PS 343 Political Economy of Developed Democracies

Rubric for Term Paper Initial Submissions


The initial submission is worth approximately 40% of the grade for that paper.  We reserve the right to adjust draft weightings as circumstances require.


I.        Introduction and Thesis Statement                                                         ______/10
- Does your paper contain a concise and appropriate introduction?        Y         N
- Is your thesis statement explicit and located no later than the end of the second paragraph?    Y         N
- Is your thesis statement focused and strong?  Does it provide a solid foundation for constructing an analytical argument?  Y   N        
       Strength:   1    2    3    4
- Does your introduction conclude with a ‘road map,’ or structure sentence, to provide guidance about the logical structure of your argument?       Y         N

II.      Theoretical Support                                                                              ______/10
- Do you present the author’s original argument and results concisely and accurately?     Y         N
- Do you provide reason to believe that your extension or application is theoretically grounded?             Y         N

III.   EA—Research Design and Evidence                                                    ______/30
- Do you explicitly consider issues of predicted variable values and measurement strategy?         Y         N
- Is your research design explicit and well-explained? Have you justified your case selection and/or investigative strategies?        Y         N
- Have you addressed any prominent counter-arguments or alternative hypotheses which might weaken your argument?  Did you discuss counterfactual cases and their possible effect on your argument?      Y         N
- Are your data sources credible and well-documented?            Y         N
- Overall, do you provide sufficient guidance to appropriate evidence and evaluation strategies to support your thesis?        Y   N

III. CR—Extension and Empirical Support                                                  ______/30
- Do you situate your extension in the context of course readings?          Y         N
- Do you explicitly address both what aspect of whose theory you have selected, and indicated your intentions (extend, modify, or critique)?    Y         N
- Is your extension/etc. expressed in a clear, logically coherent manner? Y         N
- Have you addressed the effect of your extension/etc. on the variables considered, predicted values, and/or measurement strategy?  Y         N
- Do you provide a small number of brief examples or vignettes suggesting that your extension/etc. reflects reality?                        Y         N
- Do you explicitly address both what evidence or events would support your theory, and what would falsify it?  Y            N

IV. Conclusion                                                                                           ______/10
- Does your paper include a succinct, appropriate conclusion which summarizes your argument and provides an appropriate form of closure? (see Hook, Line, and Sinker)       Y         N

V.  Attribution                                                                                            ______/10
- Did you use an appropriate form of citation and indicate it on the final page?    Y         N
- Did you cite sources where necessary in your essay?  Did you provide full citations for all items used?  Are the sources credible and appropriate for their function?       Y         N

VI. Presentation and Surface Issues                                                            ______/30
- Was your paper stapled and neat?  Did you follow all formatting instructions, including word count and heading or cover page?      Y         N
- Did you include all drafts and acknowledge any assistance received in drafting/editing?             Y         N
- Did you check your grammar?  Have you avoided the passive voice, split infinitives and dangling prepositions?  Are pronouns correct in number and clear in antecedence?  Are commas, quotation marks, technical terms, Nerd Words, etc., used appropriately?  Are other concerns addressed on the Common Errors document eliminated from your paper?
Grammar comments:

- Is your paper written in an appropriate tone and style for its audience?  Have you avoided normative language and restricted yourself to positive theories and arguments? Have you avoided ‘writing for the sound of it,’ with pompous language and unnecessary verbiage?
Style comments:




Scale of Writing Appropriateness for this Discipline



Low                                  Moderate                                                    High

1          2          3         4         5          6          7          8          9          10