The end of the semester is the time that I dread most. Regardless of how many "creative" ways I've tried to catch up on all of my grading, there is still a stack that I could bury myself in for hours. But I've come up with a system that allows me to give my students the feedback they need to improve their writing, assess where they're at, and create a plan for where we need to go from here.
Deadlines, Gradebook Codes, and Late Work
Call me unconventional, but I don't give students points for everything I expect them to do. And, I don't spend hours on end updating my gradebook, calculating grades, or driving myself insane with numbers that my math colleagues can meddle with in their grading efforts. In fact, I don't use a point-based system at all.
When students submit their writing assignments to me, I collect the entire assignment as a whole. Often, I have a checklist with EVERY step we've gone over in class. On a deadline day, I use this checklist with my own writing piece and literally check off each step I expect to see. Then, I have my students do the same.