Things I consider when critiquing/grading a paper (keep in mind that
all of these standards will apply to every assignment!):
Content and Organization:
• Is there a thesis; that is, does the author state
purpose, problem, or question that will be handled in the paper?
• How does the author convince you that the paper
be worth reading?
• Does the author explain how the problem will be
with in the rest of the paper?
• Does the paper demonstrate assimilation of the
• How is evidence handled?
• What is done with contradictory evidence?
• Are multiple sources used, when available?
• Is the evidence relevant to the stated purpose of
• Is the argument supported by the evidence logical
internally consistent (does one point follow from another)?
• Is the argument plausible?
• Is the chosen thesis sufficiently focused to be
covered in the length of the paper? Conversely, is the chosen
too specific for the author to find enough information on it?
• Does the author give sufficient background
to the reader to clarify the problem, without including details
to this thesis?
• Is the paper well organized and easy to follow?
• Does the paper deal with the problem that the
• Does the author adequately summarize the findings
• Does the conclusion directly relate to the
in the introduction?
• Does the author mention areas where further work
Mechanics and Style:
Spelling: Are all words spelled correctly?
Grammar: Possible specific problems include run-on sentences;
subject-verb agreement; misused pronouns; incorrect prepositional
general punctuation problems (especially commas).
Appropriate use of words: Does the writer use words that are
or awkward? Is wordiness a problem?
Paragraph form: Are ideas presented in coherent order within
Documentation: Are all borrowed ideas and statements given
credit through footnote citations? Are the citations in the
Style: Is the paper suitably formal in tone and style?
Has the paper been proofread?
Finally, please note that for descriptions of what a good paper and
poor paper are like see link under Grading Standards in the web