Here is a summary of how I understand the various grade break-down.

A+ (100%)

Engages the readings to provide a clear, compelling and interesting argument. Each paragraph has a coherent claim, and all paragraphs fit together to form a complete argument. The paper is well written at all levels: from structure of the argument to sentence-level grammar. The paper presents a way of thinking about the material in a new and sophisticated manner.  The paper is a pleasure to read and publishable in its current form.

A (95%)

Engages the readings to provide a clear and compelling argument. Each paragraph has a clear purpose which is supported by evidence and analysis. Is well written and a pleasure to read.

B+/A- (90%)

Engages the readings and contains an argument. Each paragraph has a purpose, which are clearly relevant to the argument and supported by evidence. The paper is well written.

B (85%)

Engages the readings, although there is no clear argument (or the reader has to work to find one). Each paragraph contains accurate information and/or summary of the readings, but each paragraph is not necessarily relevant to each other, or to a broader argument.

C+/B- (80%)

Makes use of the reading but contains no clear argument.  Paragraphs and sentences seem placed at random order, moving from claim to claim without clear reason.

C (75%)

Barely makes use of the readings, if at all. Reads like a series of personal or general statements rather than a paper designed to advance an argument.

F 59%

Paper is turned in so late that the grade deductions bring the grade below 59%.

 100-93 =A 80-82 = B- 66-69 = D+ 92-90 = A- 76-79 = C+ 63-65 = D 86-89 = B+ 73-75 = C 60-86 = D- 83-85 = B 70-72 = C- 0-59 = F

A+ Disclaimer

I do not give A+s under any condition. Those who do truly exceptional work will have this reflected in any letters I write on their behalf.