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UNC-Chapel Hill PHIL 154 - Final Paper Rubric

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Evaluation Guidelines The purpose of this paper is for you to provide a reasoned defense of a position on one of the questions. Your paper will be evaluated in accordance with the following guidelines: 1. Thesis: Does the paper advance a clearly formulated thesis? Is the scope of the thesis appropriate? Or, does the paper set out to accomplish too much or too little? 2. Understanding and Reconstruction of Text/Positions/Arguments: Does the paper demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the text/arguments/positions under discussion? Does the paper support its interpretation of the text by appeal to textual evidence? Does the paper reconstruct the positions/arguments under discussion in a systematic way, making clear the way in which the different components of the argument/position fit together? Or, does the paper only present a superficial understanding of the text/arguments/position? Is the paper fair to the positions/arguments under discussion by reconstructing them charitably? Or, does the paper reconstruct the arguments in a way that fails to recognize their strength. 3. Strength of Argumentation: Does the paper present strong arguments to support its thesis? Does the paper consider possible objections to its position? Or, does the paper present arguments that invite immediate objections or that commit fallacies? Do the thesis and arguments of the paper consider the complexity of the issue under discussion? Or, does the paper advance claims that are overbroad or too general? 4. Organization: Is the paper well organized? Is its structure apparent to the reader? Does the paper proceed in a rational fashion? Does the paper contain a helpful introduction and conclusion? 5. Clarity of Expression: Is the paper clear? Does the paper use simple language and grammatical sentence structure? Does the paper define the concepts that it introduces? Grades A Paper: An “A” paper will defend a clearly formulated and tightly focused thesis. It will be clearly written and will be organized in a rational and coherent manner. It will demonstrate a strong grasp of the material under discussion and will reconstruct the arguments under discussion in a systematic way. It will support its thesis with strong arguments that do not invite immediate objections and that appreciate the complexity of the issue under discussion. As well, it will consider well thought through objections to the positions that it defends. B Paper: A “B” paper will defend a clearly formulated thesis. Though appropriately focused, the thesis may be either too narrow or too broad. It will be well organized and clearly written. The paper will demonstrate a good grasp of the material under discussion, but it may not do so entirely comprehensively or systematically. It will support its thesis with good arguments; however, these arguments may need work in a number of respects.C Paper: A “C” paper will demonstrate an adequate grasp of the material, but will not present it in a comprehensive or systematic way. It will have a thesis, but the thesis will lack focus, either being too narrow or too broad. It will present arguments to support its thesis, but these arguments will require more thought and consideration. D Paper: A “D” paper will demonstrate a very minimal understanding of the material and will fail to engage with it in a critical way. It is poorly organized and is difficult to follow. F Paper: An “F” paper will demonstrate very little grasp of the material and will fail to engage with it in a serious or critical way. It will fail to provide a complete answer to the


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