Marking Criteria

In their assessment of course assignments, essays and examinations scripts, examiners give weight to both structure and content. Rigid rules cannot be set down since different subjects require varying treatment but as a general rule the ordering of material follows a logical argument. A general introduction should be written explaining how the subject will be treated, the content organised, the relevance of historical background where appropriate, and the use of methodology. The main body of the essay is concerned with the presentation of facts and data to support the arguments presented. This is divided into a number of sections which should be linked together. It should be remembered that facts have limited validity by themselves but they are necessary to support the ideas and arguments presented in the essay. Assessment will focus on such factors as a student’s logical development of an argument, the marshalling of facts, and the use of sources. Students must seek to demonstrate a critical faculty through examination of a wide range of sources. Do not rely on one book or article alone, however important that may appear at first sight.

Broadly speaking, your essays are assessed on the following criteria:

  • Introduction
  • Conclusion
  • Use of relevant sources
  • Critical ananlysis
  • Structure and organization
  • Referencing
  • Style, grammar, spelling, syntax
Grade (%) Criteria
Distinction The candidate:
80 - 100
  • demonstrates a faultless and complete understanding of the issues, to a publishable level;
  • has fully researched and critically reviewed the literature;
  • demonstrates (where appropriate) an ability to integrate theory and practice concerns;
  • has addressed all the issues required of the question set or topic;
  • identified and presented these to a publishable standard;
  • has produced work that contains almost no error of fact or interpretation.
70-79
  • shows a high degree of insight and understanding of the issues;
  • has fully researched and critically reviewed the literature;
  • demonstrates (where appropriate) a sophisticated ability to integrate theory and practice concerns;
  • has addressed all the issues required of the question or topic;
  • has produced work that contains no significant errors of fact or interpretation.
Merit The Candidate:
60-69
  • demonstrates good understanding of the important issues;
  • has researched the literature beyond an acceptable level;
  • demonstrates (where appropriate) an insightful ability to integrate research and practice concerns;
  • has addressed the significant issues required of the question set or topic identified;
  • has produced work that contains no serious errors of fact or interpretation.
Pass The Candidate:
50-59
  • demonstrates an adequate understanding of the important issues with some gaps or inadequacies;
  • has researched the literature to an acceptable level but not beyond this;
  • demonstrates (where appropriate) an adequate ability to relate research and practice concerns;
  • has addressed enough of the significant issues required of the question set or topic identified;
  • has produced work that contains few serious errors of fact or interpretation, although there may be misunderstandings of the literature.
Fail The Candidate:
40-49
  • demonstrates less than adequate understanding of the important issues;
  • has researched the literature but left significant gaps;
  • demonstrates (where appropriate) a limited ability to relate research and practice concerns;
  • has addressed few of the significant issues required of the question set or topic identified;
  • has produced work that contains some serious errors of fact or interpretation, possibly including misunderstandings of key materials.
30-39
  • demonstrates poor understanding of a few of the important issues;
  • has included some of the literature but left important and significant gaps;
  • demonstrates (where appropriate) a very limited and ill thoughtout ability to relate research and practice concerns;
  • has addressed very few of the significant issues required of the question set or topic identified;
  • has produced work that contains serious errors of fact or interpretation, including misunderstandings of key materials.
20-29
  • demonstrates only a very basic understanding of the important issues;
  • has not researched the literature properly;
  • demonstrates an inability to make meaningful connections between research and practice concerns;
  • has addressed few, if any, of the significant issues required of the question set or topic identified;
  • has produced work that contains serious errors of fact or interpretation, and misunderstandings of key materials.
0-19
  • demonstrates almost no understanding of the important issues;
  • has not demonstrated any research of the literature at all;
  • has addressed none of the issues required of the question set or topic identified;
  • has produced work that contains profound errors of fact or interpretation, and misunderstanding of the key materials.
0
  • has not submitted.