Points - What are they?

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What are Points in Assignments and why do we have to use them if we are wanting to add letter grades to each individual assignment as well as the total grade? My school and I are new to canvas and I can't find an explanation to what the points are and why they are needed, only how to change/edit these. 

We want to be able to use the rubric to select a/b/c grades and then add a letter grade not points. Then we want to ensure those letter grades calculate to a final letter grade.