A Tale of Two Chairs

Or, Why Did My Paper Get a B? It seems fairly common these days to find an explanation of what letter grades mean on course syllabi, and in my experience the difference between B work and A work is… unclear. It’s clear to the professor, of course (sometimes in that ‘I know an A paper when I see one’ kind of way), but the way it’s typically worded – “a B paper does everything well” vs. “an A paper exceeds expectations” – I mean, what the hell is that supposed to mean? And it’s difficult to explain, especially to irate students, until now.