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In lieu of a final examination, each team will present their project to the class.

Grades will be based on the following proportions:

Research Project Proposal          75%

Project Presentation                  25%

Grades will follow the Graduate School's definition: a "P" represents that quality of work normally expected of graduate students at this university; an "H" represents genuinely superior performance; an "L" represents an assessment that the quality of work examined is below expectations; an "F" represents an assessment of doubt that the student can improve the quality of work to the point of successful completion of a degree program. Usually, a student receiving a grade below "P" will be given the option of revising it to improve the grade to "P".

Incompletes will not convert to a grade higher that "P" unless the incomplete is based upon illness or similarly unpredictable personal or family event.

The major component of the class is developing and persuasively presenting, both in writing and in oral presentation using a presentation software package (Microsoft's PowerPoint), a project that consists of a proposal to investigate a relevant problem in education. Since you will implement this component as part of a team, each member will receive the grade assigned to the team. It is imperative that you work well as a team so that readers of your project paper will not be able to detect that the paper was not a single-authored work. Your presentation should be so well-rehearsed that all phases of the presentation are well done.

We will develop the project throughout the semester, and I will provide critique and commentary as we move through the semester. You are under no obligation to accept every comment or recommendation (substantive or editorial) as valid. If you do not agree with a comment, you can ignore it, but do view the comment as a signal that someone who has taken a good deal of time and energy to think through your paper and provide you with the benefit of their effort did not get your point. Think of how you could revise so that readers may see your point more clearly. In other words, use my critiques to help you improve your proposal.

Please know that I will give each of your drafts my best shot as a critic, just as if I were reviewing my own writing. This does not mean that I am necessarily correct; I may miss errors, or may suggest changes in your final paper that I did not address in your first draft. In addition, many of my comments may be a matter of stylistic preference. Remember, I am attempting to help you bring forth your best work in revision. It is important that we go over my critique of your work face-to-face.

You are responsible for the final product, which I will critique and evaluate according the criteria below.


Criteria for Evaluating Project Papers

Possible Points (1-5) 1 2 3 4 5
Content (X8) Fails to adequately address the topics and questions described by Babbie on p. 112.   Is generally well done, but some of the questions or topics are not addressed well.   All topics and questions are addressed in an exemplary fashion.
Narrative (X2) Paper lacks clear, concise narrative. Professional literature in print or electronic form is rarely referenced.   Paper conveys basic information. More information is needed for the reader to have complete understanding of the project problem and method.   Paper has concise narrative that clearly communicates an understanding of the project and contains useful and appropriate references to online and print literature.
Organization (X2) Paper is disorganized.   Paper lacks a well-developed introduction, body, and conclusion. Paragraphs are organized with topic sentence, support for the idea expressed in the topic sentence and conclusion. Transitions and sequencing among paragraphs and sections are attempted but need improvement.   Paper contains a clear introduction and conclusion. The body of the paper is logically ordered. Individual paragraphs include topic sentences, development of topic ideas with facts and illustrations, and conclusions. Transitions from one topic to the next are logical and smooth. Paper follows format specified in Babbie, p 112.
Sentences (X2) Paper contains multiple run-on sentences or sentence fragments.   Paper contains occasional errors in sentence structure. There is minimal variety in sentence structure or length. Sentences use passive construction.   Sentences are complete. They are varied in length and structure. Sentences use active construction.
Mechanics (X2) Paper has errors related to spelling, word choice, pronoun agreement, possessives, parallelism, split infinitives, punctuation (e.g. failure to use commas after introductory adverbial clauses; failure to join two independent clauses with a semi-colon or comma-plus-conjunction)   Paper has occasional errors related to the same. (See column 1.)   Spelling, punctuation, grammar, and word choice are correct.
APA* (X1) Headings, subheadings, in-text  citations, and reference list are grossly inconsistent with APA guidelines.   Paper has occasional mistakes in APA documentation and references consistent with APA guidelines.   Paper conforms to APA in-text and reference guidelines.
Explanatory note: The horizontal axis represents the possible points (1-5) in each vertical section. The bold figure listed beneath each category designates the emphasis given to that category. In order to figure out your grade, multiply your points in each category by that category's weight (e.g. Mechanics: if points=3, then 3 X 2(weight) yields 6 total points). Then add up these points for your total score.

*APA Style:  If you are unsure of the proper APA citation forms, check the publication manual and an online style guide.

Criteria for Evaluating Presentations

Possible Points:

1 2 3 4 5
Presentation Style

Personal appearance (posture, expression); speaking (articulation, projection); energy, interest, audience contact

Presenter appears slovenly or uninterested, has little or no energy, does not have eye contact with audience, is difficult to hear or understand.       Presenter appears professional and lively, articulates and projects well, is interested in the topic, engages in frequent eye contact with the audience, holds both attention and interest.

Opening and concluding remarks, flow of ideas, reasoning

Opening is absent or difficult to grasp, topics seem disjointed or rambling, with no clear direction, reasoning is faulty or unclear, closing fails to wrap up topic or make conclusions.       Opening is concise and informative, sections flow together well, connections between topics are easy to follow, reasoning is sound, closing wraps up topic well and states conclusions clearly.

Ideas (novelty, clarity), value of content, use of examples

Ideas are not new or interesting, and show a lack of understanding of the scholarship to date on the subject, content has little or no value to the discipline, and examples are absent or seem not to support the thesis.       Ideas are interesting and show a new take on the subject, content shows value to the discipline and is potentially useful, examples are drawn that clearly show whence the ideas have come and their potential uses.
Use of Media

Linking media with speaking; linking media with other media (if applicable); Knowledgeable handling of media; general appearance of media materials (legibility, layout)

Media used are not properly integrated with speaking, timing is off, slides are out of order, presenter shows lack of knowledge in the preparation or handling of media used, media are illegible or poorly laid-out, and distract attention from the topic.       Media used are well integrated with speech and with each other, presenter shows expertise in preparing and using media, materials are legible, attractive, and well laid-out, and are supportive rather than distracting.

Grammar, gestures, pace

Presenter shows poor grasp of language or structure, uses distracting gestures or mannerisms, speaks too quickly or too slowly; shows poor preparation.       Presenter shows good grasp of language (grammar, sentence structure), uses gestures effectively to support ideas rather than distract, pace is neither too fast nor too slow; presenter shows good preparation.