Political Science at Huntingdon College
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PSC 499: Capstone in Political Science

Grading rubric for PSC ePapers

for 400, 300 and 200 level papers and briefings in Political Science

Paper (CROW) | Briefings (CASOQ)

Revised 11/23/17 with separate Questions criteria for briefings, by Dr. Jeremy Lewis, Wide window recommended for table.  Content and Research are more heavily weighted than Organization and Writing.
Capstone 
Papers
Content Research Organization Writing
A- to A=
Grades
400: thoughtful, deep, conceptual, theoretical, immersed in political science discipline
300:
thoughtful, conceptual, some political science discipline
200:
thoughtful, conceptual, begins political science discipline
  • clearly analytical comparisons
  • contrasting views and theories
  • arguments supported by data or quotations
  • analysis transcends an historical narrative
  • 400 content approaches postgraduate paper

  •  
    400: Uses varied political science sources
    300:
    Uses political science sources
    200:
    Uses a couple of political science sources 
  • books (University Press)
  • books (trade press)
  • academic anthologies
  • academic journal articles
  • government documents 
  • online sources are of above types

  • (Any journalism or interest group reports are balanced, and of high quality.)
    400: Highly organized and punctual
    300:
    Reasonably organized and punctual
    200:
    Reasonably organized and punctual
  • full advance draft delivered
  • paper delivered punctually
  • introduction lays out issues and plan.
  • paragraphs for each thought.
  • logical order of paragraphs.
  • APSA citations throughout text (Smith, 1999, 351).
  • citations at point of contact -- not just end of paragraphs.
  • reference list in APSA style
  • conclusions answer research questions.
  • tables and quotes integrated
  • 400: Argument comes through clearly
    300: same
    200: same
  • language is conceptual and sophisticated
  • eloquent in places, few clichés
  • Logical grammar, conjunctions used
  • no distractions in spelling, malapropisms
  • formatted to instructions in Required page (font size, spacing, margins, etc)
  • no personal opinion phrases
  • no disconnected opinions
  • no run-on sentences
  • no waffle, padding
  • B- to B+
    Grades
    400: Some solid political science analysis
    300:
    Some political science analysis
    200:
    Some analysis, if not explicitly in political science
  • some consideration of alternative views
  • presents several viewpoints 
  • competent historical narrative
  • arguments supported, mostly
  • transcends journalism or opinions
  • yet does not deeply consider material
  • 400: Uses some political science sources
    300: same
    200: uses a political science source 
  • books (University Press)
  • academic anthologies
  • academic journal articles, 
  • government documents. 

  • limited use of: 
  • journalism or interest group reports 
  • lighter online sources
  • yet does not deeply dig into material
  • 400: Fairly organized and punctual
    300: same
    200: same
  • Introduction lays some issues and plan.
  • Paragraphs for most thoughts.
  • fairly logical order of paragraphs.
  • APSA citations in most paragraphs (Smith, 1999, 351).
  • Reference list in near-APSA style
  • Conclusions included
  • meets minimum length
  • tables or quotes not integrated
  • partial advance draft 
  • paper delivered slightly late
  • 400: Logic of argument is fairly clear
    300: some logic of argument
    200: same
  • language functional, some clichés
  • few errors of grammar
  • few distractions of spelling, malapropisms
  • mostly formatted to instructions in Required page (font size, spacing, margins, etc)
  • few personal opinion phrases
  • few disconnected opinions
  • few run-on sentences
  • limited waffle, padding
  • C- to C+
    Grades
    400: Little or no political science analysis
    300: same
    200: no PS analysis
  • Mostly superficial, journalistic or 'doorstep' opinions, without academic data or support
  • argument does not really flow throughout paper
  • trite comments
  • rejecting evidence, maintains prejudice
  • 400: Few or no PS sources
    300: same
    200: no PS sources
  • academic political science articles 
  • academic books
  • trade press books
  • government documents

  • Excess reliance on:
  • journalism 
  • interest group reports
  • encyclopedias
  • light, web sources
  • 400: Disorganized or tardy
    300: same
    200: same
  • Introduction trite or superficial
  • Paragraphs disorganized.
  • no logical flow of paragraphs.
  • APSA citations missing (Smith, 1999, 351).
  • Reference list not in APSA style
  • Conclusions trite or missing
  • paper short of required
  • no advance draft delivered
  • paper missing chunks of material
  • quotations excessive or missing
  • tables excessive or missing
  • no advance draft
  • or, paper delivered late
  • 400: Logic of argument is not clear
    300: same
    200: same

  • many errors of grammar
  • distractions of spelling, malapropisms
  • not formatted to instructions in Required page (font size, spacing, margins, etc)
  • personal opinion phrases
  • disconnected opinions
  • run-on sentences
  • much waffle, padding
  • F to D+
    Grades
    400, 300, 200:
  • Merely superficial, journalistic or doorstep opinions
  • short paper for its level
  • much consists of quotes
  • nothing really original found
  • trite comments
  • rejecting evidence, maintains prejudice
  • 400, 300, 200: No real political science materials.
  • Plagiarized sources.
  • Or, invalidated by plagiarism
  • 400, 300, 200:
  • Introduction trite or superficial
  • Paragraphs messy
  • no logic
  • citations missing 
  • Reference list missing
  • Conclusions trite or missing
  • tables or quotes missing
  • only part of paper delivered
  • Or, invalidated by plagiarism
  • 400, 300, 200:
  • argument is not clear or consistent
  • many errors of grammar
  • distractions of spelling, malapropisms
  • not formatted to instructions in Required page (font size, spacing, margins, etc)
  • personal opinion phrases
  • disconnected opinions
  • run-on sentences
  • mostly waffle, padding

  • Grading Criteria for Senior Capsone in Political Science: Paper (C.R.O.W.) | Presentations (C.A.S.O.Q.)
    Content, Audiovisual and Speaking ability are more heavily weighted than Organization.  Wide window recommended for table.
    Capstone 
    Speeches
    Content Audiovisual Speaking Organization Questions
    A- to A=
    Grades
    400: thoughtful, conceptual, using political science discipline
    300: thoughtful, using some political science
    200: thoughtful, begins using political science
  • clearly analytical comparisons
  • contrasting views and theories
  • arguments supported by data or quotations
  • analysis transcends an historical narrative
  • key points explained selectively

  •  
    400: AV enhances content
    300: same
    200: same
  • text is clear on background
  • images relevant, visible
  • right # of slides
  • introduction lays out issues and plan.
  • slides for each thought.
  • logical order of slides.
  • conclusions slide
  • summary slide of works cited
  • tables and quotes integrated
  • maps, if relevant
  • handouts, if needed
  • Engages audience in material
    300: same
    200: same
  • eye contact with audience
  • open gestures
  • voice projected to back of room
  • language is conceptual
  • eloquent in places
  • Logical grammar
  • no disconnected opinions
  • presents -- does not "read out"
  • authoritative on subject
  • stimulates questions
  • audience pays rapt attention
  • 400: Highly organized and punctual
    300: same
    200: same
  • PPT and talk delivered punctually
  • sets up ahead
  • fits allotted time
  • PPT and talk synchronized
  • plenty of material in reserve
  • 400: Engages question
    300: same
    200: same
  • responds well to questions

  • Answer is 
  • Direct
  • Relevant
  • Substantive
  • Succinct
  • Respectful
  • B- to B+
    Grades
    400: thoughtful, using political science discipline
    300: thoughtful, using some political science
    200: beginning to use political science
  • some analytical comparisons
  • some views and theories
  • arguments mostly supported by data or quotations
  • competent historical narrative
  • key points explained selectively
  • 400: AV matches content, mostly
    300: same
    200: same
  • text is clear on background
  • images relevant, visible
  • right # of slides
  • introduction lays out issues and plan.
  • slides for each thought.
  • fairly logical order of slides.
  • conclusions slide
  • summary slide of works cited
  • tables and quotes integrated
  • maps, if relevant
  • 400: Engages audience in material, mostly
    300: same
    200: same
  • eye contact with audience
  • open gestures
  • voice projected to back of room
  • language is conceptual
  • eloquent in places
  • Logical grammar
  • no disconnected opinions
  • presents -- does not "read out"
  • authoritative on subject
  • most of audience pays attention
  • 400: Organized and punctual
    300: same
    200: same
  • PPT and talk delivered punctually
  • sets up on time
  • fits allotted time, roughly
  • PPT & talk together
  • material in reserve
  • 400: Engages question partly
    300: same
    200: same
  • responds well to questions

  • Answer is 
  • Direct, if not complete
  • Relevant enough
  • Substantive, if not full
  • Succinct enough
  • Respectful
  • C- to C+
    Grades
    400: Little or no political science analysis
    300: same
    200: little or no analysis
  • Mostly superficial, journalistic or 'doorstep' opinions
  • without academic data or support
  • argument does not really flow 
  • trite comments
  • rejecting evidence, maintains prejudice
  • 400: AV missing some elements
    300: missing most elements
    200: same
  • text is unclear on background
  • images irrelevant, invisible
  • wrong # of slides
  • introduction unengaged.
  • slides for each thought.
  • slides jumbled.
  • no conclusions slide
  • no summary slide of works cited
  • no tables or quotes
  • no maps
  • 400: Poorly engages audience in material
    300: same
    200: same
  • poor eye contact with audience
  • distracting gestures
  • voice mumbled
  • poor grammar
  • disconnected opinions
  • "reads out"script
  • ignorant of subject
  • audience pays little attention
  • 400: Disorganized and tardy
    300: same
    200: same
  • PPT and talk delivered tardy
  • sets up late
  • does not fit allotted time
  • PPT and talk not synchronized
  • runs out of material
  • spaghetti talk, not logical
  • 400: Does not really answer question
    300: same
    200: same
  • no questions were stimulated

  • Answer
  • rambles
  • lacks content
  • talks out time
  • misunderstands question
  • disrespectful
  • F to D+
    Grades
    400, 300, 200: Merely superficial, journalistic or doorstep opinions
  • short presentation
  • trite comments
  • rejecting evidence, maintains prejudice
  • nothing really original found
  • or, invalidated by plagiarism
  • 400, 300, 200: AV lacks most elements
  • text too simplistic or confused
  • graphics are cheesy or childlike
  • or, invalidated by plagiarism
  • 400, 300, 200: Does not engage audience
  • little eye contact with audience
  • distracting gestures
  • mumbled
  • disconnected opinions
  • fails to present
  • ignorant of subject
  • audience pays no attention
  • 400, 300, 200: Disorganized and tardy
  • PPT and talk delivered tardy
  • sets up late
  • does not fit allotted time
  • PPT and talk not synchronized
  • runs out of material
  • "spaghetti talk", not logical
  • 400, 300, 200: What questions?
    Or, did not respond