Term Paper Evaluation Worksheet
Term Papers are evaluated using an equally weighted combination of three factors: 1)
Style and Format; 2) Research Effort; 3) Analysis and Argument
1) Style and Format:
ORGANIZATION: Provide a clear introduction, setting out the central topic(s) or question(s), and how
the paper will proceed to address them. This is followed by a systematic exposition of ideas, not straying
from the topic, and leading to a conclusion summarizing the main points in the paper.
STYLE: This involves elements such as the grammar, literacy, intelligibility of expression, proper citing of
sources, consistency of footnote and bibliography style.
2) Research Effort
The main window to research effort is the bibliography. Are relevant and important citations correctly
identified? For current affairs topics, this will involve the use of sources which are current to the date of
submission. For theoretical papers, are the key foundational articles and most recent extensions properly
Beyond this, the paper is examined to verify that there is appropriate use of the relevant sources. Particular
attention is also given to assessing whether the paper topic related to course themes and, where
appropriate, to selected course readings.
3) Analysis and Argument
ARGUMENT: Do you present a coherent and reasonable argument? Is it consistent with, and supported
by, your evidence? Is it logically consistent? Does it take into account major counter arguments?
It is not necessary to present original analysis. What is important is that arguments and analysis which have
been made by others have been correctly understood.
4) Other Factors
It is essential that norms of academic honesty be followed. The reader of the paper ought to be able to
recreate the process by which the paper was written by verifying the citations which are given in the paper.
It is not acceptable to paraphrase an article and not provide adequate citation. It is even more
unacceptable to reproduce sections of an article or book verbatim without first placing quotations around
the citation and accurately referencing the source.