Your Thesis: how to get first class honours ( Click Here)

Want to know how to get first class honours – or first class ‘honors’ for our American friends and followers?! Want to know how your thesis will be marked? If so, this article is a must read!

You can actually predict the grade your thesis or dissertation will be awarded – or measure your work-in-progress before you even submit it – by critically evaluating your work against a scoring ‘rubric’. This is a document many colleges use to assist the fair evaluation of a student’s work.

Scoring rubrics are used to delineate consistent criteria for grading. Because the criteria are public, a scoring rubric allows teachers and students alike to evaluate criteria, which can be complex and subjective. A scoring rubric can also provide a basis for self-evaluation, reflection, and peer review. It is aimed at accurate and fair assessment, fostering understanding, and indicating a way to proceed with subsequent learning/teaching (source Wikipedia).

Thesis Rubric – Evaluating a Thesis or Dissertation

ComponentsUnacceptable FailAcceptableVery GoodOutstanding
 Introduction/Clarity of ThesisDoes not establish the significance of the work. Fails to provide a clear statement of the thesis.Author provides weak indication of the significance of the thesis.A convincing statement of the academic underpinning of the thesis is provided.A persuasive, well-argued and credible articulation of the significance of the thesis is provided.
Literature Review
Inadequate mastery of the secondary literature.Does not communicate an understanding of the literatureA good understanding of key issues and ideas in the secondary literature is evident.Clear mastery of the secondary literature is evident. Author links key ideas and provides authoritative commentary.Author presents exceptional mastery of the secondary literature and engages with it critically and analytically. 
Methodology, Theoretical StructureInsufficient clarity in describing the chosen methodology. Poor argument presented for selected methodology.Inadequate justification of primary research methodology. Poor sampling, research practice and/or failure to consider appropriate alternatives.Clear justification of research methodology, well argued and presented.Superior arguments given to justify chosen research route.
Quality of Primary ResearchFails to engage with primary sources, fails to establish clear reasoning for selection of sources, does not identify biases or possible distortions in selection, mistakes in calculation or presentation of results.Inadequate engagement with Primary sources.Good engagement with primary sources underpinned by clarity of inquiry related to the secondary research and thesis direction.Impressive quality of research set-up, conduct and writing up of research. Superior engagement with primary sources.
Quality of AnalysisAuthor merely reiterates findings from research. Analysis is weak, vague/confused.Author’s analysis is acceptable but lacks insight or indication of sufficient thought.The analysis is competent and authoritative.Exceptional mastery is achieved by the author. The analysis demonstrates authority, critical thinking and mastery of the material.
ConclusionsFailure to state conclusions. Conclusions bare little relation to prior work in thesis.Conclusions are provided but lack depth, conviction and well supported argument.Well supported and argued conclusions are clearly articulated and supported by reference to the research.Convincing, original and fully supported conclusions are provided. New insights are provided.
Quality of written work, language, grammar, academic stylePoor writing, grammar or style. Carelessness in communication. Meaning lost due to inadequate written communication skill.Occasional failures in language resulting in confusion for the reader. High error count.Use of language that communicates ideas and insights clearly. Few errors.Author employs language that is fluent, concise and articulate. The work is error free.
Originality and academic significance of workThe work lacks academic merit and offers no original ideas or contribution to the field.The work is acceptable and competent but lacks originality or evidence of mastery.The author’s work is very competent throughout with no major failings. Evidence of original thinking and academic endeavour.The work is outstanding, original and masterful, making a significant contribution to the field of endeavour.
Overall AssessmentThe work is not of acceptable quality and lacks any redeeming features.Acceptable quality but not contributory to the field of endeavour.The work is of high quality throughout.The work is of exceptional quality and is outstanding throughout. It provides a true contribution to the field of study.

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