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Decoding Author Ratings At Textbroker

As an author, your completed work is graded by our Quality Assurance editorial team. After reviewing your work, an editor will assign your author account a star level based on the quality of your writing. But what factors are considered when judging writing quality? What are the standards expected at each star level?

What Our Editors Look For

 

Grammar

Grammar is a large factor in our grading rubric. At Textbroker, we follow the AP Stylebook with a couple minor changes: We allow the Oxford comma, and we require that every introductory clause be followed by a comma, no matter its size.

Grammar makes for a great grading tool because it is mostly objective; your text is either grammatically correct or it isn’t. Text that is grammatically correct is also clear, concise, and easier to read.
 

Filler

Sometimes, reaching that required minimum word count is difficult. However, clients expect to receive content that is engaging and provides relevant information. Repeating the same content or stating information that is obvious or redundant is known as filler content. At the 4-star level, there should be very few instances of filler in your work.

Let’s say you’re buying a burger from your favorite burger restaurant: You wouldn’t be too thrilled if your patty was the size of a quarter and your burger had a pound of shredded lettuce on it, would you? If you deliver articles with small “patties” and lots of filler “lettuce,” it’ll likely put your “burger” on the dollar menu.

 

Style and Readability

Style is a bit more subjective than grammar or filler, but a poor writing style can affect the readability of your work, which could affect your rating. If an editor has to read the same sentence multiple times before they can understand it, the sentence should probably be rephrased.

It is also highly recommended that you vary the structure and length of your sentences. Using too many short sentences in a row can make your writing read as choppy and too simple, like a “Dick and Jane” children’s book. On the other hand, using multiple long and complex sentences can make your writing feel long winded and confusing.

 

Instruction Compliance

Over 85% of the articles rejected by clients aren’t rejected for grammatical errors; they are rejected for not following the order briefings. While performing an evaluation on your work, the editor will review the instructions and keep them in mind while they review your work. If your article significantly deviates from the article instructions, your rating could be affected negatively.

The Textbroker Grading Rubric

 
Each star level is marketed to meet certain criteria. To ensure that clients are getting what they paid for, we rate authors based on these star-level descriptions:

 

Step 1

Illegible

 


  • Authors that are rated at 1 star will have their accounts closed.

  • Potential gross terms of service violations.

  • Articles are spun, have been put through translation software or are in any other way incomprehensible.

  • Due to excessive grammatical errors, the text cannot be understood.

 

Step 2

Legible

 


  • A basic understanding of English grammar will be displayed.

  • Misspellings may occur, but articles containing an excessive number of misspellings or misspellings that hinder comprehension of the article’s basic points are not acceptable.

  • The basic rules of capitalization must be abided by: The first person singular pronoun “I” must always be capitalized as must the first letter of each sentence.

  • Periods and question marks will be used correctly.

  • While there may be errors in logic, the article will be legible.

 

Step 3

Average, fair

 


  • Commas will be used correctly approximately 50 percent of the time.

  • Articles can contain two or three spelling errors or typos; however, repeated, consistent spelling errors are not acceptable.

  • Homonym or subject/verb agreement errors will occasionally occur.

  • Capitalization mistakes will be limited to specialized, isolated cases, such as brand names or social media terms.

  • The argument may be hidden or weak.

  • Filler content, including irrelevant information or repetitive information, is common.

  • Articles will display a simplistic style, including the use of basic sentence structures.

 

Step 4

Above Average

 


  • Only minor grammatical errors will occur.

  • One minor comma error for every 100 words is the max amount of errors.

  • Capitalization will be entirely correct.

  • Complex punctuation will be used correctly: There will be very few errors in the use of colons or semicolons.

  • Dashes, parentheses, ellipses and exclamation points will be used in a way that is consistent with the AP Stylebook and is not stylistically obtrusive.

  • Isolated incidences of filler that are relevant to the main topic of the article may be present.

  • The argument may be presented in a concise and straightforward manner that is overly simplistic rather than compelling.

  • Articles may not be persuasive or engaging.

  • Stylistically, articles may contain choppy sentences or awkward phrasing and may lack transitional sentences and overall article flow.

 

Step 5

Exceptional

 


  • Professional-grade writing is expected.

  • Articles will be nearly flawless grammatically.

  • 5-star authors are expected to have no more than one significant error every 5,000 words.

  • Spelling mistakes, typos, capitalization errors or punctuation errors that are not mandated by the client instructions are not tolerated.

  • No instances of filler content.

  • The argument will be extremely strong and will be presented in a style that is insightful, all while being impeccably and thoroughly researched.

  • A professional and engaging tone will be used.


Not All Errors Are the Same

 
It is important to note that some errors are considered more egregious than others. We categorize these errors by what star level we would expect to see them. If you were to make an error from the category below your current star level, you will most likely receive a warning. If the error occurs more than once, you could be demoted without a warning. This list is organized from the most erroneous errors to the least:
 

1-star errors:

  • Blatant spelling errors or homonym errors
  • Missing capitalization at the beginning of sentences
  • Missing capitalization with proper nouns or the pronoun “I”
  • Multiple missing articles

 

2-star errors:

  • Fused sentences
  • Comma splices
  • Sentence fragments
  • Subject-comma-verb errors
  • Subject/verb agreement errors
  • Plural/possessive errors

 

3-star errors:

  • Blatant filler content
  • Missing FANBOYS comma
  • Missing if/then comma
  • “So”/”so that” errors
  • Comma w/ dependent clause errors
  • That/which errors
  • Misused semicolons/colons

 

4-star errors:

  • Nonessential/essential comma errors
  • Coordinate adjective comma errors
  • Commas with adverbial clauses at the end of sentences
  • That/who errors
  • Who/whom errors
  • Hyphen errors
  • Numeral formatting issues
  • “Honest mistake” typos
  • AP style stuff – comma after city and state, quotes around titles, pluralizing decades, parentheses, etc

 

Variable:

Awkward content is variable

Knowledge Is Power

 
If you are not familiar with the terms in the provided list, it is highly encouraged that you research those grammar terms and learn their coordinating rules. Our author blog is a great source of knowledge on many grammar topics. Also, please review the commentary provided by our editors. If you take the information to heart and practice, you can easily improve your writing ability and increase your earning potential.
 

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Comments

KJ Worth 11. October 2019 - 9:54

Kudos for working the word "rubric" into the text not once, but twice!

This was very informative. Thank you.

Reply

Donna M Patterson 22. October 2019 - 23:30

Textbroker sets high standards. It means writers can grow to an exceptional level with hard work and time spent at our craft. That’s exciting.

Reply

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