Dr. Smillie/first written in Fall, 1999.
GRADING CRITERIA FOR PAPERS
This semester I will grade your papers with letter grades: A, B, C, D or F. The qualitative equivalents for these grades are as follows. Italics is the colleges definition for these grades.
A. (excellence of performance in every aspect) Excellent performance shows an excellent understanding of the issues, text, or problem, facility in discussing and evaluating it, and originality. The paper is clear, accurate, precise. The thought and reasoning expressed is complex, well qualified, and shows a commitment to reasoning carefully (sensitive to problems and complications) and completely (explains and defends assertions, identifies assumptions). The basic concepts, principles and methods of ethical thinking have been thoroughly internalized, and are used consistently and correctly throughout the paper. The paper is objective and self-critical in its assessments. The paper is clearly and squarely on the topic. There is originality presentindependence and inventiveness that are unique to the writer. It is well-written from a grammatical/stylistic point of view, using language that conforms with educated usage.
B. (a better than satisfactory, a less than excellent performancea good paper) This paper shows understanding of the issues, text, or problem, and facility in discussing and evaluating it. Again the paper is clear, accurate and precise. The thought expressed in the paper is generally complex and well qualified, and there is a commitment to reasoning carefully and completely (though this commitment may not be consistent throughout the paper). Basic concepts, principles and methods of ethical thinking have been internalized. Criticisms are present, but they may at times lack objectivity or self-critical sense. There is little originality present, little depth of insight expressed. The paper answers the question asked, containing few if any irrelevancies. It is well-written from a grammatical/stylistic point of view, using language that conforms with educated usage.
C. (indicates a satisfactory performance in every aspect) This paper is mixed in its thinking and execution. The paper may lack sufficient clarity, precision, or accuracy. The thought expressed in the paper lack sufficiently complexitydistinctions and qualifications are not made, reasoning is neither careful nor complete, showing a mixed commitment to reason from clearly stated premises to logically valid conclusions. Basic concepts, principles, and methods of ethical thinking are presented at a level that implies the beginnings of comprehension. The paper lacks sensitivity to important implications, assumptions, or problems. Language is often used in a way inconsistent with educated usage. It is at best a competent level of intellectual performance.
D. (indicates a less than satisfactory performances in some or all aspects) This paper displays poor thinking and performance in philosophical work. The paper lacks sufficient clarity, precision, or accuracy. It displays knowledge by recall rather than by comprehension and understanding. The paper shows that basic concepts, principles and methods of ethical thinking have been ignored, misunderstood, and/or misapplied. Competing points of view are rarely identified, and there is no commitment careful reasoningrarely are terms qualified, distinctions made, assumptions or implications identified. There is very little critical thought or self-evaluation. Language is rarely used according to standard educated use. This paper works at best at a low level of intellectual performance.
F. (indicates serious deficiencies in some or all aspects) This paper shows evidence that the student is not attempting to acquire knowledge through comprehension and understanding. Appropriate critical thinking skills have not be brought to bear on the problem or question posed. The thinking is unclear, and imprecise, and the academic work is not competent. No questions are raised, no issues analyzed, no assumptions recognized, no concepts are clarified, language is not used in keeping with educated usage. The papers evaluative comments, if present, will usually be mixed in with personal beliefswhich are confused with the truth, lack any honest awareness of the authors own difficulties, and will have no evidence or reasons supporting them. No understanding of the importance of a commitment to reason carefully from clearly stated premises is evident. The paper is oblivious to important implications and consequences. The paper may be too briefnot adequately treating the topic or its own assertions, or too longfilled with irrelevancies or unnecessarily long explanations. The paper may have missed the assignments requirements.