  Develop a reasonable, rational goal.  Be honest with yourself and ask yourself what grade you can actually achieve, given how much time you can put into the course and how much work you would actually like to do.  For example, if your goal is simply to pass the class, then you should aim for a "C"--70-79 points/X's.  If, however, your goal is to get a full A, then you need to plan on earning 90-100 points/X's.   

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(1) Using the X's System Is Easy: Previous students rave about this grading system.  It is as simple as it is unusual: you earn X's for the grade you want.  90-100 X's = an A for the course, 80-89 X's = B, etc.  There are no letter grades on assignments during the course - just X's.  In this way, you clearly and cae how you are doing and get what you earn.

(2) IHCC Academic Progress Policy: As of summer 2007, all Inver Hills students must maintain a 67% completion rate for all credits attempted. This is in addition to the existing requirement that students earn a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 or above. You can drop a class in the first week, and this does not affect your completion rate.  However, if you withdraw after that, fail to finish the course, or take an "I" (Incomplete), this will affect your completion rate and also may affect your eligibility for financial assistance.  See College Policies for the complete policy.

Updated Aug. 2018



Contents and page design: Copyright (©) 2005-2017 by Richard Jewell

Images courtesy of IHCC, Barry's Clip Art, Clip Art Warehouse, Clip Art Universe, Clipart Collection, MS Clip Art Gallery and Design Gallery Live, School Discovery, and Web Clip Art

First date of publication: January 1, 2005.  Graphics redesigned Aug. 1, 2013
Home-page server's URL:  www.richard.jewell.net/1108/home.htm
CONTACT RICHARD: See www.Richard.Jewell.net/contact.htm.  Office: Business 136