How to meet expectations: Ten suggestions as you work on the weekly reading
assignments in Introduction to Biblical Literature
"The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple . . . Your
promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them" -- Psalm 119:130,
Write legibly. Penmanship -- in and of itself -- is not graded. However, if you
are turning in something that is handwritten, make it readable. Handwriting that is too poor to
read will not help your grade.
Neatness counts. While the clarity of organization and "look" of your finished
product is technically not graded, it does make a difference in the attention that is
naturally/instinctively given to your assignment.
If your paper is crisp, clean, precise -- with lines, format, numbers, and clear line breaks
-- it will be easy to see that you have properly completed the assignment. It is easier for our eyes
and mind to glance through your work and give you full credit.
If, however, your work is off-line, or hard to read, or smashed together, it may force the
person grading it to "focus" more carefully. This means we spend more time holding and reading
your work. The more time we spend looking at your work, the more time there is to find errors
and mistakes. Technically, clarity of organization does not affect the grade of your Bible Study
assignment, but because it does affect the time we spend holding and critiquing your work, it
likely will affect your grade.
In general, the better you organize any assignment you turn in, the greater
the probability that professors will "ease" their way through grading it.
Answer the questions. Your insight and clarification are important. Sometimes,
however, students write a page of "stuff" without ever actually answering the questions that were
Stick with what the text says. Don't throw in common assumptions. For instance, the
Bible does not say Adam ate an apple; it was a "fruit." Granted, this particular example is not a
major issue, but some assumptions can lead to major issues!
Proofread! Don't make inattentive and "ignore-ant"
mistakes1. For example, when the assignment instructions give a man's name as
Abel, do not write Able. Such errors may give the impression that you did not really do the
Staple the pages. If you don't staple your pages together, they may get separated and
Look to improve. If you didn't get 50 points out of 50 possible points [or close to it]
and you want to get 50/50 points:
Ask me what you need to do.
Find someone in the class who got a 50/50 and ask them what they did to earn 50/50
Keep the papers that are returned to you. As hard as we try -- as diligent as we are --
errors do creep into grade books. You will need your papers to correct errors when we make an
error entering one of your grades.