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Text Analysis for Effective Humanities Research in the Digital Age

Claremont Graduate University

Text Analysis for Effective Research in the Digital Age

Fall 2017

Course Instructor: Dr. Ashley Sanders

 

Ashley.Sanders@cgu.edu

O: 909.607.0894  C: 424.256.5960

Email is the best way to reach me.

Phone/Skype Hours: By appointment

Office Hours: Monday 10:00-12:00

 

Ashley Sanders holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialization in Digital Humanities from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and History Secondary Education from Western Michigan University. She is the Director of the Digital Research Studio at the Claremont Colleges, and serves as a faculty member at Claremont Graduate University and at Claremont McKenna College.

 

Course Schedule

  • Semester start/end dates: August 28 – December 15, 2017
  • Meeting day, time:  Monday, 1:00-3:50
  • Course Location: Research Studio, Honnold-Mudd Library

 

Course Description

This course focuses on text analysis as a digital research methodology. Through weekly hands-on workshops, you will acquire transferable digital skills in the command line, the programming language Python, and how to structure, visualize, and analyze information and data from textual sources. Readings will explore various aspects of text analysis and topic modeling, as well as scholarship resulting from the application of these methods. Throughout the course, we will apply what we are learning to our own primary source materials to understand how, why, and when to use various tools and methodological approaches. The course will conclude with the completion of a thesis proposal, conference presentation, chapter, or article draft that draws on one of these methods.

Background Preparations (Prerequisites)

None.

Student Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of various text analysis techniques
  2. Ask questions that can be meaningfully answered using computational text analysis
  3. Prepare individual texts and/or a corpus of texts for computational text analysis and visualization
  4. Interpret the results of text analysis methods, including word frequencies, collocation, distributions, various dictionary methods, topic modeling, and network visualization
  5. Express yourself effectively orally and in writing

Schedule of assignment due dates:

WEEK DUE DATE ASSIGNMENTS DUE
1 Aug. 28
2 Sept. 11
3 Sept. 18 Project Proposal
4 Sept. 25 Voyant Tools Analysis Paper
5 Oct. 2 Bibliography of Texts
6 Oct. 9
7 Oct. 16 Text Corpus Annotated Bibliography
8 Oct. 23
9 Oct. 30
10 Nov. 6 Topic Modeling Analysis Paper
11 Nov. 13 Preliminary Findings Paper
12 Nov. 20
13 Nov. 27
14 Dec. 4 Presentation
15 Dec. 11 Final Project

 

 

Class Element Weight
Participation in class 10%
Project Proposal 10%
2 Analytical Papers 20%
Bibliography 5%
Annotated Bibliography 10%
Preliminary Findings Paper 10%
Presentation 15%
Final Project 20%

I will make every effort to return to you each assignment with feedback within 7 days.

 

Grading 

Your grade will be calculated using the following scale. Grades with plus or minus designations are at the professor’s discretion.

 

Letter Grade Grade Point Description Learning Outcome
A 4.0 Complete mastery of course material and additional insight beyond course material Insightful
B 3.0 Complete mastery of course material Proficient
C 2.0 Gaps in mastery of course material; not at level expected by the program Developing
U 0 Unsatisfactory Ineffective

 

Continual matriculation at CGU requires a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in all coursework taken at CGU.  Students may not have more than two incompletes.  Details of the policy are found on the Student Services webpage (http://www.cgu.edu/pages/5081.asp).

 

See the attached assignment descriptions and rubrics for details

 

Course Policies: The CGU institutional policies apply to each course offered at CGU. A few are detailed in the space below. Students are encouraged to review the student handbook for the program as well as the policy documentation within the bulletin and on the Registrar’s pages (http://bulletin.cgu.edu/   http://www.cgu.edu/pages/179.asp).

 

Electronic Submission Guidelines:

Electronic documents need to:

  • Include your name, course number, assignment title, and date
  • Be saved as First Initial-Last Name-Assignment Title.
    For example: ASanders-ProjectProposal.docx
  • Be submitted by 1:00pm on the date they are due

 

Attendance: Students are expected to attend all classes.  Students who are unable to attend class must seek permission for an excused absence from the course director or teaching assistant.  Unapproved absences or late attendance for three or more classes may result in a lower grade or an “incomplete” for the course.  If a student has to miss a class, he or she should arrange to get notes from a fellow student and is strongly encouraged to meet with the teaching assistant to obtain the missed material. Missed extra-credit quizzes and papers will not be available for re-taking.

 

Scientific and Professional Ethics: The work you do in this course must be your own. Feel free to build on, react to, criticize, and analyze the ideas of others but, when you do, make it known whose ideas you are working with. You must explicitly acknowledge when your work builds on someone else’s ideas, including ideas of classmates, professors, and authors you read.  If you ever have questions about drawing the line between others’ work and your own, ask the course professor who will give you guidance. Exams must be completed independently. Any collaboration on answers to exams, unless expressly permitted, may result in an automatic failing grade and possible expulsion from the Program.  Additional information on CGU academic honesty is available on the Student Services webpage (http://www.cgu.edu/pages/1132.asp).

 

Instructor Feedback and Communication:

The best way to get in touch with me is email.  I will respond to email/voice messages within two business days. 

Expectations and Logistics: You are expected to complete all of the readings prior to class and come prepared to participate in the class discussion. Papers and bibliographies will be submitted through Canvas. Please follow the Chicago/Turabian style guide for formatting and citations. You will receive feedback on your writing by the next class unless otherwise stated.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: CGU is committed to offering auxiliary aids and services to students with verifiable disabilities, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  If you are seeking academic accommodations as a student with a disability or suspect that you have a disability, please contact CGU’s Office of Disability Services as early as possible.  Students need to register with this office before academic accommodations can be prescribed through an Accommodation(s) Letter and implemented in the classroom. Additional information and resources can be found on the linked page: (http://www.cgu.edu/pages/1154.asp).

 

Mental Health Resources:  Graduate school is a context where mental health struggles can be exacerbated. If you ever find yourself struggling, please do not hesitate to ask for help. If you wish to seek out campus resources, here is some basic information about Monsour (http://www.cuc.claremont.edu/monsour/):

“Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (MCAPS) is committed to promoting psychological wellness for all students served by the Claremont University Consortium. Our well-trained team of psychologists, psychiatrists, and post-doctoral and intern therapists offer support for a range of psychological issues in a confidential and safe environment.”

  • Phone 909-621-8202
  • Fax      909-621-8482
  • After hours emergency  909-607-2000

Address: Tranquada Student Services Center, 1st floor, 757 College Way, Claremont, CA 91711

 

Title IX: If I learn of any potential violation of our gender-based misconduct policy (rape, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking) by any means, I am required to notify the CGU Title IX Coordinator at Deanof.Students@cgu.edu or (909) 607-9448. Students can request confidentiality from the institution, which I will communicate to the Title IX Coordinator. If students want to speak with someone confidentially, the following resources are available on and off campus: EmPOWER Center (909) 607-2689, Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (909) 621-8202, and The Chaplains of the Claremont Colleges (909)621-8685. Speaking with a confidential resource does not preclude students from making a formal report to the Title IX Coordinator if and when they are ready.  Confidential resources can walk students through all of their reporting options.  They can also provide students with information and assistance in accessing academic, medical, and other support services they may need. 

Week Date Reading/Weekly work Assignment Due
1 Aug. 28 Pre-print of Geoffrey Rockwell, “What is Text Analysis, Really?” Literary and Linguistic Computing Vol. 18, no. 2 (2003): 209-219.

Ted Underwood, “Seven Ways Humanists Are Using Computers to Understand Text. The Stone and the Shell,” The Stone and the Shell, blog (4 June 2015). 

2 Sept. 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H. Andrew Schwartz and Lyle H. Ungar, “Data-Driven Content Analysis of Social Media: A Systematic Overview of Automated Methods,” The Annals of the American Academy 659 (May 2015): 78-94.

Geoffrey Rockwell and Stéfan Sinclair, Hermeneutica: Computer-Assisted Interpretation in the Humanities (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2016), chapters 1-6.

Shawn Graham, Ian Milligan, and Scott Weingart, Exploring Big Historical Data: The Historian’s Macroscope (Imperial College Press, 2015), chapter 1.

Skill Development: Command line

In Class Workshop: Command Line

Optional: Exploratory Programming, chapters 1-2

3 Sept. 18 Hermeneutica, chapters 7-11.

Exploring Big Historical Data, chapter 2.

Skill Development: Voyant Tools Tutorial

In Class Workshop: Introduction to Voyant Tools

Optional: Exploratory Programming, chapters 3-4

Project Proposal

 

Week Date Reading/Weekly work Assignment Due
4 Sept. 25 Michael Witmore, “Text: A Massively Addressable Object,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2012 (University of Minnesota Press, 2012).

Tim Hitchcock and William J. Turkel, “The Old Bailey Proceedings, 1674–1913: Text Mining for Evidence of Court Behavior,” Law and History Review 34, no. 4 (November 2016), 929-955.

Franco Moretti, “Operationalizing,” Literary Lab.

Skill Development:

In Class Workshop: Using wget to download sources

Optional: Exploratory Programming, chapter 5

 

Voyant Tools Paper

5 Oct.2 Matthew L. Jockers and Ted Underwood, “Text-Mining the Humanities,” in A New Companion to the Digital Humanities, ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth (Wiley Blackwell, 2016), 291–306.

Burt Monroe, Michael Colaresi, Kevin Quinn, “Fightin’ Words: Lexical Feature Selection and Evaluation for Identifying the Content of Political Conflict

D. Sculley and Bradley M. Pasanek, “Meaning and Mining: The Impact of Implicit Assumptions in Data Mining for the Humanities,” Literary and Linguistic Computing 23, no. 4 (2008): 409–424.

In Class Workshop:

  • Finish wget workshop
  • HTRC workshop

Optional: Exploratory Programming, chapter 6

Bibliography of documents
6 Oct. 9 Benjamin Schmidt, “Comparing Corpuses by Word Use,” Sapping Attention, blog. (6 October 2011).

Ted Underwood, “Identifying diction,” The Stone and the Shell, blog. (9 November 2011).

Eva Portelance, “Prizewinners versus Bestsellers,”.txtLAB, blog. (18 May 2015).

Alan Liu, “Is Digital Humanities a Field,” Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 7, no. 9 (2016): 1546-1552.

Skill Development: Exploring Big Historical Data, chapter 3.

In Class Workshop: Cleaning Text with Regular Expressions

Software: Sublime Text Editor: www.sublimetext.com

Optional: Exploratory Programming, chapter 7

 

Week Date Reading/Weekly work Assignment Due
 

7

 

 

Oct. 16

Franco Moretti, Distant Reading (New York: Verso, 2013) pages 1-210.

Project update

Optional: Exploratory Programming, chapter 10

 

 

Text corpus annotated bibliography

8 Oct. 23 Matthew K. Gold et al., “Forum: Text Analysis at Scale,” in Debates in the Digital Humanities 2016 (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), 525–568.

Robert K. Nelson and Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond, “Mining the Dispatch,” 2011.

Robert K. Nelson, Of Monsters, Men — and Topic Modeling

In Class Workshop: Topic Modeling with Voyant Tools

Optional: Installation check in iPython Jupyter Notebook

01-Intro to NLP

9 Oct. 30 Ted Underwood, “Topic Modeling Made Just Simple Enough”

All of JDH, Vol. 2, no. 1:
http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/2-1/.

In Class Workshop: Exploring Big Historical Data, ch. 4

Optional: 02-Intro to Python

10 Nov. 6 David J. Newman and Sharon Block, “Probabilistic Topic Decomposition of an Eighteenth-Century American Newspaper,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 57, no. 6 (2006): 753–767.

Rachel Sagner Buurma,”The Fictionality of Topic Modeling.”

Miriam Posner, “Very Basic Strategies for Interpreting Results from the Topic Modeling Tool”

In Class Workshop: Google Topic Modeling Tool: https://code.google.com/archive/p/topic-modeling-tool/

Optional: 03-Operationalizing

04-Discriminating Words

Analysis of Topic Modeling
11 Nov. 13 Stéfan Sinclair and Geoffrey Rockwell, “Text Analysis and Visualization: Making Meaning Count,” in A New Companion to the Digital Humanities, ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth (Wiley Blackwell, 2016), 274–90.

Distant Reading, pages 211-240.

Exploring Big Historical Data, chapter 5.

Skill Development: From Hermeneutics to Data to Networks: Data Extraction & Network Visualization of Historical Sources

In Class Workshop: Intro to Network Analysis with Palladio

Optional: 05-Dictionary Method & 06-Literary Distinction

Preliminary Findings Paper
Week Date Reading/Weekly work Assignment Due
12 Nov. 20 Michael Sommer, “Texture of empire: Personal networks and the modus operandi of Roman hegemony,” in Sinews of Empire, edited by H. F. Teigen & E. H. Seland (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2017: 85-93.

Clair Lemercier, “Formal Network Methods in History: Why and How?”

David Easley and Jon Kleinberg, Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning about a Highly Connected World (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), chapters 1-3.

In Class Workshop: Exercises in Networks, Crowds and Markets, chs. 2 & 3.

Discuss interpretation of results

13 Nov. 27 Mia Ridge, “Network Visualizations and the ‘So what?’ Problem,” Open Objects, blog. (11 June 2016).

Networks, Crowds, and Markets, chapter 4, section 12.1, sections 16.1-16.4

 

14 Dec. 4 Presentations

 

Presentation
15 Dec. 11 Final Due Final Project

 

 

 

CGU HUM 346

Fall 2017

Project Proposal

DUE: September 18, 2017

Purpose:

The project proposal allows you to craft your own roadmap through the rest of the semester by asking you to clarify your goals, research questions, methodological approach, tools, and skills you need to learn. Having a clear objective early on will help you choose which tools and techniques to spend the most time on and decide which documents will be most appropriate for this type of computational analysis. With this document, you will also be able to communicate what you are working on clearly and concisely with the rest of your committee.

 

In addition, your proposal will help me, as an instructor, to plan workshops and discussion questions throughout the remainder of the course that will be the most beneficial. This is a flexible document and may be revised as you learn more and discover new questions you didn’t even know you could ask.

 

Task:

The project plan consists of at least 2 paragraph descriptions in response to each of the following six prompts:

  1. Project Description: What is your research topic? What questions are you asking? What do you hope to find? What type of final project are you working on this semester?
  2. Significance: Why is this project important? Does it make an intervention in the field? How does this research contribute to your larger work (thesis/dissertation/field of study)?
  3. Sources: What documents do you plan to use? Why? Are they already digital or do you need to digitize and OCR them first? What else might you need to do to prepare your texts for analysis?
  4. Technical Specifications: What text analysis techniques do you plan to use? What makes it/them (an) appropriate method(s) for this project? Are there specific tools you will use? If so, who built it/them?
  5. Brief description of work plan: What is the scope of work to be done? What steps will you follow to complete your research?

Please format the paper using 12-point font and follow the Chicago/Turabian citation style guide. Submit this paper through Canvas prior to the class meeting time (1:00pm PST) on the date it is due.

 

* You will need approval for your chosen final project (see below). Be sure to include which option you would like to complete in your project proposal.

 

Criteria for Success:  See attached writing rubric

CGU HUM 346

Fall 2017

Technique Application Papers

 

Due Dates:

Sept. 25 Nov. 6
Voyant Tools

Analysis

Topic Modeling Analysis

 

Purpose: Each of these papers will help you clarify and communicate your understanding of two methods we will explore this semester. These papers will also be foundational to analyzing of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the methods and to communicating your rationale for using one (or more) to answer certain types of questions. As exemplified in the American Historical Association’s Guidelines for the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians, it is incumbent on scholars to “be as clear as possible at each stage of conceiving, building, and sharing [digital] scholarship about the implications and significance of using the digital medium for their contribution to the scholarly conversation” (AHA, Guidelines for the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians, 2). Revised sections from these papers may be used in your final project.

 

Task:

Each paper needs to include the following elements:

  1. Describe the text analysis technique by defining it and the process used with embedded images, as well as embedded or linked visualization(s). (4-6 paragraphs)
    • For Voyant Tools, define “text analysis” as you currently understand it and describe what Voyant Tools is and does. Explain which of the tools in the suite you used, what they do, and why you used them.
    • For Topic Modeling, define “topic modeling.” Describe which of the topic modeling tools you selected and why, as well as how many topics you chose and why.
  2. List the questions you sought to answer (bullets are fine). Then explain how the tool(s) and/or techniques you selected are appropriate for these questions. (2-4 paragraphs)
  3. Explain your conclusions/findings (at least 3-4 paragraphs)

 

Please format the paper using 12-point font and follow the Chicago/Turabian citation style guide. Submit this paper through Canvas prior to the class meeting time (1:00pm PST) on the date it is due.

 

Criteria for Success:

See attached writing rubric

 

 

CGU HUM 346

Fall 2017

Annotated Bibliography of Selected Texts

Due: October 16, 2017

 

Purpose:

This assignment asks you to think critically about which texts you’ve selected, why they are appropriate for your chosen method(s) of analysis, and how they complement one another. This assignment will form the basis for the “Sources” section of your final paper, in which you will explain which documents you chose and why. It is my hope that this annotated bibliography will help you identify any redundancies or gaps in your source materials before you get too far into your analysis so you can correct these issues early. As you think through the sources, you may also identify new questions that you can ask about them that you may not have thought of when you put the project proposal together. (Add these questions to your project plan so you don’t forget them!)

 

Task:

Create an annotated bibliography of the sources you will use for your computational text analysis project. An annotated bibliography contains a brief description of the content of each source cited, as well as the quality and usefulness of that source. Annotated bibliographies are written in full paragraphs rather than bullet points. Please prepare your annotated bibliography as follows:

 

  1. Cite each source using the Chicago Manual of Style
  2. Write a paragraph summary of the source
  3. Write a second paragraph that describes why you selected this source, what it contributes (or might contribute) to your research, and how you plan to analyze it (as a part of the corpus, on its own, or both and what text analysis techniques might be useful)

 

Criteria for Success: See attached annotated bibliography rubric

 

 

CGU HUM 346

Fall 2017

Preliminary Findings Paper

Due: November 13, 2017

 

Purpose: This is essentially a draft for your final project so you have a chance to begin clarifying your questions, insights, and what gaps remain to be filled. You will benefit most from this assignment if you complete a draft early and share it with a writing center consultant or writing partner, receive feedback, and make revisions before turning it in. As challenging as it can be, we write to think, not the other way around. The more writing we do as we conduct our research, the clearer our understanding of the questions, issues/topics, and sources we are exploring.

 

Task: Even though this is a draft for your final project, it should still be clearly organized, well formatted, and free from grammatical errors. This paper should include the following elements:

 

  • Brief description of where your work fits into the literature in your field (2-3 paragraphs)
  • Your research questions
  • Sources used and rationale (Synthesize your annotated bibliography)
  • Explanation of the text analysis techniques you’ve tried so far and description of whether or not these experiments yielded useful insights. (It’s okay if some of them were not useful!)
  • Findings thus far
  • Explanation of what techniques you would like to try next or modifications you would like to make as you continue your research

Format:

  • Length: ~10 pages
  • Font/spacing: Times New Roman, Cambria, or Georgia. 12 point font. Double-spaced. 1” margins
  • File type: doc or docx
  • Citations: Chicago full-note

Criteria for Success: See attached writing rubric

CGU HUM 346

Fall 2017

Presentation

Due: December 4, 2017

 

Purpose: The individual presentation provides an opportunity to work on oral presentation skills for an academic audience. This assignment is also intended to give you a chance to prepare a presentation that you could propose for either a disciplinary or DH conference.

 

Task: Prepare a 15-minute oral presentation that

  1. Summarizes
    1. research questions
    2. source materials
    3. analytical methods
    4. findings
  2. Describes the significance of this project. Where does it fit in your field and how does it engage with existing literature?
  3. Feel free to explain what worked well and what challenges you ran into as you conducted your research.
  4. Include visuals, images of your source materials, descriptions/images of the data, and anything else that contributes to your exposition.

Criteria for Success: See attached presentation rubric.

An exemplary presentation will meet the following expectations:

  • The type of presentation is appropriate for the topic and academic audience. Information is presented in a logical sequence. All elements of the prompt are discussed (research questions, source materials, analytical methods, and findings).
  • Introduction captures attention, lays out the research questions, & establishes a framework for the rest of the presentation. Technical terms are well-defined. Presentation contains accurate information. Material included is relevant. The amount of material is appropriate and points made reflect well their relative importance. Obvious conclusion summarizes the presentation.
  • Speaker maintains good eye contact; is appropriately animated; and uses a clear, audible voice. Delivery is poised, controlled, and smooth. Visual aids are well prepared, informative, effective, and not distracting. Length of presentation is within the assigned time limit (15min). Information is well communicated.

 

CGU HUM 346

Fall 2017

Final Project

 Due: December 11, 2017

 

Purpose: The purpose of this final project is prepare a piece of writing that advances your academic career. This could be a thesis/dissertation chapter, research paper, conference presentation, or article draft.  Writing for an academic audience can be daunting and is a very specialized skill, but this project provides a chance to improve your writing skills. Each of the previous assignments have been scaffolded so that they may contribute to this final project. Feel free to include revised sections from previous writing you have done in this class. I strongly encourage you to have a draft prepared at least two weeks before the deadline and visit the writing center or work with a writing partner to receive feedback and make revisions before turning in the final draft.

 

* You will need approval for your chosen final project. Be sure to include which option you would like to complete in your project proposal (due in Week 3).

 

Task: This project needs to represent your best writing and therefore is not a first draft. The specific criteria for your project may change slightly depending on which of the above options you select. However, all projects need to include the following elements:

 

  • Description of where your work fits into the literature in your field
  • The questions that animated this research
  • Sources used and rationale
  • Explanation and justification of the text analysis techniques used
  • Findings and their significance

Format:

  • Length:
    • Conference Presentation | Thesis Chapter | Research Paper: 20 pages
    • Dissertation chapter | Article: 30 pages
  • Font/spacing: Times New Roman, Cambria, or Georgia. 12 point font. Double-spaced. 1” margins
  • File type: doc or docx
  • Citations: Chicago full-note

Criteria for Success: All final projects will be graded based on the attached writing rubric

ANNOTATED BIB RUBRIC  Exemplary (4.0) Proficient (3.0) Emerging (2.0) Unsatisfactory (1.0)
Source Quality (20 %) Sources are well-chosen for the research project. They are relevant to the research questions posed and the proposed text analysis techniques. Sources are well-chosen for the research project. Their connection to the research questions posed or the proposed text analysis techniques is clear. Source selection is unclear based on the research project. Source selection has no connection with the research project, questions, or techniques.
Annotation Quality (60%) Annotation shows careful reading and clear understanding of source content, quality, and relevance. Annotation shows reading and understanding of source content, quality, and relevance. Annotation shows reading and understanding of source content, quality, and relevance, with weaknesses or omissions in no more than one or two entries. Annotation shows superficial or no reading and understanding of source content, quality, and relevance, with weaknesses or omissions in most entries.
Bibliography

(10%)

All citations are correctly formatted following the Chicago Manual of Style. All citations are formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style with no more than two errors. Citations follow the Chicago Manual of Style with several errors. Citations follow no discernible bibliographic format or pattern of frequent citation errors.
Submission

(10%)

Paper neatly typed and formatted according to assignment guidelines; electronic file clearly named according to Electronic Submission guidelines. Student name, course, assignment, and date clearly indicated. Paper typed and formatted according to assignment guidelines with very few errors; electronic file clearly named according to the Electronic Submission guidelines; no more than one of the above missing elements. Paper typed and formatted with some errors; filename vague, misleading, or incomplete; student uses email attachment rather than submitting through Canvas; one or two of the above elements missing. Paper not typed, or typed with numerous errors; format guidelines not followed; no electronic version submitted; more than two of the above elements missing.
Student Overall Score __________

 

 

WRITING RUBRIC  Exemplary (4.0) Proficient (3.0) Emerging (2.0) Unsatisfactory (1.0)
Clarity & Content Clear thesis statement & argument. Cohesive. Raises important issues or ideas not previously covered in literature cited. Topic is carefully focused & clearly outlines major points related to topic. General ideas are expanded upon in logical manner, extending the significance of student’s work. Ideas presented closely follow conventional concepts with little expansion or development. Certain logical connections or issues essential to topic omitted. Major ideas related to the content may be ignored or inadequately discussed
Evidence Evidence provided is appropriate (relevant) and sufficient. Evidence is properly cited and positioned within the text to support the argument. Sources are well chosen but students’ handling of material may not fully support their argument. May have errors in attribution. Some sources do not support, or may be insufficient to support, argument. Sources may be poorly selected and improperly cited. Evidence is insufficient or irrelevant to the thesis and/or is improperly cited or uncited.
Organization Excels in organization & representation of ideas. Writing flows smoothly throughout from intro to conclusion. Transitions effectively aid reader in following writer’s logic. Ideas are logically arranged to present sound scholarly argument. Ideas & concepts are generally satisfactorily presented, although lapses in logic & organization are apparent. Content may be poorly focused or the scholarly argument is weak. Overall, the content & organization needs significant revision to represent a critical analysis of the topic.
Grammar Word choice is appropriate. Sentence structure is correct and clarifies meaning. Essentially error-free in terms of mechanics. While there may be minor errors, the paper follows normal conventions of spelling and grammar throughout. Errors do not significantly interfere with topic comprehensibility. Inconsistency and/or errors in syntax and/or grammar  result in weak formulation of argument or lead to difficulties in reader understanding. Frequent errors in spelling, grammar (such as subject/verb agreement & correct tense), sentence structure, and/or other writing conventions make comprehension difficult.
Student Overall Score __________

 

 

 

 

PRESENTATION RUBRIC  Exemplary (4.0) Proficient (3.0) Emerging (2.0) Unsatisfactory (1.0)
Organization (15 %) The type of presentation is appropriate for the topic and academic audience. Information is presented in a logical sequence. All elements of the prompt are discussed (research questions, source materials, analytical methods, and findings) The type of presentation is appropriate for the topic and academic audience. Information is presented in a mostly logical sequence. All elements of the prompt are discussed (research questions, source materials, analytical methods, and findings) The type of presentation is appropriate for the topic but not for an academic audience. Information is presented in a logical sequence.2-3 elements from prompt are not discussed (research questions, source materials, analytical methods, and findings) The type of presentation is not appropriate for the topic or an academic audience. Information is not presented in a logical sequence. 1-3 elements of the prompt are discussed (research questions, source materials, analytical methods, and findings)

 

Content

(45%)

Introduction captures attention, lays out the research questions, & establishes a framework for the rest of the presentation. Technical terms are well-defined. Presentation contains accurate information. Material included is relevant. The amount of material is appropriate and points made reflect well their relative importance. Obvious conclusion summarizes the presentation. Clear introduction that lays out the research questions and establishes a framework for the rest of the presentation. Technical terms are defined. Presentation contains accurate information. Material included is generally relevant. Appropriate amount of material is prepared, and points made reflect their relative importance. There is a conclusion summarizing the presentation. Introduction that mentions the research questions. Technical terms are not be defined. Presentation contains mostly accurate information. Material included is somewhat relevant. Too much or too little material prepared. There is a conclusion. No clear introduction. Research questions mentioned. Technical terms are not defined. Presentation contains inaccurate information. Material is somewhat relevant. Too much or too little material prepared. There is no clear conclusion.
Presentation

(40%)

Speaker maintains good eye contact and is appropriately animated; uses clear, audible voice. Delivery is poised, controlled, and smooth. Visual aids are well prepared, informative, effective, and not distracting. Length of presentation is within the assigned time limit (15min). Information is well communicated. Speaker maintains good eye contact; uses clear, audible voice. Delivery is poised & controlled. Visual aids are well prepared, informative & effective. Length of presentation is within the assigned time limit (15min). Information is well communicated. Speaker maintains fair eye contact; uses audible voice. Delivery is uneven. Visual aids are included. Length of presentation is within the assigned time limit (15min). Speaker does not maintain eye contact and is difficult to hear/understand. Delivery is uneven. Visual aids are not included. Length of presentation is under 15 minutes.
Student Overall Score __________

 

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