Professor Gary Jason, PhD | Term Paper Grading Policies

Term Paper Grading Policies

  • When you quote even part of a sentence from a source, it needs a citation and quote marks;
  • Number the pages;
  • Papers are graded on a 100 point basis;
  • Term papers should have a separate works cited page, which does NOT count as part of the minimum. You should consult at least four sources, 2 pro, 2 con….. You don’t have to choose a term paper topic from my list, but if you come up with your own topic, I need to approve it.
  • A lot of suggested term paper topics are listed on the appropriate course Resource Center on my website (see the bulletins tab). Also on that site: links to videos that give you a quick introduction to the topics.
  • Read your paper aloud to a friend or family member, or have them read it–if they can’t follow it, probably I can’t, either;
  • Turn on the spell and grammar checkers on your word processing program;
  • Especially useful is
  • Try to write direct, easy to comprehend, and well-structured prose;
  • Clearly demarcate paragraphs by indentation (fives spaces or tab once);
  • Avoid words you don’t really understand. Don’t try to impress me with big words.
  • Avoid run-on sentences, i.e., keep sentences of short to medium length.
  • Avoid overly long paragraphs;
  • Remember to use and
  • Below is a table of mistakes and points liable to be lost for them:
Problem Points Deducted
Unapproved topic -20 to -60 (if you   pick a topic upon which I have lectured, or was the topic of a short paper, or if the topic is not relevant to the class)
Disorganized -5 to -15
Lack of citations -5 to -10
No separate title page -5
No separate works cited page/bibliography -5
No research/literature search -25 minimum
Only one source (Desjardins or Bastiat, say) -5 to -15 (depending upon your ideas)
Tendentious/one-sided -10 to -20
Style/grammar/spelling -5 to -15
No quote marks (if Turnitin shows passage borrowed) -10 if cited for every case
***If NOT cited, it is plagiarism
Excessive unnecessary quotation -5 to -15
No Turnitin check Not accepted (recorded as zero)
Short of minimum -5 for every quarter page
  • Below is a table of comment codes and what they mean:
Mark/word What it means
A checkmark ( √ ) Good point/argument
An “X” Irrelevant/silly/patently false claim or argument
A “T” followed by a checkmark at top of the paper No plagiarism detected by Turnitin
“awk” Your sentence is awkwardly phrased (try reading it aloud)
“uncl” Your sentence or paragraph is unclear
“word” Wrong word to use in that context (look it up)
“sp” Spelling wrong
“Grammar” Ungrammatical sentence
“run-on” Run-on sentence
Question mark Statement is dubious, strange, contradictory, or out of place with the rest of the passage
“frag” Sentence fragment.
“means?” What does this term/phrase/sentence mean?
“circ” (circular) Question-begging language or argument
“straw” (strawman) Distorting someone’s argument