Spring 2009

Grade descriptions for 6.033: Spring 2009

A - Professional-level communication. If you were applying for a job that specified "excellent communications skills," you could submit this paper as a writing sample. The tone is businesslike, courteous, and confident. The structure demonstrates an understanding of the professional genre. An A paper goes beyond fulfilling the assignment's requirements, demonstrating superior skills in conveying information both verbally and visually.

B - Competent work. This level of writing shows that you have followed the instructions and given a clear, complete explanation or description with no major errors in formatting or use of language. The material meets the assignment's requirements, but demonstrates no significant effort to facilitate the reader's comprehension. A B paper is well done, but it is unmistakably undergraduate level work.

C - Assignment completed without distinction. This level of writing shows that you have done the assignment, but the reader has to work to understand it. A C paper is notably lacking in attention to detail, usually indicating a need for revision and remedial help; occasionally, however, a well-written paper may receive a C for violating significant conventions of professional writing, such as using a tone that might offend some readers, violation of professional writing conventions (such as consistent use of non-standard vocabulary or punctuation), or egregious errors in formatting or presentation.

D - Has not fulfilled the assignment and will not pass without significant revision.

F - Indicates complete lack of effort, plagiarism, or some other violation of Institute requirements.

Questions or comments regarding 6.033? Send e-mail to the 6.033 staff at or to the 6.033 TAs at

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