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Grading Rubric and Comments on Western Civ. Exam 1, Fall 2004

Part B  Short Answers

fewer than 10 points:  the answer is simply wrong/ does not answer the question at all

10-11 points:  the basic idea is correct, but with no reference to the actual document (based on lecture/textbook, not the document)

12 points:  basic idea is correct, based on the document, but with no examples or explanations

13-15 points:  basic idea is correct, and is based upon the document, but with variable degree of explanation or use of examples

16 points:  idea correct, based on document, uses good examples, and establishes clear link (logical relationship) to the entire question


Part C  Essay

20 points or fewer:  the answer is simply wrong/ does not answer the question at all

21-23 points:  serious errors in basic ideas/ no examples or poor examples/ explanations unclear

24-27 points:  most basic ideas correct, but with poor or few examples and/or unclear explanations

28-30:  ideas consistently correct, but examples are weak or not explained clearly enough

31-35:  ideas clear, good clear examples and explanations, organization consistently clear, makes use of both lecture and textbook material



SOME TIPS on the essays:

Beware study groups in which you share answers with people who have not studied carefully!  There were entire groups of students who wrote essays that repeated the same mistakes, and who also repeated the same mistakes in their short answers.  There is only one way for this to happen--people "shared" answers (in study groups, I hope!) without being well prepared.  If you form a study group with someone, make sure that you all do the work on every question yourself, so that you're not stuck with somebody else's wrong answer!

Read more carefully!  Several people wrote answers that were seriously wrong because they had read superficially.  Coffin, for instance, says that population growth was both a consequence and a cause of economic expansion--she is talking about both the agricultural and the manufacturing sides of the economy.  She then explains in the text that population growth was a RESULT of changes in agriculture, but that it was a CAUSE of increased demand for manufacturing goods.  But many people read superficially, then said "population growth was the cause of agricultural surplus"--an illogical argument not supported by the text or the lectures!

Pay closed attention in class and take better notes!  Several people made big mistakes because they were only half listening!  For instance, in lecture I explained the difference between the 3 field system of farming and slash and burn farming (etc).  I then explained that in England and Holland in the 1600s and 1700s, landowners introduced crop rotations that were more complicated than the 3 field system (5 fields in rotation, etc), and that this was one of the factors that made surplus possible.  But a lot of people simply stopped listening after I explained the "old" system, and missed the point completely....

THINK before you write!  Many people wrote essays in which they contradicted themselves repeatedly or said things that simply didn't make sense.

Be as well prepared as possible!  Write an outline.  Follow the format that I described in the web page I posted (with the exam questions).  Don't try to BS!!!!  I hate BS, and I have a very well-tuned BS meter.  Remember, I've been studying this stuff since before most of you were born. 

Don't just copy the textbook!   I was easy on people on the first exam, but I will start failing people for plagiarizing on the next exam.