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Marking Scheme for Research Essays

Fail Pass Credit Distinction High Distinction

Clear and detailed Clear, detailed and
Some understanding of the Accurate understanding of the
Limited understanding of the understanding of the thorough understanding of
question. question
question question, the question.
An adequate statement of how A clear statement that
Introduction (20 Little or no indication of A clear statement that A clear statement that outlines
the argument will progress in outlines the argument made,
marks) how the argument will outlines the argument made, the argument made, and
the body of the essay, but tends although greater complexity
proceed in stages in the and demonstrates that the demonstrates that the writer has
to be simple for this level of and depth of thought could
body of the essay writer has an awareness of mastered the complexity of the
study be demonstrated,
the complexity of the topic. topic

Pronounced ability in
Good development of
Illogical or rambling Fair development of Adequate development of development and depth of
argument, in which the
Body of Essay (30 development of argument, argument, in which the argument, in which the argument, in which the
various sections of the
with little to no various sections of the various sections of the body various sections of the body
marks) body clearly and
relationship between essay fit together in some fit together to answer the clearly and persuasively fit
persuasively fit together
points. way to make an answer question together to answer the
to answer the question.

Quality of At least 3 non-internet texts 4 + non-internet texts per 5+ non-internet texts per
Less than 2 non-internet At least 2 non-internet
references (both texts used per 1,000 texts used per 1,000 words
used per 1,000 words with 1000 words with clear 1,000 words, with clear
primary and evidence that they have evidence that evidence of comprehensive
words. No evidence of with some evidence of
used bibliography, and also bibliography has been research on the topic using
secondary) (20 having interacted with the having interacted with the
done further research in consulted, plus library bibliography, library books,
marks) supplied bibliography supplied bibliography.
library. research (incl. journals) and journals

Sources and evidence Solid use of sources and Sources and evidence Sources are cleverly used to
could be better used to evidence to support the soundly used to support support the thesis and
Inadequate use of sources support the argument – argument – nearly all are the argument – high argument in ways that are
to support the argument most are relevant, but relevant in some way. levels of relevance for relevant to the thesis and
with some of the content sometimes not. Demonstrates an ability to nearly all material. argument. Demonstrates a
Use of evidence & not relevant. Poorly Demonstrates an ability to synthesise relevant key Demonstrates a thorough thorough and accurate
resources inc summarizes information synthesise relevant key arguments, to weigh up and accurate knowledge knowledge of the subject,
critical evaluation, and unclear comment on arguments, weigh up evidence to justify their of the subject, to an ability to identify key
analysis (20 marks) the significance of evidence and explain the argument, and explain the critically analyse, issues in a debate and
different forms of relationship between relationship between assess,and reflect upon critically analyse, assess,
evidence. different forms of different forms of evidence. the evidence. Good reflect upon the evidence.
evidence. Little to no Limited interaction with knowledge of any Excellent knowledge of any
interaction with alternative any alternative positions on alternative positions to alternative positions to the
positions on the issue. the issue. the one they endorse. one they endorse.
Marking Scheme for Research Essays

Fail Pass Credit Distinction High Distinction

One of the following is
One of the following is
missing: Bibliography
No bibliography, bibliography Bibliography
Bibliography Page numbers
No page numbers page numbers Page numbers
Page numbers
No name/number on each name/number on each page Name/number on each
Name/number on each page Name/number on each page
page In addition
Inadequate & inconsistent Correct & consistent Correct & consistent
Format (10 marks) In addition Some inconsistency in
referencing (i.e not referencing (with referencing
referencing (i.e not
following the referencing Inconsistent referencing occasional errors)
completely following the
conventions of Wesley) (i.e not following the Double-spaced
referencing conventions of
referencing conventions of Double-spaced
Single line spacing Wesley)
Wesley) Correct word count (+/–
Word count (+/- 20%) Double spaced Correct word count (+/– 10%)
1.5 line spacing
Less than 12-point font Correct Word count (+/– 10%)
Word count (+/– 15%) 12-point readable font
Less than 12 point font 12-point readable font
12 point font


What is a non-internet text? A non-internet text is one which has been published in hard copy, either in book or journal form. If you view the pages of a
book in something like Google Books, this is still a non-internet text, because the work has been published in hard copy.

What are the referencing conventions of Wesley? See the Wesley Institute Style Manual, which favours an author-date approach.