Grading Rubric(clickable pdf!)

 WordPress e-portfolios (80% of final grade): 

  1. Home: weekly blog posts, 300-600 words

  2. Glossary page: philosophical terms from this class, reading or lecture, with origin noted

  3. My Comments page: links to comments you make on other student blogs (two comments a week starting week 4)

  4. About Me page: Introduce yourself (maximum 600 words)

  5. Final self-assessment: you will email this to me upon completion of your blog.

Your complete final portfolio should be about 7000 words of your best writing, depending on the grade you are working toward. Everything you write counts toward the final word count.

“A” blogs surpass expectations.

A few examples of complete student portfolios from previous semesters:

Weekly Blog Post Assignment

  1. Follow the blog prompt and refer to the reading.
  2. For at least 7 weeks of our 16 week semester, you must submit one blog prior to the class discussion on that topic.
  3. Final length should be 300-600 words, depending on the number of blogs you include in your portfolio.
  4. Drafts may be revised as long as the initial post is on time.
  5. Read the assigned pages carefully and choose at least one passage from the reading for analysis.
  6. Give the word count below each blog entry.


  • At least one short quote, citing the page/paragraph/section of the assigned reading.
  • An explanation of the quote’s meaning in your own words and why it is relevant.
  • An original example or practical application, either in your analysis of the reading or to demonstrate your own view.
  • If there is a blog prompt, be sure to address the prompt.
  • Blogs should be about half pure analysis of the reading and half your own response/critique/evaluation/practical application.

Final blogs without these features are unacceptable.

Weekly Commenting Assignment

  • You must comment on two of your peers’ blog posts EVERY WEEK, starting week 3.
  • You will find links to student blogs divided by class time at the top of the course website.
  • After commenting on another student’s blog, cut and paste that comment, including the date, to the comments page on your own blog.
  • Comments must be polite. You may make suggestions or ask questions, but this is NOT the place for vicious debate. Refer to specific aspects of the blog you are commenting on. Offer your views with respect and generosity of spirit.

Glossary Assignment

  • Keep a glossary of vocabulary words from the reading or lectures.
  • A minimum of 20 words is expected, or about two a week. Maximum is 50.
  • Always cite your sources, either the original reading, lecture, or an online philosophical dictionary. (EX: sapiensnonsum)
  • Divide words by philosopher or topic. (EX: recountedsecrets)

Participation (20% of the final grade):

  • Participation means more than simply talking, but saying intelligent and helpful things that demonstrate your familiarity with the assigned reading. You will be assessed on quality (not mere quantity) of discussion. In-class writing, group projects and informal blog presentations (instructions below) count for participation. These may not be made up outside of class.

Classroom activities count for your participation and are not on the schedule. They cannot be made up for any reason. I take notes on performance during every class. No credit is awarded for your mere presence in the classroom. You may consult me at any time if you are unsure of your performance. I will provide examples and coach you during these activities.

Final Self-Assessment (submit in person or via email)

Please know answers to the following questions and be ready to address them in our final review or discuss them in your self-evaluation email (due by 12/19).

  1. What is your TOTAL word count?
  2. Did you do everything on the blog checklist, on every blog? Quotes? Original examples? Personal application?
  3. Have your revised since our midterm meeting? How many revisions did you do?
  4. Did you give a presentation?
  5. How was your participation in general? How was your attendance?
  6. How many blogs did you submit prior to class discussion of the topic?
  7. How many comments did you make?
  8. How many glossary words do you have? Have you indicated the lecture or reading from which they originated?
  9. Given the course requirements, what grade have you earned?
  10. What will you remember most about the course as a whole?

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