URBS 100 Grading Criteria for Written Projects


The highest grade that can be earned will be determined by the scope of the project attempted in the paper (of course, one might aim high and fall short—but one cannot hit a target higher than one’s aim). “Scope” is determined by two dimensions (well, three—but I have combined two of them for the sake of a simpler presentation): level of analysis and complexity of analysis (which, in turn, is comprised of number of cases considered and number of issues considered). These relationships can be summarized in a table:

 

 

 

Level of Analysis

Complexity of Analysis

Single case/ Single issue

Multiple cases/ Single issue

Single case/ Multiple issues

Multiple cases/ Multiple issues

Analysis

--

--

--

A

Comparison

--

B

B

A

Description

C

C

C

B

Identification

D

C

C

C


No matter the scope of a paper, these are the criteria I will use in evaluating the success of the paper:

1)      Does the paper address the question asked?

2)      Are there examples of critical thinking (comparison or analysis—going beyond description)?

3)      Are the ideas well-organized?

a.       Direction mapped from the beginning

b.      Ideas following in logical sequence

c.       Evidence presented for & against each idea

d.      Conclusions follow from the positions taken earlier in the paper

4)      Is evidence offered in support (and counter-evidence against) the ideas being developed?

a.       Observations

b.      Quotations

c.       References to other work

5)      Is the paper clear/easy to read?

a.       Free of typos

b.      Free of spelling errors

c.       Appropriate grammar

 


MSU

2003 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised
10 January 2003