University Presentation Marking Criteria For Essay

Practical reports

Rationale

This document is aimed at providing a framework for stage 1 and stage 2 experimental reports that maps on to the format and marking criteria of final year project reports. These guidelines are not exhaustive and can be adapted, depending of the nature of individual assessments/reports, but should provide a template for most experimental based reports. 

Length of report

Overall word limits will vary depending on the exercise, but it is anticipated that, in order to allow the student to complete each of the sections effectively, the word limit for a report of this format should be a minimum of 1500 words, not including abstract, figure legends and references.

Mitigating Circumstances, Resits etc

Missed or Failed Open Assessments Contributing  ≤ 20% to the Overall Module Mark

  • If mitigating circumstances apply to the missed open assessment then the overall module mark will be recalculated with the assessment weighted out of the calculation.
  • If the open assessment has been failed there will be no opportunity for reassessment.

Missed or Failed Open Assessments Contributing  ≥ 20% to the Overall Module Mark

  • If mitigating circumstances apply to the missed open assessment then some form of alternative assessment that addresses the original learning outcomes will be necessary. 
  • If the module has been failed due poor performance in the open assessment then some form of resit of the open assessment, that addresses the original learning outcomes, will be permitted. 

Instructions Provided to Students

Deadlines and Penalties

  • All work submitted after the publicised deadline (without valid mitigating circumstances) will be penalised by the deduction of marks after the work has been marked out of 100.
  • 10% of the available marks will be deducted for each day (or part of each day) that the work is late.
  • Penalties will be imposed for a maximum number of 5 days, which will include weekends and bank holidays.
  • After 5 days the work is marked at zero. 

Report Format

You should use the following instructions when preparing your experimental report.

Manuscripts should be drafted as concisely as possible and must be completed with an upper word limit of X.  The title page should show the title of the report and the exam number of the student, in large type at the top right of the page.  The report should contain the following sections in this order: 

ABSTRACT: A brief summary of about 150-200 words, should give the aims and major findings of the investigation.

INTRODUCTION: This should contain a clear description of the background to the investigation and, where appropriate, an account of relevant literature.  A clear statement of the major aims of the investigation should be provided. 

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A clear and concise description of the experimental methods used in the investigation.  Sufficient detail should be provided to enable the experiments to be reproduced.  Data figures should not be included in this section. 

RESULTS:   ‘Results’ and ‘Discussion’ should not be combined into a single section.  The results section should contain a clear and well-structured description of the findings from the investigation, and should provide an appropriate narrative that enables the reader to understand the experimental rationale used and the major conclusions reached in the course of the investigation.  This section may include descriptions of problem solving and troubleshooting undertaken during the investigation.       

Well-prepared and consistently presented tables and figures are key features of the 'Results' section and are used to convey the major observations of the investigation. Tables and figures should be provided with numbers, titles and legends.  Legends should provide enough information to allow the reader to understand the nature of the data being presented. 

DISCUSSION: ‘Results’ and ‘Discussion’ should not be combined into a single section.  The ‘Discussion’ must not simply recapitulate the results; rather it provides an opportunity to address the wider meaning of the results and should address the following questions:-

  • To what extent has your investigation addressed the aims provided in the introduction?
  • How have your findings advanced understanding of the problem under investigation?
  • How do your findings relate to previous studies in this area?
  • Based on the findings of your study, what new investigations might be conducted to further increase understanding in this area? 

REFERENCES: Where appropriate a ‘Reference’ list should be provided and the references should be cited in the text.  Any standard approach to referencing and citation can be adopted, but must be used consistently throughout the report.  Format will generally be based upon that used in a particular journal and this will need to be indicated in the report.  

Report Presentation

FIGURES AND TABLES

Figures and tables should be numbered and included within the manuscript at an appropriate place and should be accompanied by a short title and an explanatory legend.  

STATISTICS

Tests must be presented clearly to allow a reader with access to the data to repeat them. Statistical tests used in the study should be clearly indicated in the Materials and Methods section. It is not necessary to describe every statistical test fully, as long as it is clear from the context what was done. 

SPECIES NAMES AND NOMENCLATURE

The Latin binomial name of micro-organisms, plants and animals must be written in italics. 

GENES AND PROTEIN NAMES

Gene names and their messenger RNAs should be written in italics.  Protein names are written in normal-type. 

Marking Guidelines

First Class (70-100)

In order to obtain a first class mark the write-up must address the key elements of the write-up, without major omissions, factual inaccuracies or obvious lack of understanding.  The write-up must fulfil the following key indicators and at least one of the ‘Excellence’ indicators.

Key Indicators

Abstract:       A concise and informative summary of aims and major findings.

Introduction: A concise and appropriate coverage of relevant background to the study with a clear, concise statement of aims.

Material and Methods:  An accurate description of the methods in appropriate detail.

Results:        The results must be presented effectively and comprehensively in a manner that allows the reader to understand the experimental rationale and major findings of the investigation.  

Discussion: Major findings are discussed thoughtfully in relation to the project aims and previous work and will contain thoughtful discussion of additional experiments.

Presentation: Report is well organised.  References and citations consistently and accurately presented in a standard format.  Data presentation is consistent and informative. 

Excellence Indicators

Markers must apply these ‘Excellence’ indicators to ensure that good reports get the credit that they deserve.

 

  • E1                   Shows impressive understanding of basis of the investigation and the previous work on which it is based.
  • E2                   Demonstrates an impressive ability to carry out effective and well controlled experiments or investigations.
  • E3                   Shows an impressive ability to recognise the significance of the results obtained in relation to previous work, and provide thoughtful explanations for unexpected findings or discrepancies,.
  • E4                   Shows an ability to make imaginative suggestions regarding the future direction that this work should take.

Excellence indicators will be used to award marks in the range of 70-100 based in the following manner.

 

  • 75 +/-  5          Report shows one indicator          
  • 80 +/-  5          Report shows two indicators
  • 85 +/- 5          Report shows three indicators
  • 90 -100           Report shows four indicators or three indicators with two of   them in a particularly impressive way.  

Upper Second (60-69)

In order to obtain an upper second class mark the write-up must address the key elements of the project, without major omissions, factual inaccuracies or obvious lack of understanding. Marks in this range will depend on the extent to which this has been achieved. 

Key Indicators

Abstract: A concise and informative summary of aims and major findings.

Introduction: A concise and appropriate coverage of relevant background to the study with a clear, concise statement of aims.

Material and Methods:  An accurate description of the methods in appropriate detail.

Results:        The results must be presented effectively and comprehensively in a manner that allows the reader to understand the experimental rationale and major findings of the investigation.  

Discussion: Major findings are discussed thoughtfully in relation to the project aims and previous work, will contain thoughtful discussion of additional experiments.

Presentation: Report is well organised.  References and citations consistently and accurately presented in a standard format.  Data presentation is consistent and informative. 

Lower Second (50-59)

Lower second class marks will be awarded to reports that do not address all the key elements of the write-up effectively. Marks in this range will be awarded for reports that are mostly factually accurate but may lack important information or analysis.  The extent to which these deficiencies are apparent will determine the final mark. 

Key Indicators

Abstract: Presentation of aims and findings incomplete or difficult to follow.

Introduction: Relevant background presented but may be incomplete.  Aims presented but may not be clearly stated.

Material and Methods:  Incomplete, inappropriate level of detail or difficult to follow.

Results: Major findings presented but may be difficult to follow the experimental approach used in the investigation. Some of the data presented badly or not analysed appropriately.

Discussion: Major findings are discussed but discussion does not go beyond the obvious and does not effectively integrate the findings with previous work.

Presentation: Some short comings in organisation.  References and citations presented in a standard format but some inconsistency possible.  Data presentation sub-optimal. 

Third Class (40-49)

Third class marks will be awarded for reports that attempt to address the main elements of the report but lack key information or analysis and also contain considerable factual inaccuracies, demonstrating obvious lack of understanding.  The extent to which these deficiencies are apparent will determine the overall mark. 

 

Key Indicators

Abstract: Lacks focus, aims and findings poorly presented.

Introduction: Background presented is incomplete or lacks focus, lack of understanding apparent, factual inaccuracies.  Aims not clearly presented.

Material and Methods:  Incomplete, inappropriate level of detail, very difficult to follow, evidence of misunderstanding, factual inaccuracies.

Results: Seriously flawed experimental design. Most data presented badly or not analysed appropriately.

Discussion: Little attempt to discuss findings, evidence of misunderstanding.

Presentation: Poorly organised report.  References and citations presented in a non-standard format.  Data presentation poor. 

Fail (0-39)

In order to obtain a fail mark the write-up must fulfil the following key indicators and at least one of the failure indicators described below.

Key Indicators

Abstract: Lacks focus, aims and findings poorly presented.

Introduction: Background presented is incomplete or lacks focus, lack of understanding apparent, factual inaccuracies.  Aims not clearly presented.

Material and Methods:  Incomplete, inappropriate level of detail, very difficult to follow, evidence of misunderstanding, factual inaccuracies.

Results: Seriously flawed experimental design. Most data presented badly or not analysed appropriately.

Discussion: Little attempt to discuss findings, evidence of misunderstanding.

Presentation: Poorly organised report.  References and citations presented in a non-standard format.  Data presentation poor. 

Failure Indicators

Markers must apply these ‘Failure’ indicators to ensure that poor reports are scored appropriately. 

  • F1       No attempt made to introduce the background and aims of the investigation.
  • F2       Shows little understanding of the work.
  • F3       Fails to design or carry out even the simplest experiments or investigations.
  • F4       Fails to attempt any analysis of the data. 

Fail indicators will be used to award marks in the range of 0-39 in the following manner. 

  • 30-39              Compensatable Fail          Report shows one indicator          
  • 20-29              Non-compensatable Fail  Report shows two indicators
  • 10-19              Non-compensatable Fail Report shows three indicators

0-9                  Non-compensatable Fail Repor

Stage 2 exams

Marking criteria for Stage 2 long questions. 

  • Questions are to be marked out of 100
  • It is expected that maximum marks can be achieved on these questions using lecture information only
  • Extra reading is not an essential requirement unless it has been specifically made clear that this will be examined 

70-100: Marks in the range 70-100 should be awarded to answers that are comprehensive and detailed with no serious omissions or lack of understanding of core concepts. Content should be directly answering the question. 

  • 95±5: High level of detail and no omissions. Has included all relevant lecture material and constructed the answer in a logical and critical manner. Shows significant depth of understanding. The writing is of high quality. 
  • 85±5: A high level of detail though may have missed some minor content included in the lectures. Clear evidence of a thorough and thoughtful answer. 
  • 75±5: A good level of detail including most of the relevant lecture material. Omissions are not considered serious. 

60-69: Contains most of the relevant lecture material but detail may be variable or includes some omissions. Answer may include some irrelevant material but should mostly be directed at the question. Errors and misunderstanding should be minimal. 

50-59: Attempts to address the question and demonstrates understanding but may have omitted some obvious material and lacks detail overall. Answer may include some errors though these should be relatively minor and not affect core concepts.  Irrelevant material may be included that goes beyond the occasional point. 

40-49:  Makes a basic attempt to address the question and demonstrates some understanding but may have omitted a significant quantity of material, lack detail and include errors. 

30-39: Makes a minimal attempt at addressing the question and contains some relevant information related to the core concepts but this is minor and other content is lacking, inaccurate or irrelevant.

0-29: Fails to address the question, lacks information related to core concepts and contains major errors that demonstrate lack of understanding. 

Stage 3 exams

Stage 3 closed module assessment essay grade descriptors

Markers are reminded to USE THE FULL SCALE OF MARKS (0-100) when considering candidates answers.

I) Short answer questions
Short answer questions should be marked against an agreed marking scheme that gives credit for the correct approach as well as the correct answer. The space provided on the examination paper should be sufficient for a candidate to produce a succinct and completely satisfactory answer.

II) Essay
First Class (70-100)

In order to obtain a first class mark, candidates must show a complete, in depth, understanding of the material from the lectures as well as at least one of the following excellence indicators:

  • E1 - Knowledge beyond that which has been directly taught in lectures - facts or opinions not taught to the student during the course but gleaned by them from further reading and private study.
  • E2- Critical ability - an ability to make valid criticisms of the evidence or views of another person and to present an effective, well-organized argument
  • E3- An ability to synthesize a fine argument from many sources - evidence of an ability to combine many ideas and/or opinions to build a convincing argument.
  • E4 - Originality/scientific creativity - clever ideas, novel combinations of ideas, etc.

Excellence indicators will be used to award marks in the range of 70-100 in the following manner:

  • 75 +/- 5            Essay shows one indicator
  • 80 +/- 5            Essay shows two indicators
  • 85 +/- 5            Essay shows three indicators
  • 90 - 100           Essay shows four indicators, or three indicators with two being                                in a particularly impressive way

However, a candidate who shows one indicator in a particularly impressive way in a question that does not facilitate demonstrations of the other excellence indicators might also achieve an 80-89 mark (e.g. one particularly original criticism of a piece of science or an impressive quantity of additional material included).

STAFF MUST APPLY THESE EXCELLENCE INDICATORS TO ENSURE THAT REALLY GOOD ANSWERS GET THE CREDIT THAT THEY DESERVE. 

Upper Second (60-69)

Candidate has answered the question with no major omissions, factual inaccuracies or obvious lack of understanding. Information is largely drawn from the module lectures or seminars with possibly some material from elsewhere in the course. Essay is well organized with little or no irrelevant content.

Lower Second (50-59)
Candidate has not answered the question fully. Essay based upon module material but may contain omissions of content, minor errors or some lack of understanding. Arguments not well constructed, and some irrelevant information given.

Third Class (40-49)
Candidate has attempted to address the question but the answer is seriously incomplete. Essay based upon module material but presented with major omissions and errors. May contain a significant amount of irrelevant information and lack of understanding.

Fail (0-39)
In order to obtain a failing mark, candidates must show little knowledge or understanding of the module based on at least one of the following fail indicators:

  • F1 - Lack of knowledge - very few facts recalled accurately.
  • F2 - Serious lack of understanding - clear evidence of a failure to understand relatively simple concepts.
  • F3 - Inability to form a coherent scientific argument.
  • F4 - Massive digression - the great majority of the material in the answer does not address the question.

Fail indicators will be used to award marks in the range of 0-39 in the following manner:

  • 30-39               Compensatable Fail  Essay shows one fail indicator but contains content relevant to the question that demonstrates some understanding of the module
  • 20-29               Non-compensatable Fail      Essay shows two indicators
  • 10-19               Non-compensatable Fail      Essay shows three indicators
  • 0-9                   Non-compensatable Fail      Essay shows four indicators 

 

Stage 3 openly assessed modules marking criteria

Marking Criteria for Stage 3 Modules assessed by open essay.

Markers are reminded to USE THE FULL SCALE OF MARKS (0-100) when considering candidates answers.

First Class (70-100)

Candidates must show a full understanding of the subject matter presented in the module, with ample evidence of wide reading (both within and beyond the recommended reading), most of it primary, as well as at least one of the following criteria:

    E1 -     Originality/scientific creativity - clever ideas, novel combinations of ideas, etc.

    E2-      Evidence of exceptional width and depth of knowledge.

    E3-      Critical ability - an ability to make valid criticisms of the evidence or views of another person and to present an effective, well-organised argument

    E4-      An ability to synthesise a fine argument from many sources including the candidate’s own.  Evidence of an ability to combine many ideas and/or opinions to build a convincing argument.

Excellence indicators will be used to award marks in the range of 70-100 in the following manner:

    75 +/- 5           Essay shows one indicator

    80 +/- 5           Essay shows two indicators

    85 +/- 5           Essay shows three indicators

    95 +/- 5           Essay shows four indicators

A candidate who shows one or more indicator in a particularly impressive way might achieve a higher mark than indicated.

STAFF MUST APPLY THESE EXCELLENCE INDICATORS TO ENSURE THAT REALLY GOOD ANSWERS GET THE CREDIT THAT THEY DESERVE.

Upper Second (60-69)

Candidates must show a good understanding of the subject matter. The information should be an accurate summary of the material presented in the module lectures or seminars with evidence of reading the recommended material. The candidate should answer the question with no major omissions, factual inaccuracies or obvious lack of understanding. The essay should be well organized with little or no irrelevant content and arguments well presented and supported. Some evidence of original thinking.

Lower Second (50-59)

Candidate has attempted to address the question but the answer is incomplete. Coverage of the subject lacks depth, missing certain essential points and / or arguments are not well supported. The essay is primarily based upon module material and may be presented with omissions and errors. No sign of substantial original thoughts and rather uncritical. Draws on an adequate range of literature, but much of it secondary / web-based.

Third Class (40-49)

The candidate has attempted to address the question but the answer is seriously incomplete. It may be considerably under the 2000 word limit. Important work is not discussed or poorly presented well. The essay may contain significant digression, errors and demonstrate lack of understanding. Draws on a narrow range of literature resources, most of it secondary / web based. Essay may lack a logical structure.

Fail (0-39)

In order to obtain a failing mark a candidate must show little grasp of the topic chosen for the open essay based on at least one of the following fail indicators:

    F1-      Lack of knowledge, very few facts presented accurately.

    F2-      Serious lack of understanding, clear evidence of a failure to understand relatively simple concepts.

    F3-      Inability to form a coherent scientific argument.

    F4 -     Massive digression, the great majority of the material in the answer does not address the question.

Fail indicators will be used to award marks in the range of 0-39 in the following manner:

    30-39              Compensatable Fail          Essay shows one fail indicator but contains content relevant to the question that demonstrates some understanding of the subject

    20-29              Non-compensatable Fail  Essay shows two indicators

    10-19              Non-compensatable Fail Essay shows three indicators

    0-9                  Non-compensatable Fail Essay shows four indicators  

Stage 3 open essay

Open Essay Marking Guidelines

Markers are reminded to USE THE FULL SCALE OF MARKS (0-100) when considering candidates answers.

First Class (70-100)
Candidates must show a full understanding of the subject matter with ample evidence of wide reading, with most of it primary, as well as at least one of the following criteria:

  • E1 -     Originality/scientific creativity - clever ideas, novel combinations of ideas, etc.
  • E2-      Evidence of exceptional width and depth of knowledge.
  • E3-      Critical ability - an ability to make valid criticisms of the evidence or views of another person and to present an effective, well-organised argument
  • E4-      An ability to synthesise a fine argument from many sources including the candidate’s own.  Evidence of an ability to combine many ideas and/or opinions to build a convincing argument.

Excellence indicators will be used to award marks in the range of 70-100 in the following manner:

  • 75 +/- 5           Essay shows one indicator
  • 80 +/- 5           Essay shows two indicators
  • 85 +/- 5           Essay shows three indicators
  • 95 +/- 5           Essay shows four indicators

A candidate who shows one or more indicator in a particularly impressive way might achieve a higher mark than indicated.

STAFF MUST APPLY THESE EXCELLENCE INDICATORS TO ENSURE THAT REALLY GOOD ANSWERS GET THE CREDIT THAT THEY DESERVE.

Upper Second (60-69) 
Candidates must show a good understanding of the subject matter with ample evidence of wide reading, most of it primary.  Arguments are well presented and supported. Some evidence of original thinking. 

Lower Second (50-59) 
Coverage of the subject lacks depth, missing certain essential points and arguments are not well supported. No sign of substantial original thoughts and rather uncritical. Draws on an adequate range of literature, but much of it secondary / web-based.

Third Class (40-49)
The candidate has attempted to address the question but the answer is seriously incomplete. Important work not discussed or poorly presented well. No sensible contribution of ideas by the candidate. May contain significant digression, errors and demonstrate lack of understanding. Draws on a narrow range of literature resources, most of it secondary / web based. Essay may lack a logical structure.

Fail (0-39) 
In order to obtain a failing mark a candidate must show little grasp of the topic chosen for the open essay based on at least one of the following fail indicators:

  • F1-      Lack of knowledge, very few facts presented accurately.
  • F2-      Serious lack of understanding, clear evidence of a failure to understand relatively simple concepts.
  • F3-      Inability to form a coherent scientific argument.
  • F4 -     Massive digression, the great majority of the material in the answer does not address the question.

Fail indicators will be used to award marks in the range of 0-39 in the following manner:

  • 30-39              Compensatable Fail          Essay shows one fail indicator but contains content relevant to the question that demonstrates some understanding of the subject
  • 20-29              Non-compensatable Fail  Essay shows two indicators
  • 10-19              Non-compensatable Fail Essay shows three indicators
  • 0-9                  Non-compensatable Fail Essay shows four indicators  

Stage 3 project marking guidelines

Project marking guidelines

BSc roject reports should be between 4,000 and 6,000 words, Integrated masters projects should be upto 4,000 words . Projects that exceed the recommended length will be penalised 1 mark for every 200 extra words.

Mark Weighting of Report Sections

Abstract 5%; Introduction 25%;
Methods 10%;
Results 25%;
Discussion 25%;
Presentation: 10%

Detailed section marking criteria attached:

Project Report Marking

Markers should base their marks exclusively on the project report itself. The project report mark should not include any assessment of the attitude of the student during the conduct of the project. This is covered in the separate Project Director's Mark.

Markers are reminded to use the full scale of marks (0-100) when marking project reports.

1) Markers should use the Section Marking Criteria in the attached table to provide individual marks for each section of the project report. These marks will generate an overall mark for the project report.

2) Markers should then check the overall mark generated against the general guidelines to make sure that the overall mark is appropriate for the project report.

3) In relation to first class and fail marks it is very important that the marker refers to the Excellence and Fail indicators to ensure that the candidate is awarded an appropriate mark.

The overall mark generated from the sections must be justifiable in terms of the General Marking Guidelines

General Marking Guidelines for the Project Report

The General Marking Guidelines must be applied to ensure that the overall mark generated from the section marks is appropriate to the project.

 

First Class (70-100)

In order to obtain a first class mark, candidates must provide a concise coverage of the relevant literature that places the project aims in context. The aims should be clearly stated. The methods section should be clear and precise. The results should be presented effectively and comprehensively, and discussed thoughtfully. The project should be well presented with attention to detail throughout. Some minor errors and/or omissions are tolerated. Also, at least one of the following excellence indicators must be shown:

                            E1: Demonstrates an ability to design sensible and subtle experiments or investigations beyond those described in the project description.

                            E2: Shows impressive understanding of basis of the project and the work of others on which it was based.

                            E3: Shows an impressive ability to recognise the significance of the results obtained, and provide thoughtful explanations for unexpected findings or discrepancies.

                            E4: Shows an ability to make appropriate suggestions regarding the future direction that work in this area should take, even if not carried out due to lack of time/resources.

 

Markers must apply these Excellence indicators to ensure that good project reports get the credit that they deserve.

Excellence indicators will be used to award marks in the range of 70-100 in the following manner:

                            75 +/- 5            Report shows one indicator

                            80 +/- 5            Report shows two indicators

                            85 +/- 5            Report shows three indicators

            95 +/- 5            Report shows four indicators

Upper Second (60-69) 
Concise and appropriate coverage of the key relevant literature that relates to project aims. Satisfactory description of the methods. Evidence for an ability to design and/or execute experiments effectively. Data is analyzed appropriately and well presented. Thoughtful, but not inspired, discussion, which uses the data and previously published information appropriately.

Lower Second (50-59) 
Summary of some of the existing literature but may be missing information or may not link well to project aims. Adequate description of the methods but may be lacking some essential information. No evidence of an ability to plan beyond basic simple experiments. Data presented but may be analyzed inappropriately in places. Some of the data used badly or some important points missed. Discussion points out the obvious but does not effectively integrate the findings and previously published data.

Third Class (40-49)
Very basic introduction, neither clearly defining the problem nor showing evidence that the student has covered the existing literature. Poor description of the methods. Little data and of poor quality. Data badly used or misused. Discussion misses obvious points and is more of a summary.

Compensatable Fail (30-39) 
Very little evidence of effort or thought. A basic introduction, limited methods section and very few results. Discussion very limited.

Fail (0-29) 
Shows no evidence of effort or thought. A very simple introduction produced with minimal effort, limited methods section and few or no results. Discussion extremely limited.  The following Fail indicators should be used to award marks in the range 0-29.

                            F1: Demonstrates an inability to design even the simplest experiments or investigations suggested in the project description.

                            F2: Shows no understanding of work that is beyond those described in the project description and offers no explanation for unexpected findings or discrepancies.

                            F3: Fails to carry out even the simplest experiments or analysis through lack of effort.

                            F4: Makes no effort to analyse any data obtained.

Markers should award marks in the range of 0-29 based on the following criteria:

                            20-29: The candidate shows one or two of the fail indicators in a report of any length.

                            10-19: The candidate shows two to three of the fail indicators

                            0-9: The candidate shows all of the fail indicators and/or offers less than 1000 words of content.

Stage 3 project marking criteria

Section Marking Criteria

This guide is to help markers provide marks for each section of the project report and to help them more clearly justify their final mark. Please note that the sections for the marking scheme assume the project is a standard, investigative project. It is acknowledged that not all projects fall in this category and markers should use their academic judgment when applying the criteria. Credit can be awarded in the results section for evidence of method development that has been described in the methods section.

 

 

70-100

60-69

50-59

40-49

30-39

0-29

Abstract

5%

Very good: logical structure and balance of content. Places work in context, highlights project aims, includes main findings and a conclusion. Should be within word limit. Marks closer to 100 should be awarded for a publication quality abstract with exceptionally clear, concise and precise content.

Clear abstract that places the work in context and includes main findings but may be unbalanced in terms of content. Should be within word limit.

Reasonable abstract containing relevant material but balance of content may be poor and/or the writing style inappropriate.  May include irrelevant material.

Basic content and poor writing style. Contains some relevant content but this is limited and many aspects missed. May be significantly under the word limit or contain irrelevant content.

Poor. Demonstrates some understanding of the purpose of an abstract but misses most of the relevant content. Likely to be significantly under the word limit or contain irrelevant content.

Distinctly inadequate or absent. Has not understood the purpose of an abstract. Marks closer to zero should be awarded to abstracts that are lacking any relevant content.

Introduction

25%

Very clearly defines the question. Good understanding of the subject demonstrated. Writing is concise and thoughtful. Appropriate selection of references. Marks closer to 100 should be awarded to exceptionally well-written and insightful content.

Defines and evaluates the question well. Good understanding of the subject demonstrated with appropriate selection of references. May be lacking insightful or critical content.

Adequately introduces the subject area through the use of a limited selection of references. The storyline may be poorly structured and links to the project aims may not be clear.

 

A very basic introduction. Provides some background information but has errors of content and/or omissions and a poor selection of references. Weak storyline. Link to project aims unclear or absent.

Evidence of a limited engagement with the project background but includes significant omissions, errors or irrelevant material. The purpose of the research is unclear. May be very short. References lacking and/or poorly selected

Contains little relevant content. Likely to be very short. No link to the project aims and few or no references used. Marks closer to zero should be awarded where little or no engagement with the subject area is demonstrated

Methods

10%

Clear, concise and precise. Sufficiently well described to enable experiments to be repeated, though some minor omissions/errors are tolerated. Sections logically organized. Marks closer to 100 should be awarded to methods written with the highest clarity and precision.

Clear content with a logical structure. Should allow most experiments to be repeated. Some minor omissions/errors are tolerated.

Mostly clear though may lack some details and may include omissions/errors such that repeating some experiments may be difficult. Writing style may be inconsistent or inappropriate. May be lacking a logical structure.

Poorly written and lacking details though the methods should be identifiable. Most methods mentioned even if description is inadequate. Relatively high number of omissions/errors

Lacking detail and unclear though the methods should be identifiable. Writing is poor and method choice may be inappropriate. Contains a high number of errors and omissions.

Vague description lacking most key details such that repeating the work would not be possible. Marks closer to 29 should be awarded where there is effort to describe at least some of the methods used. Marks closer to zero should be awarded where there is no effort to describe most of the methods.

 

 

 

 

 

70-100

60-69

50-59

40-49

30-39

0-29

Results

25%

Strong evidence of the ability to design and execute experiments and analyze data thoroughly. Appropriate narrative throughout. Well organized. Strong evidence of attempts to trouble-shoot where necessary. Marks closer to 100 should be awarded for high quality data that is well presented and thoughtfully analyzed.

Good evidence of the ability to design and execute experiments and analyze data appropriately. Results presented clearly and with narrative though may be lacking some details. Some evidence of attempts to trouble-shoot or try different approaches where necessary.

Adequate. Experiments carried out but data may be misinterpreted or analyzed inappropriately in places. Section may be lacking narrative with some details/analyses missing. Some evidence of attempts to trouble-shoot or try different approaches where necessary but these are limited.

 

Some results included but these are presented poorly and lacking an adequate description. Results may be misinterpreted or analyzed inappropriately.  Key details may be lacking. Little evidence of attempts to trouble-shoot or try different approaches.

Only few results, poorly presented with little descriptive text. No evidence of effort to trouble-shoot or try different approaches. Little evidence that the purpose of the experiments has been understood.

Very few or no results presented. No effort to present these appropriately and little or no accompanying text. No evidence of understanding the purpose of the experiments demonstrated. Marks closer to zero should be awarded for results sections that contain little or no evidence experiments have actually been conducted.

 

Discussion

25%

Excellent content showing appreciation of own results and how these integrate with those of others. Writing style is clear and concise with well thought through suggestions for further directions. Marks closer to 100 should be awarded if the content is particularly insightful and creative. 

 

Good content with clear understanding of results generated and some integration with the work of others. May be lacking appreciation of subtle aspects or may over-interpret data in places. Writing style is clear and concise and includes sensible suggestions for further directions.

Adequate discussion that does not link well to the literature. Shows understanding of the results generated and some of the implications but may be overly simplistic or over-interpret. Suggestions for further directions may be impractical, basic or lacking.

Basic discussion showing some understanding of the data but fails to cover most material with minimal link to literature. Poor organization and either no suggestions for further experiments or ideas that are impractical. Content is largely descriptive. May include irrelevant content.

Short section demonstrating only minimal engagement with the experimental approach attempted. No appreciation of the implication of any results and no link to literature. May include irrelevant material.

 

No consideration of either results generated or the experimental approach attempted. Marks closer to zero should be awarded for sections that are seriously lacking content and have no link to the original project aims

Presentation

10%

High quality presentation with attention to detail throughout. Very few typos. Well-presented figures with good legends. Reference list is consistent in style and accurate. Marks closer to 100 should be awarded for exceptional attention to presentation quality.

Well-presented overall though there may be some inconsistencies of style. Reference list is consistent in style and accurate. Some errors tolerated but should be relatively few in number.

Mostly clearly presented but may be lacking attention to detail in places. Figures may be of variable quality and legends may not be well written. The reference list should broadly be consistent in style and accurate though some errors are tolerated.

Presented with low attention to detail with a relatively high number of errors. Style inconsistent. Figures poorly reproduced and legends may be minimal or lacking. The reference list may be inconsistent in style and although mostly accurate, may include errors.

Very poor presentation with little attention to detail. Text includes numerous typos and errors. Figures are unclear or missing. Reference list is included but is inconsistent in style and lacks accuracy.

Presented with little or no consideration to the reader. High proportion of errors and no consistency. Reference list is inadequate.

Marks closer to zero should be awarded in cases of exceptionally poor presentation.

 

 

Marking Criteria (Level One)

 

This is a guide to the criteria used by staff in assigning a mark to a piece of work. Broadly speaking, work is assessed on four criteria:

- Range of knowledge
- Engagement with the question
- Quality of argument and analysis
- Organization 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.

 

A well argued and perceptive response to the question, based on wide reading. Uses a range of examples to support the argument and provides clear references to relevant literature and examples. Weighs up and evaluates different arguments, showing an ability to distinguish between different ideas and arguments, and, where relevant, nuanced command of the historiographical issues under discussion. Well written, with few technical errors and a sense of style. A mark in this range recognises intelligent and thoughtful engagement with the subject, a strong grounding in the topic, and the presentation of a coherent argument with an awareness of nuance and complexity, although not all of these elements need be equally strong.

90+
Outstanding work in all aspects that is thoroughly independent, original and insightful; writing that has attained the highest professional standards in the discipline.

80-89
Exceptional insight, weight and sophistication. Highly accurate work, analytically rigorous, written with a sense of style.

75-79
Evidence of critical and innovative thought. Evidence of a capacity to pursue independent lines of enquiry.

70-74
Shows a clear awareness of the salient points and an ability to discuss them analytically and incisively. Evidence of undoubted quality in the use of secondary sources or evidence, but not sustained across the entire range. Although generally fluent, work in this category may contain occasional stylistic or technical errors.

 

60-69
A clearly focused answer, well argued and supported by a good understanding of the subject. Based on a good range of reading. Shows breadth of knowledge and some independent thought< weighs up and evaluates different arguments, and, where relevant, appreciates the extent to which historiography is contested. Written in clear accurate prose, well structured and using a range of examples to support the argument. Provides references in line with the Departmental style sheet.

65-69
Well written, with few technical errors. A direct answer to the question, showing an awareness of different arguments and interpretations, and developing a coherent and well-structured discussion.

60-64
A mark in this range will demonstrate a good overall level of competence but will show some weakness in terms of breadth of knowledge, depth, precision, clarity, or style. The answer may neglect some areas of the question, or show some weakness in the prose, or the range of reading.

 

50-59
A relevant answer to the question, showing a solid but limited engagement with the subject. Attempts to present an argument, but may lack sustained focus, have a limited developed argument or tend towards the assertion of essentially derivative ideas. More descriptive than analytical, without the kind of critical reflection characteristic of answers in higher mark bands. Shows some understanding of strands in historiography where this is relevant. Provides a reasonably structured account but with some signs of confusion; may contain errors of fact or interpretation. The writing lacks fluency and may be clumsy in places.

55-59
A relevant response to the question showing a reasonable level of general competency and knowledge according to most criteria, but with weakness in some areas. Some use of relevant examples and some appreciation of different arguments and interpretations.

50-54
Demonstrates knowledge of some issues relevant to the question, but with significant gaps in coverage, some inaccuracies and little attempt to evaluate the status or significance of information. May indicate an insufficiently developed argument with one or more key points neglected, over- reliance on a few items of reading, weaknesses in the prose, and inadequate referencing.

 

45-49
A partial response to the question, which makes little sustained attempt to develop a coherent answer to the question or only does so in a haphazard manner. A poorly developed argument, based on very limited reading. The evidence may be misremembered, vague or insufficient to constitute a serious response, containing errors of fact or interpretation. Some evidence of structure, but it is likely to be muddled or unclear.

 

40-44
Signs of some knowledge but at an elementary level. For the most part confused and poorly expressed. A small element of analysis. Contains significant grammatical and spelling errors.

 

Work that displays little or no real understanding of the question. There is no coherent argument. The answer relies on a very limited amount of descriptive material, without any critical reflection of its significance.

30-39
Bare response to the question set. Shows some knowledge of relevant material. A mark in this range may reflect: failure to address the question set; insignificant or no argument. Contains little relevant information, is erroneous in matters of fact and interpretation, and poorly organised. Poorly written with numerous grammatical and spelling errors.

20-29
No meaningful response to the question. Contains no relevant information. Some attempt at analysis, but misconceived and/or incoherent, and has a weak structure.

1-19
No serious attempt to carry out the task assigned. No attempt at analysis. No structure at all. No understanding or knowledge of the topic. Only partial response.

0
Indicates work either not submitted or unworthy of marking.

0 Thoughts to “University Presentation Marking Criteria For Essay

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *