dissertation marking criteria

Dissertation marking criteria

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: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 normal assumption is that a dissertation will make use of primary source material. Dissertations may also have an historiographical focus, in which case the historical arguments, texts and debates under discussion will provide the substantial primary source base for the analysis offered in the dissertation.

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A mark in this range may reflect excellence in aspects of the dissertation but some technical or stylistic argued and clearly focused, based on wide reading of both primary and secondary source material; well structured, revealing a clear logic; showing a breadth of knowledge but may lack creativity or incisiveness; weighing up and evaluating evidence, and identifying key issues, and, where relevant, appreciating the extent to which historiography is contested. A dissertation marked in this range will in addition push the boundaries of existing historiography and suggest major revisions to our understanding of the topic ates will demonstrate all of the qualities required for a distinction in the 70-79 range. Any argument that convinces the examiner to think differently about a subject should be marked above dissertation will be well-presented, making full and appropriate use of scholarly apparatus (including the referencing of primary and/or archival sources). In terms of research, the dissertation should clearly derive from a well-defined and identifiable primary source base. The argument offered in the dissertation should be sustained and convincing, offer perceptive and independent insights, and demonstrate an ability to handle historical concepts and methods with confidence. The dissertation will have an identifiable and well-focused primary source base and the candidate will make effective use of this primary material in presenting his/her argument.


Dissertation marked as a 'pass' will have an identifiable primary source base but the relationship between the sources and the thesis may not be well developed.

The dissertation should advance a case, but the argument may be more mechanical or show a tendency to description.

There should be some attempt to situate the dissertation within a wider scholarly literature but the reading may be relatively narrow.

Dissertation in this range may have ignored presentational guidelines and the conventions of academic writing (including grammar and spelling).

Primary sources will be thin, tangential, or inappropriately chosen and so fail to support the argument put forward in the dissertation.

The dissertation may be incoherent and tes work either not submitted or unworthy of ="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">.

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The dissertation may be incoherent and tes work either not submitted or unworthy of sity home | studying | research | business and community | working here | alumni and supporters | our departments | visiting us | about sity of exeter > college of humanities intranet > studying > subject handbooks > classics and ancient history > marking criteria for et homeabout the collegeeventssocieties and g criteria for essays and g criteria for translations and language and supportcareersstudy abroadinformation about staffinformation for staff onlyit's never too lateback to college grade indicates work of very high quality which will demonstrate some, though not necessarily all, of the following:independent thought of very high quality, deep understanding of the implications of the question, an individual and particularly effective treatment of the material or topic, understanding of and substantial engagement with scholarly debates, sophisticated treatment of primary material, excellent control of a complex argument, and a scholarly standard of presentation (footnotes, citations, bibliography etc.

Grade indicates work of very high quality which will demonstrate some, though not necessarily all, of the following:coverage of all (or the most significant) areas and issues appropriate to the topic, control of an argument sustained across the whole piece of work, construction of coherent argument in individual chapters, a well argued viewpoint supported by evidence, an original viewpoint convincingly presented, the capacity to evaluate evidence, the capacity to adduce evidence from other fields, within or outside the ancient world, independent thought of high quality, and excellent organization, presentation and style (including footnotes and spelling), using appropriate and grammatical grade indicates a very competent piece of work, which will demonstrate some, though not necessarily all, of the following:coverage of most of the areas and issues appropriate to the topic, a coherent and well-organized argument across the whole piece of work identifying most of the issues relevantto the topic, coherent and well-organized arguments in individual chapters, and a capacity to evaluate evidence, good presentation, showing sound command of english; the better dissertation will show evidence of wide reading and independent grade indicates work of acceptable competence.

The dissertation can be easily turned into a uction and rationale; formulation of research question/problem; focus (10%).

Read our a decade ago i clearly remember a colleague and i negotiating marks for a dissertation.

I should have stuck to my guns and agreed to put it to a third whole business of dissertation marking is a fascinating and all too human process.

There are assessment and grade criteria, specific headings that students know they need to deliver against – are the aims and objectives clear and tracked through?

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Does the literature review provide good coverage of existing sources relevant to the dissertation topic?

In the next few weeks colleagues – including myself – will be hit by a tidal wave of incoming final year undergraduate dissertations. There are various reasons: the dissertation adviser will likely have formed a working relationship with the student, and it may be difficult to disentangle things like effort from achievement. Related to this is the fact that where a second marker criticises a submission, the adviser/first marker may not only feel (partly) responsible, but can become defensive as they blur boundaries between marking student work and being drawn in to assessing their own inputs and advice. Equally – with substantial numbers of dissertations to assess - you may find yourself uncomfortably at the edge of your known world in terms of expertise. Try to start marking as soon as the dissertations are distributed for marking and – just like student dissertation writers – do a little and often. Personally – whether as a marker or external examiner – i can't cope with more than about four dissertations a day.


Remember it's the piece of work you are marking, not the student overall; nor the fact that they worked very hard at it or are delightful.

The importance of staff-student relationships to undergraduate dissertation preparation in the journal active learning in higher education volume 12 issue 2, july derounian is a principal lecturer in community development and local governance and national teaching fellow, university of gloucestershire.

3)sign in or create your guardian account to join the raduates should be doing finals, not dissertations.

Dissertations should be for masters' level degrees, where students have an extra year to know what they're doing.

Certainly, in my discipline (in the social sciences), the dissertation represents the pedagogical culmination of three years of study at the undergraduate level.

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