HST3000 Public-History Assignment Marking Criteria

This is a guide to the criteria used by staff in assigning a mark to the HST3000 Public-History assignment. Broadly speaking, work is assessed on four criteria:

  • Concept, theme and vision
  • Historical content
  • Awareness of audience
  • Communication and presentation

To obtain a particular class of assessment a piece of work does not have to fulfil all the criteria listed for that class — judgements are formed on the basis of the predominant character of the work — but the guidelines help to show what examiners are looking for in their evaluations. Evidence of strength in some areas may compensate for weaknesses in others.

Some aspects of the marking criteria may be more or less relevant to certain formats, projects and submissions.


First Class (70+)

A submission that makes a persuasive case for a clearly defined concept, project or output. Presents history in an informed, creative and perceptive way, showing evidence of independence of thought. Demonstrates a strong awareness of the issues involved in communicating historical material to non-specialists in a manner that does justice to evidence and analysis, within the constraints of the chosen format. Content is accurate, informative and well-selected, and the historical evidence and/or analysis on which it is based is secure, using effective techniques for conveying information, concepts and ideas. Both style and content are appropriate to the audience identified for the submission. Designed and presented to a high standard, using a tone, structure and format which are clearly tailored for the intended audience(s).

90+
Outstanding work in all respects that is thoroughly independent, original and insightful. Flawlessly presented and showing exceptional sophistication and insight in the presentation of historical content to the selected audience(s). Attains the highest professional standards of the chosen format.

80-89
Original and distinctive work which demonstrates exceptional insight and sophistication. Content is imaginatively and highly accurately presented, demonstrating highly novel ways of reaching the target audience. Demonstrates explicit understanding of the distinctive audiences for the submission and the concept which it proposes. Materials may be particularly well tailored to a specific audience and/or have a very clear sense of the ‘target market’, showing an outstanding level of technical or professional knowledge.

75-79
Shows a nuanced understanding of how to select, tailor and present historical material for the selected audience. Demonstrates innovation and creativity, grappling effectively with with both practical and conceptual challenges. Presented to a very high standard.

70-74
Shows a clear awareness of the issues involved in communicating historical material to non-specialists, and demonstrates undoubted quality in concept and execution, but not sustained throughout. Although generally well presented, work in this category may contain occasional stylistic or technical errors.


Upper Second Class

60-69
A submission that makes a defensible case for the concept, project or output. Explores history in a coherent way, using effective methods of conveying information, concepts and ideas. Historical content is effectively communicated and appropriate to the audience and the concept. The candidate shows a clear awareness of the issues involved in communicating historical material to non-specialists in a manner that does justice to evidence and analysis, within the constraints of their chosen format. The materials are well designed and presented, and the historical evidence and analysis on which they are based are mostly secure. Materials will be designed and presented to a good standard, with only a few stylistic or technical errors, and in a tone and structure which is appropriate to the intended audience(s).

65-69
A clearly conceived project, showing in its execution some critical awareness of the challenges of presenting history to a non-academic audience. Suggests some thoughtfulness, good content, creativity and/or nuance in conception and/or execution.

60-64
A competent submission, providing an adequate range of material. Proficient and reasonably presented, but may lack complexity or fluency in conception or execution. A mark in this range will demonstrate a good overall level of competence but will show some weakness in terms of clarity, presentation, understanding, appropriateness to audience, accuracy or style.


Lower Second Class

50-59
A submission which displays some understanding of the concept, project or output, but may lack a clear focus or objective, or be poorly structured and presented. Submissions at this level display some understanding of the relevant history, but may show signs of confusion and/or contain errors of fact or interpretation. The candidate shows limited awareness of the issues involved in communicating history to non-specialists in a manner that does justice to evidence and analysis. There may be practical difficulties with the proposal or concept and the structure may be unclear or difficult to follow. Materials may be clumsy or poorly presented, with technical and stylistic errors.

55-59
Shows a reasonable degree of competence according to most criteria, but with weakness in some areas. Some understanding is shown of the intended audience(s) and the underlying history is broadly relevant, but the underlying evidence or analysis may be insufficiently developed, with one or more key points neglected or misrepresented.

50-54
Demonstrates understanding of some relevant issues, but with significant gaps in coverage and/or inaccuracies. The historical content is thin, showing little analytical awareness, and is reliant on limited evidence and examples. The understanding of what is appropriate for the specified audience(s) may be incorrect or misconceived.


Third Class

45-49
A partial submission, which makes little sustained attempt to develop a concept, project or output, or does so only in a haphazard manner. The historical content is poorly developed, and shows limited understanding. The evidence may be misremembered or vague, or contain serious errors or fact or interpretation. The submission shows very little awareness of the issues involved in communicating history to non-specialists in a manner that does justice to evidence and analysis. Materials may be muddled, lacking structure or poorly presented, with technical and stylistic errors.


Pass without Honours

40-44
A submission which makes some attempt at developing a concept, project or output, but at an elementary level. For the most part confused and poorly expressed and presented. Very little sense of relevant historical content, and no real awareness of the issues involved in communicating history to non-specialists in a manner that does justice to evidence and analysis. Written, visual, digital or oral materials will likely be rudimentary, poorly presented and lacking structure. Contains significant technical and stylistic errors.


Fail (0-39)

Work that displays little or no real understanding of the assignment. No coherent proposal is presented. The submission relies on a very limited amount of material, without any critical sense of its significance or appropriateness.

30-39
Bare response to the assignment. Shows some knowledge of relevant material. Includes failure to communicate in a way appropriate to the audience, or to identify a format or audience for the project. Contains little relevant information, is erroneous in matters of fact and interpretation, and is badly organised. Poorly written with numerous grammatical and spelling errors.

20-29
No meaningful response to the assignment. Contains no relevant information. Some attempt at a ‘pitch’ or proposal, but misconceived and/or incoherent, and lacks structure.

1-19
No serious attempt to carry out the task assigned. No attempt at producing a ‘pitch’ or proposal. No structure at all. No understanding or knowledge of the historical content. Only partial submission.

0
Indicates work either not submitted or unworthy of marking.