P200 Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology

P200 Home Page | Syllabus | Reading schedule| Lecture Notes | Assignments

Quiz | Check your Grades using Post'em (not yet available)

The following grading criteria will be applied to your written papers in this course.


An A level paper will complete all the tasks set by the assignment with a balance of rich examples and engaging analysis. It will be distinguished by clear and orderly thinking, and will be virtually free from errors in mechanics, usage and sentence structure. The A paper includes a thoughtful or sophisticated discussion of the topic, often with a special insight or original interpretation. The language should be precise, and references (citations) should be integrated into the paper in a meaningful way which enhances understanding of the subject. The reader should be left satisfied, with a better understanding of the material. An "A" archaeological essay includes statements like: "based on the abundance of both domestic animal bones (such as pig and cow) and wild animal bones (such as deer and turtle) identified in the privy assemblage, the archaeologists inferred...."


A B level paper is significantly above average. Its content goes beyond the obvious; it is logically ordered, well developed and clearly presented. A paper in this category may slight, but not ignore, one of the elements of the assignment, or deal with it only by implication, but the writer will demonstrate a clear understanding of the topic. B papers may not be as thoughtful, or as carefully reasoned as an A paper, but it will not be characterized by mere restatement of ideas, or vague generalizations. The B paper will be largely free from serious errors in mechanics, usage or sentence structure, and should demonstrate the writer's ability to organize information into unified and coherent units. It will be generally well-written, and characterized by clarity, if not facility of expression. In general, it will demonstrate an understanding and application of the major concepts of the assignment. A "B" archaeological essay includes statements like: "based on the variety of animal bones found at the site, the archaeologists thought..."


A C paper is generally competent and meets the assignment adequately. It has few mechanical errors and is reasonably well organized, but will leave the impression that ideas are vague, too generalized, not explained, or treated in only a superficial way. The discussion and analysis may contain flaws, or conclusions may not follow logically from the information presented. The paper may not hold together as a coherent whole, it may be disjointed, or lack focus. Examples may be poorly explained, or missing. C papers sometimes string together relevant quotes from the readings instead of discussing issues directly. Weaknesses in sentence structure, usage or grammar may seriously interfere with readability, to the point where the writer's control of language is uncertain. A "C" archaeological essay includes statements like: "Many kinds of animals were eaten at the site."


A paper in this category has failed to come to terms with the assignment; that is, elements have been misconstrued, badly mishandled, or redefined to accommodate what the writer wants to say or is able to say. The D paper treats the subject in a rudimentary way, or is seriously confused. There is also likely to be a combination of the following defects: serious errors in reasoning, little or no development of ideas, and no clear progression from one point to the next. When organization is present, it is not effective. There may be serious and frequent errors in sentence structure, usage and mechanics, giving the impression of distinctly poor writing, or having been conceived and written in haste.


This score applies to a paper that is completely off track or has few redeeming qualities. It often lacks discernable organization. Mechanical errors can be frequent and a substantial part of the required work is missing.

P200 Home Page | Syllabus | Reading schedule| Lecture Notes | Assignments
 Human Origins in Africa Homebase | Archaeology Links
Sept teaching interests | Sept research | Sept personal home Page

IU Anthropology | IU Bloomington Home Page
Last updated: 18 January, 2000
URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~origins/teach/p200/p200assign.html

Comments: sept@indiana.edu
Copyright Jeanne Sept 2000 : do not cite without permission