A Short Paper Assignment allows you to demonstrate your research skills to your instructor and to receive feedback that will benefit you when you write research papers for future courses. With this assignment, you will learn how to do proper research and write a short paper.You are allowed to choose your own topic, as long as it pertains to the subject of this course. If you have any questions on subject matter, please contact your instructor. This is your opportunity to look a little deeper at a subject that interests you.This short paper is at least three double-spaced pages of text (Times New Roman, font size 12) and you must consult a minimum of two academically credible sources. Your bibliography and citations may be in APA, MLA, or Chicago Style format. Students majoring in history must use Chicago Style format.The short paper needs to be turned in through the assignment section for grading. If you use any of the information from your sources word-for-word, you must cite the source by using endnotes, footnotes, or parenthetical citations. If you read the information and write it in your own words and it is not common knowledge, then you must cite the source because you are paraphrasing someone’s information.The short paper must include a cover page with your name, course number and course title, instructor’s name, and date. You must also include a bibliography at the end of your paper. While composing your paper, use proper English. Do not use abbreviations, contractions, passive voice, or first/ second person (I, you, we, our, etc). Before submitting your paper, check your grammar and use spell check. Remember, the way you talk is not the way you write a paper. Please label your paper as follows: lastnamefirstnameHIST101ShortPaper.
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Basic Grading Criteria for
General Education and
(Lower Level) Written
Assignments in History
Format and Submission:
Paper submission is
correctly formatted
according to syllabus and
assignment instructions on
length and word count
Introduction and Thesis
Statement:
Topic selection and thesis
offer clear argument and
analysis appropriate for an
academic paper
Organization and Body of
Essay:
Organization of the paper (
introductory, supporting,
concluding paragraphs)
designed to present factual
material logically and
clearly to the reader
Historical Analysis:
Research demonstrates
evidence to support thesis
statement and argument
made and recognition of
1
2
3
4
Satisfactory
(C- to C+)
Paper formatted with 3
or more errors; title page
missing is two or more
required elements; paper
saved using incorrect
filename. Length and/or
word count not met
Good
(B- to B+)
Paper and title page
formatted correctly
with fewer than 3
errors; saved and
submitted with correct
filename. Length and
word count met
Excellent
(A- to A)
Paper and title page are
correctly formatted with
no errors; saved and
submitted with correct
filename. Length and
word count met.
(0 – 6.9 points)
Topic is considerably too
large /narrow for paper
length and/or marginally
related to the course; no
discernible thesis or
argument; many logical
and factual errors;
significant problems
with understanding of
historical content.
(7.0 – 7.9 points)
Topic is considerably too
large /narrow for paper
length and/ or marginally
related to the course;
thesis or argument is not
clear; some logical and
historical errors; paper
organized more toward
chronology than analysis
and argument.
(8.0 – 8.9 points)
Topic is appropriate
but too large /narrow
for paper length; thesis
is clear and argument
is supported by facts
in most paragraphs;
historical context and
causality are logically
presented in the
analysis.
(9 – 10 points)
Topic is appropriate for
paper length; thesis is
focused and argument is
fully supported by
carefully chosen and
weighed facts in each
paragraph; evidence of
comprehension of
historical context and
causality.
(0 – 13.9 points)
The paper is not
logically organized in
paragraphs; ideas fail to
make sense and the
reader cannot identify a
line of reasoning and
loses interest; little
evidence of coherent
organization and use of
factual material.
(14 – 15.9 points)
The paper appears to be
logically organized, but
ideas fail to make sense
in paragraph structure
and inadequate coverage;
the reader is unclear
about what the writer
intends due to poor
organization and major
omissions of factual
material.
(16 – 17.9 points)
The organization of
the paper generally
supports the purpose
or argument in the
introduction, body,
and conclusion; ideas
are usually logically
sequenced so that the
reader can follow the
line of reasoning and
use of factual material.
(18 – 20 points)
The organization of the
paper logically supports
the purpose or argument
in the introduction, body,
and conclusion; ideas are
logically sequenced from
one paragraph to another
and clearly linked to
each other; the reader
can easily follow the line
of reasoning.
(0 – 17.4 points)
No sources are used for
research related to thesis;
only textbook and/or
encyclopedias used;
research is not evident in
the argument in paper;
(17.5 – 19.9 points)
One source is used
demonstrating research
related to thesis;
textbooks and/or
encyclopedias used;
research is not evident in
(20.0 – 22.4 points)
Two or more sources
used demonstrating
research related to
thesis; no textbooks or
encyclopedias used;
research is partly
(22.5 – 25 points)
Two or more sources
used demonstrating indepth research related to
thesis; no textbooks or
encyclopedias used;
research clearly
Unsatisfactory
(D+ or below)
Paper formatted with
numerous errors and
guidelines not followed;
no title page; paper
saved with incorrect file
name. Length and word
count not met
Indicate the points
and explanation of
how the grade was
determined
100 pts.
or %
10
20
25
25
historical significance
use of information
provides no support for
the argument and
displays little evidence
of analysis; author
appears to have gained
little or no knowledge
about the topic and
significance of events.
the argument in paper;
use of information
provides partial support
for the argument and
displays little evidence
of analysis; author
appears to have gained
some knowledge about
the topic and
significance of events.
incorporated into the
argument in paper; use
of information
provides reasonable
support for the
argument and displays
evidence of analysis;
author gained some
knowledge about the
topic and significance
of events.
incorporated into the
argument in paper; use
of information clearly
supports the argument
and shows, in-depth
analysis of a significant
topic; author gained new
knowledge about the
topic and significance of
events.
Writing and grammar
demonstrates effective use
of language, and
punctuation and spelling
(0 – 17.4 points)
The writing has
substantial errors in
grammar and style so
that the basic ideas are
lost; the writing lacks
clarity and sentence
structure is confusing;
errors in spelling are
frequent enough to be a
major distraction to the
reader.
(17.5 – 19.9 points)
The writing has more
than three grammatical
and stylistic errors; paper
requires additional
proofreading, as some
errors impede the flow of
the reading; sentences
are not varied and
passive voice is used
often. More than three
spelling errors.
(20.0 – 22.4 points)
The writing has one to
three grammatical and
stylistic errors;
sentence structure is
generally effectively;
sentences are varied
but awkward at times
or passive voice is
apparent. No more
than three spelling
errors
(22.5 – 25 points)
The writing is free of
grammatical and stylistic
errors; sentence structure
is used effectively;
sentences are varied and
precise; prose style is
appropriate to the
subject. Active voice is
apparent. No spelling
errors
Use of Citation and
Bibliography:
(0 – 6.9 points)
Footnotes/endnotes are
not used and /or
bibliography is not
included in paper.
(7.0 – 7.9 points)
Footnotes/endnotes are
cited and bibliography
follows the correct rules
for citing sources with
more than three errors.
(8.0 – 8.9 points)
Footnotes/endnotes are
cited and bibliography
follows the correct
rules for citing sources
with one to three
errors.
(9 – 10 points)
Footnotes/endnotes are
correctly cited and
bibliography follows the
correct rules for citing
sources.
(0 – 6.9 points)
(7.0 – 7.9 points)
(8.0 – 8.9 points)
(9 – 10 points)
Writing Style and
Grammar:
Citations and bibliography
credit sources correctly
using Chicago/ Turabian or
APA or MLA citation rules
10
10
Checklist for Basic Grading Criteria for General Education and (Lower Level) Written Assignments in History
Format and Submission



Is your paper formatted in the proper file format (MSWord .doc or docx or .rtf file)?
Does your paper include a separate cover page that includes assignment name, student name and student number, course name, professor name, date
and institution?
Is your paper formatted with one inch margins and using New Times Roman 12 point font?

Is your file submitted using last name first name course and assignment? Example: SmithWilliamHIST101ShortPaper).
Introduction and Thesis Statement


Did you restate question verbatim to be answered before beginning of main essay? You may cut and paste question before introduction.
Did your essay include an introduction and clear thesis statement at the end of the introduction?
Organization and Body of essay


Is your essay well-organized with topic sentences and supporting detail that reinforces your thesis?
Did your essay meet narrative word count requirements? Narrative word count is word count without citation and bibliography.
Historical Analysis



Did you construct your essay using quality academic sources (specifically book or peer-reviewed sources from our Online Library or other university,
governmental, museum, or research websites)?
Did you include relevant historical support, including historical examples that reinforce your thesis?
Did you include chronological context in your essay and include important dates or date spans?
Writing Style and Grammar



Is your essay composed using formal English (no use of slang) and using proper capitalization, grammar and spelling rules?
Is your essay presented in academic third person (does not use “I”)?
Did you refrain from using abbreviations and contractions in your analysis (use “do not” instead of “don’t”)?
Use of Citation and Bibliography




Did you consistently follow the citation and bibliographical requirements of one style manual (Chicago or Turabian, MLA, or APA)? If you are familiar with
a style, please use that style consistently throughout your essay. Do not switch between styles. History majors are strongly encouraged to use Chicago or
Turabian citation as this is a requirement in upper-level courses.
Did you cite your sources in the narrative of your essay using parenthetical citation or computer-generated footnote/endnote numbering? Remember
citation takes place immediately after each use of direct quote and after paraphrasing of information.
Did you include a separate bibliography with your essay?
Is the bibliography alphabetized and includes all relevant information depending on source type? Remember accessed date for online sources.

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