Research Paper Criteria

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Primary and secondary source material is awkwardly placed or not coherently integrated into paper. LITERACY: Sources are inappropriate (dubious web page quality, lack of Library materials, insufficient number of sources, outdated or irrelevant sources) for college-level research. SENTENCES: Vague, wordy, confusing, or incomplete sentences. MECHANICS: Numerous distracting errors; nonstandard English. MLA: Parenthetical citations are frequently absent or inaccurate; Works Cited page is missing or incomprehensible; many errors or omissions in content and formatting of entries. DEVELOPMENT: Seriously and consistently illogical and/or predicated on false premises. Or, not original—may be an un-cited summary of print or online study material (e.g., , paper mill resource, or essay written by another student or writer). LITERACY: No research done or obviously inappropriate sources used.

DEVELOPMENT: Severely underdeveloped; poor sense of paragraphs: paragraphs overly long or short, arbitrarily or illogically ordered, incoherent or not unified; lack of support for ideas; lack of concrete detail; irrelevancies, redundancies, oversimplifications, filler. Source material is accidentally or intentionally plagiarized (quotations marks not used, insufficient paraphrases); research does not support student’s argument; research is not reflected upon or interpreted. Plagiarism; utter lack of argument; lack of detail; absence of interpretation, synthesis, or analysis.

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The A paper is an outstanding performance; it may exceed the expectations of the assignment.

Choice of topic and thesis is appropriate to the nature of the assignment. THESIS: Focus or controlling idea relevant to assigned topic; may be overly general or not closely linked to content of essay.

Relates to theme or literary elements of primary work. ORGANIZATION: Some evidence of organization or rhetorical framework; clear beginning, middle, and end.It is thought-provoking, elegant, passionate, persuasive. It meets and exceeds the requirements for the B paper.THESIS: Clear and cogent; original, significant insights into primary work’s themes and literary elements.Parenthetical citations used appropriately and correctly, according to most recent guidelines.Works Cited page follows most recent MLA guidelines.We use cookies to make interactions with our website easy and meaningful, to better understand the use of our services, and to tailor advertising.For further information, including about cookie settings, please read our Cookie Policy .Does not relate clearly to themes, literary elements, or secondary sources. ORGANIZATION: Lack of organizing principle; lacks paragraphs. MLA: Severe deficiencies of quotation formatting, parenthetical citations, and Works Cited entries; entire lack of quotation punctuation, parenthetical citations, and Works Cited list.ORGANIZATION: Unstructured or disordered; lacks clear beginning, middle, and end. The writer may not understand the assigned question. Lacks transitions into or indications of outside research material. RESEARCH/INFORMATION LITERACY: Sources are of the highest quality and are sufficient in number; thorough and creative use of varied source material.Quotations, summary, and paraphrases are deftly synthesized, and analyzed or interpreted. MECHANICS: Mastery of conventions of edited Standard Written English. Parenthetical citations used appropriately and correctly, according to most recent guidelines.


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