Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

First Advisor

Margaret Chou


The purpose of this analytical paper is to examine and analyze one middle schoolteacher's method of grading. The research begins with an overview of the literature regarding grading methods. The literature review covers the two prominent methods of grading used by teachers today: criterion-referenced and norm-referenced. This review of literature also illuminates factors influencing these two methods, i.e., weighting of grades, extra credit, and grading for effort or improvement. Following the overview of literature, this naturalistic inquiry, based on observations in the classroom, continues for a period of six weeks. The use of formal as well as informal interviews contributes significantly to this inquiry. The following two themes become apparent while analyzing the observations: grades reflecting student achievement, and teachers' communication with students and parents.