Streamline Grading

 1.      Double Response Quiz 1

When giving a short quiz in class (for instance, to reward students who did the reading beforehand), have students write their response on the top half of a piece of paper and again on the bottom half of the same page. Or, if using multiple choice, print the questions on the top and bottom of the page and have students answer twice. The students rip their sheets in half. They turn in the top half and keep the bottom half.

Take a few minutes in class for the students to self-correct their half of the quiz. A few ways to self-correct are: They can check with their neighbor or group, look in their books or notes, or you can provide and discuss a model answer.


  • Students find out the quiz answers right away, when they matter to them.
  • Students begin to process correct answers rather than remembering incorrect answers/thinking that they may have put on their quizzes.
  • If there is an ambiguous quiz question, this comes up during the self-correction stage and you can determine how you want to handle the problem before grading.
  • You can assign grades quickly to the top halves of the sheets, without having to comment on each one, knowing that even the students whose original answer was wrong or needed improvement now know the correct or better answer.
  • Some teachers have found that doing ìregular, double-response homework checks the first month of class forms the reading habit for many students by mid-semester.

2.      Topic Sentence Skeleton

When turning in papers, have students ìhideî all of their paragraphs except their topic sentences, and staple this de facto ìoutlineî to the top of their paper.† (Instructions for how to do this on both PCs and Macs are attached, but students probably will need assistance and practice in class when they are first learning the technique.)


  • This gives the students practice identifying their topic sentences, and they may be alerted to paragraphs that donít have topic sentences.
  • You, as a grader, have the paperís organization laid out for you.† If there are significant problems with organization and logical flow, you may opt not to write comments about evidence, grammar, punctuation, etc. until the organization is repaired.
  • If the paper is a final draft, the topic sentences may help you group the papers in general grade categories based on the quality of the thesis and the supporting paragraphs before reading the entire paper.

1 Cynthia Desrochers. Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT).California State University Northridge.

2 Tara Gray. The Teaching Academy.New Mexico State University.