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XII. TERM PAPER GRADING RUBRIC

Topic:

Civil Rights vs. Public Safety

As a result of recent tragic events, an intense discussion is taking place in the country concerning

the 2

nd

Amendment of the Constitution as it presently interfaces with concerns for public safety.

It is currently focused on the prediction of dangerousness, covered under the general idea of

“Mental Health.” Your paper should drill down into this discussion and present your own

understanding of the data.

This is not a paper in which you simply state your opinion.

Your grade

will be determined by the data you cite in support of your conclusions. Concepts presented in the

required film (See Section IV, Required Viewing) should play a role in your writing.

Element

Grade

Possible

Focus and Scope

4

Originality of Approach

3

Clarity

3

Format

2

TOTAL

12

Focus and Scope:

Is the central point described, addressed, and adequately explored? Is the

writer presenting arguments unsupported by data?

Originality:

Does the paper simply recount current popular talking points on the topic, or does

the paper attempt to break new ground? Consider the required film while writing.

Clarity:

Are the ideas presented clearly, in understandable sentences. Does the grammar allow

correct and unambiguous interpretation?

Format:

Was the formatting in accord with instructions provided (Section X., F)?

Common Grammatical Errors

Run-on Sentence

: When a sentence ends too quickly, it is called a

sentence fragment. When a

sentence has too many ideas and runs on too long, it is called a run-on sentence.

Example:

Vanessa was tired of waiting she had waited over an hour.

If you put two sentences (or independent clauses) together without a sufficient amount of signals

(commas, semicolons, or connecting words), you have created a run-on.

Sentence Fragment:

This is when a sentence has an incomplete idea, causing it to end too

quickly. Usually it lacks either a subject or a predicate.

Example: Maria tended to avoid people. (Complete sentence)

Because of her clothes.

(fragment)

Agreement:

This can be a wide variety of errors, in which one word of a sentence does not fit

(or agree) with another. In the sentence:

Too many people was in the car.,

the subject “people” is

plural. The verb “was” is singular (

The person was in the car.)

It should read:

Too many people

were in the car.

This is agreement in number. It is just as important that words agree in tense. In

the sentence:

The children did not do their homework because they have too many distractions.

The tense of the sentence is past (

The children did not…

), but the verb in the second clause

(

…because they have…

) is present tense. The sentence should read:

The children did not do their

homework because they had too many distractions

Spelling

: The SpellCheck in Word can catch most spelling errors, but it cannot correct misusage

of correctly spelled words. For example, the sentence:

There calling the police because when they

went to get they’re car, it wasn’t their.,

would have three spelling errors that SpellCheck would

not see. In every case,

they’re/their/there

is spelled correctly, but their use in the sentence makes

them misspelled.

Help on Grammar and Spelling:

Students should consult the writing lab before turning in their

papers.

This is the term paper assignment, and a submission portal will be opened during Week 6. You will have three days to submit your paper there. It will require your viewing of the movie Minority Report, as referenced in the syllabus, and the movie should be the object of reference in your paper. A DVD of the movie has been placed on reserve at the library, and streams via Amazon prime, and perhaps other streaming sites.

A description of the paper is below:

Term Paper

:

Topic:

Civil Rights vs. Public Safety

(See grading rubric below)

The paper should be in .doc or .docx format, using standard fonts, spacing, and margins. The final draft is due on Wednesday of Week (Module) Six, and a submission portal will be opened at the first of that week.

TERM PAPER GRADING RUBRIC

Your grade is below:

Element

Earned

Grade

Possible

Grade

Focus and Scope

4

Originality of Approach

3

Clarity

3

Format

2

TOTAL

12

Focus and Scope

: How well does the paper drill down on the topic, staying on the point? “Padding” is usually obvious, and will not benefit the author. Is the topic covered sufficiently?

Originality of Approach

: Does the paper just consist of the usual boilerplate and buzzwords currently in use? Do you have a new angle on the question? If you are using the usual arguments of more gun control, extensive background check, “mental health,” etc., be sure to support your positions with legitimate data (i.e. refereed journals). If you say we must concentrate more on “mental health,” what is the connection now? Do the data support that mentally ill people are more likely to commit violence? If so, what type of mental illness should be examined and detected. Opinions found on websites will not serve as a legitimate source unless those opinions are themselves supported by legitimate data. Better to find your own approach. Students are cautioned to read and understand the section on the Syllabus concerning plagiarism.

Clarity

: Are your ideas expressed clearly and succinctly? Is grammar and punctuation used correctly, and does it serve to make the copy more readable? Remember, writing resources that might help are available and listed in your Syllabus.

Format:

Are the prescriptive formats observed. Is the paper longer than two pages? Is the author’s name on the paper?

  
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