Term Paper Grading Criteria

Please note that all point assignments are only approximate because some of the criteria can overlap in practice. But they do provide information about the relative importance of the various criteria.

1. How well do you state your thesis? Do you take a stand on whether your subject is a genius or not? (10 points) A scientist or not? (6 points) If a scientist, normal or revolutionary? (4 points; if not a scientist, then these points are part of the preceding question)

2. How well do you make a case for your thesis?

a. Do you make use of all of the available information with respect to the most critical sections in Creativity in Science? (go here for details) Take special care to cover the following topics: family environment, educational performance, sociocultural context, personal characteristics, and career development and impact (5 points each).

b. Are the facts about your subject closely integrated with the characteristic profile of the scientific genius? (20 points) Or is the biographical information treated separately from the typical profile? Are your conclusions merely tacked on as an appendage? Is your conclusion strongly justified by what you have presented? (10 points)

c. Would your argument be comprehensible to someone who has not taken this course, like your roommate or parent or best friend? (5 points)

3. Is your presentation well written and well organized? (10 points) Are the sources for your information well documented? (5 points) Do your citations and references follow APA style? (5 points) In short, is it a good, solid term paper that one would expect for a psychology class?

As mentioned in the main course page, you will lose 3 points for each day your paper is late. In addition, you will lose 1 point for each page in excess of the 10-page limit, as well as 1 point for each of the following departures from accepted format: no 12-point font, no 1-inch margins, no page numbers, no one-sided pages, and no headings. Papers that are not double-spaced lose 3 points.

Please note that there is a sample term paper available right here.  However, this is only an illustration for a hypothetical person (“XX”).  It shows some of the topics that should be addressed.  Your own subject may have more information available on some topics and less on others, and therefore the content of your paper might be very different.  Even the headings or their order might change.  Be flexible!  You should organize your paper around your thesis and your subject rather than slavishly imitate this sample.