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Criteria for Evaluating Papers

 An "A" paper has the following elements:

  • A clearly formulated central question.

  • Good, clear thesis statement.

  • Good, clear arguments; and each argument supported by evidence and/or plausible example. May offer unique arguments or evidence that others missed.

  • Excellent analytical and critical skills.

  • Paper revolves around the central question and addresses the question effectively.

  • Paper is well organized with few errors in sentence structure, spelling, footnotes and other mechanics.

  • Demonstrate sufficient research in academic literature, good command of the material, and adequate and informative reference page

  • Excellent job on those critical aspects of writing a good paper addressed in the general guidelines

 A "B" paper has the following elements:

  • An adequate description of the problem, but too many questions without a focus.

  • Thesis statement is clear, but more weakly stated than in an "A" paper.

  • It advances good arguments and tries to supply evidence or example to back up each one.

  • Good analytical and critical skills.

  • Paper tries to address the question.

  • Generally a good job. Well organized and clearly written with few errors.

  • Good research in academic literature and reference page is informative.

  • Good job on those critical aspects of writing a good paper addressed in the general guidelines

 A "C" paper must have some description of the problem, a thesis, an argument and evidence.  However, a "C" will have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Lack of clearly stated central question or incomplete description of the problem.

  • Failure to address intended audience (assumes reader knows the issue; reason or evidence left unstated).

  • Weak or unclear thesis statement.

  • Does not address the question sufficiently and effectively

  • Arguments are advanced, but they are not clearly stated, often no sufficient evidence or example is offered. Sometimes it makes contradictory arguments.

  • Have some problems with articulation of ideas, transitions, organization, clarity, or spelling and mechanics.

  • Insufficient research in academic literature and reference page does not have adequate academic references

A "D" paper may have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Lack of clearly stated central question or incomplete description of the problem.

  • Failure to address intended audience.

  • No thesis statement.

  • Does not address the question sufficiently and effectively.

  • Lack of logical arguments and evidence or examples in support of arguments. Making contradictory arguments.

  • Try to describe something of interest, but fail to explain something of academic significance. Simply lump things together or repeat what other people have said or reported.

  • Have problems with articulation of ideas, transitions, organization, clarity, or spelling and mechanics.

  • May do a good research in such non-academic sources as newspapers, Internet, and non-academic magazines and books, but little research is done in academic literature. No or few academic references. It looks more like a journalist article than an academic paper.

An "F" paper: 

  • Didn't submit the paper.

  • Plagiarism.

  • Didn't do the paper topic as approved by instructor or the paper topic does not fit the course theme.

  • If a paper is submitted, an "F" has one or more of the following characterisics:

    • Doesn't describe problem or do not have a central question.

    • Poorly organized, poor development of arguments, ideas, little or no evidence offered in support of arguments made.

    • Do not address any question or intended question(s).

    • Overquotes. No analysis attempted

    • No evidence of having read or used academic reference source.

    • Generally sloppy and lack of clarity with too many typing errors, misspelled words and poor articulation.

    • No reference page.

    • Inaccurate information.

How to write a good paper?


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