PSC 31106 – Stapleton Final Essay Assignment/ Rubric

Name: Summer 2009

Your final essay is worth 20% of your class grade. The final essay will consist of an analysis of the history and policies of one country (7-10 pages in length, not including your bibliography). You may choose from the countries we review during the course – France, Germany, Italy, or Great Britain. The final paper is due on Friday, July 24 th by 8pm. You may turn in a paper copy of your final work on Thursday, July 23rd, but I will accept emailed papers on Friday ( Your paper is not considered “turned in” until you receive an emailed confirmation from me. It is your responsibility to have your essay in my Inbox by the due date & time. Formatting Requirements: Your paper will have a cover page with the title (not underlined), your name, the course name, semester, my name, and due date. Each page will have a header with your last name and page number in the top right corner. Margins will be one inch only; the font will be 12-pt, Times New Roman, and double-spaced. Sources: You will have at least five academic sources (most likely journal articles). Your sources should be well documented, using MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual citation style. For any questions you may have on how to write a research paper, please review the materials available on the City College Library (see our course website for the link). CUNY POLICY ON ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Academic Dishonesty is prohibited in the City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion, as provided herein. I. Definitions and Examples of Academic Dishonesty Cheating is the unauthorized use or attempted use of material, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. The following are some examples of cheating, but by no means is it an exhaustive list: 1• Copying from another student during an examination or allowing another to copy your work. 2• Unauthorized collaboration on a take home assignment or examination. 3• Using notes during a closed book examination. 4• Submitting someone else’s work as your own. • Changing a graded exam and returning it for more credit. • Submitting substantial portions of the same paper to more than one course without consulting with each instructor. 5• Allowing others to research and write assigned papers or do assigned projects, including use 6of commercial term paper services. 7• Giving assistance to acts of academic misconduct/dishonesty. 8Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. The 9following are some examples of plagiarism, but by no means is it an exhaustive list: 1• Copying another person’s actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes 2attributing the words to their source. • Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the source.

Final Essay Guidelines


1Internet plagiarism includes submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, and “cutting & pasting” from various sources without proper attribution. Course Policy on Cheating & Plagiarism: Read over the definitions of and City’s policies on cheating, plagiarism, and internet plagiarism. Ignorance of the rules is not an excuse! If I discover that you have plagiarized part of or all of your paper, that you had someone else write it, or that in anyway you are presenting work that is not your own, you will receive an F for the course, and you will be reported to the Political Science Department Chair. Evaluation Criteria for Written Work
From a list by Lewis Hyde, edited by Sue Lonoff, with thanks to Richard Marius's writing handbook. Copyright © 2002, 2003 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

The Unsatisfactory Paper. The D or F paper either has no thesis or else it has one that is strikingly vague, broad, or uninteresting. There is little indication that the writer understands the material being presented. The paragraphs do not hold together; ideas do not develop from sentence to sentence. This paper usually repeats the same thoughts again and again, perhaps in slightly different language but often in the same words. The D or F paper is filled with mechanical faults, errors in grammar, and errors in spelling. The C Paper. The C paper has a thesis, but it is vague and broad, or else it is uninteresting or obvious. It does not advance an argument that anyone might care to debate. "Henry James wrote some interesting novels." "Modern cities are interesting places." The thesis in the C paper often hangs on some personal opinion. If the writer is a recognized authority, such an expression of personal taste may be noteworthy, but writers gain authority not merely by expressing their tastes but by justifying them. Personal opinion is often the engine that drives an argument, but opinion by itself is never sufficient. It must be defended. The C paper rarely uses evidence well; sometimes it does not use evidence at all. Even if it has a clear and interesting thesis, a paper with insufficient supporting evidence is a C paper. The C paper often has mechanical faults, errors in grammar and spelling, but please note: a paper without such flaws may still be a C paper. The B Paper. The reader of a B paper knows exactly what the author wants to say. It is well organized, it presents a worthwhile and interesting idea, and the idea is supported by sound evidence presented in a neat and orderly way. Some of the sentences may not be elegant, but they are clear, and in them thought follows naturally on thought. The paragraphs may be unwieldy now and then, but they are organized around one main idea. The reader does not have to read a paragraph two or three times to get the thought that the writer is trying to convey. The B paper is always mechanically correct. The spelling is good, and the punctuation is accurate. Above all, the paper makes sense throughout. It has a thesis that is limited and worth arguing. It does not contain unexpected digressions, and it ends by keeping the promise to argue and inform that the writer makes in the beginning.

Final Essay Guidelines


The A Paper. The A paper has all the good qualities of the B paper, but in addition it is lively, well paced, interesting, even exciting. The paper has style. Everything in it seems to fit the thesis exactly. It may have a proofreading error or two, or even a misspelled word, but the reader feels that these errors are the consequence of the normal accidents all good writers encounter. Reading the paper, we can feel a mind at work. We are convinced that the writer cares for his or her ideas, and about the language that carries them. GRADING RUBRIC Completeness of Final Essay
THESIS and CONTENT The essay has a thesis—a single, central point that is interesting, original, striking and substantial. The central idea is developed in the essay through well-chosen, appropriate, concrete details that show originality and freshness. Author shows rather than merely tells. Generalizations and assertions are defended. Arguments are logical. ORGANIZATION The essay is organized and well structured (there is a beginning, a body, and a conclusion). The essay exhibits a clear strategy for persuasion and pattern of development (chronological order, spatial order, comparison/contrast, etc.). The organization works with the thesis so that the thesis and the organization contribute to serving the purpose of the essay. Essay does not digress from central point. Transitions help the paper flow smoothly. Introductory paragraph(s) is (are) interesting and appropriate. Concluding paragraph is satisfying. PARAGRAPHS Paragraphs are organized, unified and coherent. Each supporting paragraph has a controlling idea (which may be expressed in a topic sentence). In supporting paragraphs, topic idea helps further the thesis. STYLE Sentences are mature and parallel. Writer avoids modifier problems. Sentences show variety of pattern and are rhetorically effective. The essay is written in a style and tone appropriate to the audience, topic and purpose. Words are appropriate and well chosen. Writer avoids jargon and sexist language. Writer seems to be speaking in an authentic voice. Paper is enjoyable and interesting. SUBTOTAL GRAMMAR, SPELLING, MECHANICS Subtract points for errors in grammar (comma splices, fragments, fused sentences, agreement, etc.), spelling, and mechanics (margins, format, etc.).
TOTAL Points 1 to 5



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