The decision to grade the work submitted by my online students has been a difficult one to make. In fact, in many ways, I remain of two minds about it. The writer in me dislikes the idea of grading completely. Writing is a skill and as such has a learning curve. Making mistakes is a natural and necessary part of the process. It would be like grading someone’s ability to carve an owl out of a piece of wood in workshop. It will never come out perfect the first, second, or even third time. I believe that confidence and practice breed writing success. How then can I grade honestly and accurately while boosting confidence and fostering a willingness and desire to try a new skill? Yet, after the first year of Online Classes, it is apparent that many students have been conditioned to write for a grade. The end grade motivates and compels them to work hard and within deadlines. The grade provides the understanding of how they are doing in the teacher’s mind.