Week 8 Final Project
Overview: Complete a final project/paper on a major problem or challenge to your community that is of importance to your department and will require changes in how the department provides its service to the community. Examples of topics are child fire setting, finance problems, immigrant communities, minority recruiting, recruiting volunteers, etc. The field is wide open, but your paper must provide a real solution, that is legal and practical to the problem. Use this as a chance to apply all that you have learned to research a solution that will aid your community
I. The Research/Position Paper:
Subject: The topic of your research paper must be approved by the instructor. Your research paper must reflect your own original thoughts, even though the issues may have been previously presented elsewhere.
Format: The research paper will be 15-20 text pages long using Ariel or Times New Roman 12 point font and double-spaced throughout. The title page, abstract page, and reference page do not apply as text pages. The research paper must include a bibliography of at least six academically critical sources. While an encyclopedia may be useful as a starting point, it cannot count as one of the six sources. If there is a question about whether a source meets the academic criteria, contact the instructor. These sources may all be secondary, but primary sources may also be used. The student is encouraged to use as many sources as appropriate. However, a huge bibliography will not compensate for a weak or poorly-constructed paper. Review the “Citation and Reference Style” section of this syllabus.
Style: The style of the research paper must be in the format of a position paper for your department with the idea that this is to be submitted to the authority having jurisdiction to clarify or correct a problem with the issue being addressed. As this is being written for politicians insure that you write clearly and present any options and why you chose the option you did and the legal and regulatory backup for your decision. Transition from one idea to another should be smooth. Do not number your paragraphs or sub-paragraphs and do not break them up. The following criteria are essential for the research paper:
1) introduction providing a thesis statement;
2) body providing a discussion of central themes supported by properly cited sources; and,
3) conclusion drawing together the themes of the paper in a succinct and persuasive manner.
Submission: Submit the Research Paper
APUS Assignment Rubric Lower Level
Undergraduate 300-400 Courses
Updated: June 2012
Full Rubric for Classroom Publication
School of Security and Global Studies Rubric Features
· Rubric categories are evenly distributed – 20 points per category.
· Assignment settings equal 100 points for each assignment.
· Grade book is set for weighted categories (not points).
· Separate rubrics in 100-200, 300-400, 500-600 level courses for assignments.
· Standard forum discussion rubric for all levels.
Quick Table for Insertion in Assignments (within Word document)
|Criteria||Exemplary 16-20||Accomplished 11-15||Developing 6-10||Beginning 0-5||Total|
|Critical Thinking Skills|
|Organization of Ideas/Format|
Focus/Thesis – 20 points
Exhibits a limited understanding of the assignment. Reader is unable to follow the logic used for the thesis and development of key themes. Introduction of thesis is not clearly evident, and reader must look deeper to discover the focus of the writer. Student’s writing is weak in the inclusion of supporting facts or statements.
Student exhibits a basic understanding of the intended assignment, but the thesis is not fully supported throughout the assignment. While thesis helps to guide the development of the assignment, the reader may have some difficulty in seeing linkages between thoughts. While student has included a few supporting facts and statements, this has limited the quality of the assignment.
Establishes a good comprehension of topic and in the building of the thesis. Student demonstrates an effective presentation of thesis, with most support statements helping to support the key focus of assignment.
Student exhibits a defined and clear understanding of the assignment. Thesis is clearly defined and well-constructed to help guide the reader throughout the assignment. Student builds upon the thesis of the assignment with well-documented and exceptional supporting facts, figures, and/or statements.
Content/Subject Knowledge – 20 points
Student tries to explain some concepts, but overlooks critical details. Assignment appears vague or incomplete in various segments. Student presents concepts in isolation, and does not perceive to have a logical sequencing of ideas.
The assignment reveals that the student has a general, fundamental understanding of the course material. There are areas of some concerning in the linkages provided between facts and supporting statements. Student generally explains concepts, but only meets the minimum requirements in this area.
Student exhibits above average usage of subject matter in assignment. Student provides above average ability in relating course content in examples given. Details and facts presented provide an adequate presentation of student’s current level of subject matter knowledge.
Student demonstrates proficient command of the subject matter in the assignment. Assignment shows an impressive level of depth of student’s ability to relate course content to practical examples and applications. Student provides comprehensive analysis of details, facts, and concepts in a logical sequence.
Critical Thinking Skills – 20 points
Student demonstrates beginning understanding of key concepts, but overlooks critical details. Learner is unable to apply information in a problem-solving fashion. Student presents confusing statements and facts in assignment. No evidence or little semblance of critical thinking skills.
Student takes a common, conventional approach in guiding the reader through various linkages and connections presented in assignment. However, student presents a limited perspective on key concepts throughout assignment. Student appears to have problems applying information in a problem-solving manner.
Student exhibits a good command of critical thinking skills in the presentation of material and supporting statements. Assignment demonstrates the student’s above average use of relating concepts by using a variety of factors. Overall, student provides adequate conclusions, with two or fewer errors.
Student demonstrates a higher-level of critical thinking necessary for 300-400 level work. Learner provides a strategic approach in presenting examples of problem solving or critical thinking, while drawing logical conclusions which are not immediately obvious. Student provides well-supported ideas and reflection with a variety of current and/or world views in the assignment. Student presents a genuine intellectual development of ideas throughout assignment.
Organization of Ideas/Format – 20 points
Assignment reveals formatting errors and a lack of organization. Student presents an incomplete attempt to provide linkages or explanation of key terms. The lack of appropriate references or source materials demonstrates the student’s need for additional help or training in this area. Student needs to review and revise the assignment.
Learner applies some points and concepts incorrectly. Student uses a variety of formatting styles, with some inconsistencies throughout the paper. Assignment does not have a continuous pattern of logical sequencing. Student uses fewer sources or references than required by assignment. Academic sources are lacking.
Student explains the majority of points and concepts in the assignment. Learner demonstrates a good skill level in formatting and organizing material in assignment. Student presents an above average level of preparedness, with a few formatting errors. Assignment contains number of academic sources required in assignment.
Student thoroughly understands and excels in explaining all major points. An original, unique, and/or imaginative approach to overall ideas, concepts, and findings is presented. Overall format of assignment includes an appropriate introduction (or abstract), well- developed paragraphs, and conclusion. Finished assignment demonstrates student’s ability to plan and organize research in a logical sequence. Student uses required number of academic sources or beyond.
Writing Conventions (Grammar and Mechanics) – 20 points
Topics, concepts, and ideas are not coherently discussed or expressed in assignments. Student’s writing style is weak and needs improvement, along with numerous proofreading errors. Assignment lacks clarity, consistency, and correctness. Student needs to review and revise assignment.
Assignment reflects basic writing and grammar, but more than five errors. Key terms and concepts are somewhat vague and not completely explained by student. Student uses a basic vocabulary in assignment. Student’s writing ability is average, but demonstrates a basic understanding of the subject matter.
Student provides an effective display of good writing and grammar. Assignment reflects student’s ability to select appropriate word usage and present an above average presentation of a given topic or issue. Assignment appears to be well written with no more than three-five errors. Student provides a final written product that covers the above-minimal requirements.
Student demonstrates an excellent command of grammar, as well as presents research in a clear and concise writing style. Presents a thorough and extensive understanding of word usage. Student excels in the selection and development of a well-planned research assignment. Assignment is error-free and reflects student’s ability to prepare a high-quality academic assignment.