Research Evaluation Guide

Evaluation Guide for Research Papers and Reports
edited and posted by Bob Young

The following chart suggests the weight generally assigned to various aspects of a research and writing project. Strength in one area may partially compensate for weakness in another, but students should seek excellence in every area. Especially important, although perhaps lightly weighted, is the first section dealing grammar and formatting. Errors in these areas are especially glaring and detract from a paper.

I. Grammar and Literary Mechanics (10%)

A. Punctuation
B. Spelling
C. Proper English grammar in general
D. Correct footnote and bibliographical form
E. Appropriate pagination, margins, font size

II. Organization and Writing Style (15%)

A. Outline (if assigned)
1. Thesis statement
2. Proper outline form
B. Organization
1. Effective introduction which should include thesis statement and/or explanation of purpose and/or design of paper
2. Major points of paper clearly and logically organized
3. Effective conclusion summarizing thesis/purpose and/or major points
C. Writing Style
1. Sentences well worded and clearly stated
2. Effective use of vocabulary, word choice
3. Effective paragraphs and paragraph transitions
D. Did the paper meet requirements of the assignment?
1. Topic
2. Length
3. On time
4. Special requirements

III. Content (75%)

A. Was the statement thesis, purpose, and/or design of the paper effectively achieved?
B. Were the major points adequately developed, explained, illustrated?
C. Was the support material for the major points relevant?
D. Does the paper reflect adequate research which was appropriately documented?
E. Does the paper reflect the student's own work in wording and thought (without plagiarism)?
F. Does the paper reflect an overall cohesion of thought, logically developed and appropriately concluded?

The student is responsible for consulting whatever sources are necessary to determine appropriate and accurate writing regarding these evaluation guidelines. The format for the paper should follow consistently one of the following styles: MLA, APA, or Endnote/Footnote style (Turabian). Consulting the appropriate style manual should be considered essential. Consulting A Pocket Style Manual (5th ed.), by Diane Hacker, will be helpful. Especially note the section on plagiarism. Additional information, including online resources, research, and documentation is available at the Bedford/St. Martin's site: A Pocket Style Manual.

Students using internet resources should consult the referenced site or other guidelines, and follow standard internet citation guidelines.

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Last updated August 7, 2008.