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Old 11-09-2008, 05:53 AM
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Default How To Not Grade Like A Jerk

A guide on how to not grade like a jerk, by George and Emma

This concerns all present Graders, and Graders-to-Be.

We didn’t think a post of this caliber was necessary, but it has become apparent that there are still several misconceptions about the Grading standard in general. So here we are to clear them up for you in one MEGA GIANT, kinda big but not really, post.

Let us start from the beginning.

Every Grader has their own criteria and layout they use when formulating a grade.

Introduction-Story-Plot: Firstly, summarizing the story does not affect how strong the grade is. Seriously. It is unnecessary to tell the author all about the story they just wrote. It's not like recaps are bad, though. They're just not good, either. Our guess is that the folks who tend to do this are assuming that it will make their grade look longer, therefore granting them more payout. We’ll call this misconception number 1 - a long grade does not necessarily mean you will receive more pay.

The main purpose of this section is to simply discuss your likes, dislikes, opinions, and any other criteria you feel is necessary to mention here. Give them feedback; tell them what they could improve on in your eyes, and most importantly: remain encouraging. We’ve seen too many derogatory grades taking place here. What constitutes a good story, what constitutes a bad story. These are not things for us to decide. Our job, as Graders, is to help. We aren't here to tear people apart for making mistakes.

Grammar-Spelling: As straightforward as this area may be, there are a couple things every Grader should know and realize. The first, being the fact that nit-picking a story of every typo and minor error is, again, unnecessary. The writer will never remember what you’ve told them if you pack them with piles of boring (that's right: boring) information.

So now you might be thinking, What’s the point of this section then?

Well, the point is to assist them with repetitive grammar errors. If they are constantly mistaking ‘it’s’ for ‘its’ or continuously misspelling a word, then have at it. Point it out. Just don’t go overboard. If you have to scroll through this section for more than two seconds, then a red flag should go up telling you that it is too much.

Some comments have come back to me that people make multiple grammar-correcting quotes thinking it will make their grade appear longer, therefore granting more pay. Well, think again. We’ll call this misconception number 2- a long grade does not necessarily mean you will receive more pay.

Detail-Description: Be specific. Please, don't just tell people to "add more description." What kind of description? Where should they add more? Is it adjectives they’re lacking or should things be spiced up with figures of speech?

Also, keep in mind that this section is heavily based upon your personal opinion. Two people could read the same sentence and gather an entirely different perspective on how to improve it. Make sure your suggestions in this area are not demanding an author renounce their style to simply fit yours.

Length: The character-limits that have been created for each Pokemon are not set in stone. It is recommended that the author try to reach the suggested amount of characters. You should not base your outcome off of this. Length is not an issue when it comes to the story’s overall quality.

Battle: As seems to be misinterpreted, the battle is not the most important aspect of the story. In truth, the story is actually the most important part of the freaking story. In fact, if the overall story is strong, then an actual "Pokemon battle" per se, isn't even necessary, really.

The author shouldn’t feel so limited when writing here, and to be honest, a lot of story battles seem more like an afterthought than actual plot-driven events. Yes, it is important that they attempt to capture their Pokemon in some fashion, but the actual 'capture' does not have to be a traditional Poke Ball capture. In fact, it can be very abstract, even metaphorical, if the author wishes. Therefore, as the grader, you should consider how that capture affects the rest of the story. For instance, if the story ends with the Pokemon dying, instead of just being captured, then how does that character's death impact everything else? Did it feel like an important element of the story? As both writers and reviewers, these are the kinds of questions that we should ask if we are to help others, as well as ourselves, improve.

However, if you only remember one thing about this, you should remember that stories shouldn’t be failed based solely on the battle.


The most important key points every Grader should take with them are A) to always be as encouraging as possible, and B) longer grades don’t always grant more pay.

In fact, many stories shouldn’t even receive such massive grades at all, especially when it comes to newer writers. Keep your advice simple and to the point, and be as nice as possible. We do want them to come back!

And lastly, you should enjoy grading! You don’t have to write so much people…really. If you feel like you’re forcing yourself to find things to lengthen your grade, just remember misconception number 3- a long grade does not necessarily mean you will receive more pay. A Moderate length grade can receive Extensive pay, and vice versa. It all comes down to the things you say and how you say them. Yes, having some length is preferable, but as long as it is simply a few paragraphs, there is no problem with it. Don’t feel forced to always make your grades so lengthy.

In short, a lot of graders have been making things harder than they really need to be, so everyone just needs to relax and stop grading like freaking Nazis. And yes, Nazis were known for being very harsh graders. Don't look it up.

Last edited by Ataro; 05-20-2011 at 04:46 PM.