Set your expectations. Before an assignment, make sure to explain clearly what you expect from your students. Show them the grading rubric you will use, plus a checklist of things you would like them to do before giving the assignment back. You may wish to require them to print out and include any grading rubrics/checklists with their papers so you do not have to print multiple copies.
Note: It's also a good idea to discourage the use of paper clips. They tend to get attached to other papers and can lead to missing papers!
Finding answers to the following questions will make your grading process easier:
- How much responsibility do I have for assigning particular or overall grades?
- What are my supervising faculty member's instructions about grading and about adhering to the grading schedule?
- Does my department have a grading curve that I am supposed to use in the course?
- Does my department or the course instructor employ a rubric for grading particular assignments or exams? If so, when will I provide it to my students?
- Will other TAs and the course instructor discuss standards and expectations for grading?
- Will TAs calibrate their grades?