(Sociology of) Sex and Gender


Robert Max Jackson


~~~~~~~~~~~ The Gender Autobiography ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~ Assessment Criteria ~~~

When we assess the biographical papers, we stress how well they have fulfilled the guidelines on this class web site.  In general terms, we are focusing on four goals: (1) does the paper show a good grasp of course materials, (2) does the paper thoughtfully analyze gender's significance in the author's biography, (3) does the paper consider the causal questions of "how?" and "why?" consistently and effectively, and (4) is the paper written well by the usual academic standards. 

How do we judge the final papers?

We assess how well the paper achieves each of four goals separately: use of course materials, biographical analysis, causal analysis, and quality of writing. Then we arrive at a summary "overall" assessment that determines the paper grade.  This summary assessment mainly reflects these four components.  The overall assessment may also be raised or lowered a bit to take into account general characteristics of the paper (either positive or negative) that are not captured by the four major criteria; if that happens, it will be reflected in the textual comments on the paper.

We assess how well a paper meets each of the four main goals by giving an evaluation between "poor" and "excellent" (see the full range in the table at the bottom of this page).  "Okay" is the standard with which we begin; it is our expectation for an average paper of an average student.  As used here, "okay" means that the paper has met our expectations for reasonable, normal, or average performance. 

To help make the assessments easier to understand, below is a fuller description of the four goals or criteria, what we expect for an average paper, and what makes a paper better or worse than "okay".  Following that is a table that roughly shows how the assessments relate to grades.

The four assessment areas for final papers

The summary evaluations

Interpreting the summary assessments for final papers

The following table shows the terms used for the paper assessments and briefly indicates both what they are meant to convey in words and what is the approximate letter grade equivalent.

Assessment Meaning Rough Grade
Excellent A step beyond, truly exceptional, outstanding A+
Very Good Demonstrates all the knowledge and effort we hope to see A
Good Solid work that could still be improved with effort A-
Fairly Good Somewhat better than adequate or okay
Okay Average or adequate - neither more nor less B
Nearing Okay Approaching "okay" but straining the bounds of acceptability B-
Weak Shows some effort and some knowledge, but clearly falls short C
Poor Did something, but it is seriously deficient D
Very Poor Nothing or as bad as nothing F