Political Science Research Paper. Grading Rubric

Political Science Research Paper. Grading RubricThe grade of your essay will be assessed according to five key categories: Research;Introduction and Conclusion; Body, Evidence and Analysis; Clarity; Format.GradeAResearch.Significant independent research; paper goes beyond material discussed in class and otherrelevant material in the Course Outline. Primary sources are used where applicable, not onlysecondary. Secondary sources are primarily from scholarly (peer reviewed) publications.BResearch is evident but lesser in number of sources, and within a narrow, predicted range.CVery little independent research, and / or relies on non-scholarly sources.DAlmost no research, or research is unconnected to the topic. Disreputable sources.FNo research; paper consists in off-the-cuff personal opinions.Introduction and Conclusion.AIntro clearly, boldly, imaginatively, insightfully takes a stand. Thesis statement connects withessay title. Strategy statement gives method for making the case. Good opening sentence.Conclusion agrees with Introduction; presents no new material, rounds up main points. May bedefinite, or cautious if some decisive issues require more research. Good closing sentence.BThesis statement is more conventional than original, and / or of little explanatory worth. Little byway of strategy statement. Conclusion is correspondingly weaker, and / or does not follow someof the rules listed above for an “A” paper.CPaper topic is stated, not a Thesis. Method not clearly stated. Conclusion breaks more rules of an“A” paper, or strong body ends with no concluding paragraph, or conclusion wanders off thesis.DPaper launches without intro., or weak, sketchy intro. Conclusion is weak or contradictory.FNo or weak intro. Conclusion, if present, does not follow, contradicts or is off-topic entirely.Body, Evidence and AnalysisAExcellent research supports a great thesis (see above re. Introduction). Terminology is defined andconcepts are clarified as they appear. A Counter-thesis appears first and is fair to opposing views.Argument and evidence are skillfully interwoven, and proceed logically, with good transitionsfrom one point to the next. If you make assumptions they are identified and justified.BAnalysis is fairly compelling, but there are gaps in the arguments and / or in supporting evidence.Some irrelevant material appears. Strong assertions that go beyond what the research supports.Problems of practicality arise: weak effort to connect advice to the real world.CPaper is largely descriptive or chronological, rather than analytical and explanatory. Research isthin and sketchy, and evidence used may not be helpful. Length may be an issue.DPaper is only factual and descriptive with no analysis, or all opinion without evidence and proof.FPaper is very brief, likely confused and self-contradictory, with dubious assertions unproved.ClarityALanguage is clear and precise, without ambiguity; simple and to the point, not verbose, flowery,clichéd or pretentious. Writing is almost totally free of grammatical and spelling errors.BFairly clear and well written, but grammar and spelling errors start to pull the paper down.Language is insufficiently scholarly; may contain slang, colloquialisms, contractions, vulgarities.CLanguage is often unclear; significant and frequent errors of English composition. Lower level oflanguage.DSo poorly written the paper is difficult to follow. Very poor spelling and grammar.FLanguage is beneath university level and almost impossible or impossible to follow.FormatATitle Page has required items. Paper is double spaced, suitable length. Sources well identified.BMost of required format is followed. Sources documented but some problems appear.CMore problems of format. Bibliography incomplete or misleading. More problems citing sources.DSerious format problems. No or next to no citations of sources but paper is not plagiarized.FPaper does not follow a recognized scholarly format. Plagiarism.



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