explain some concepts, but overlooks critical details.  Assignment appears vague or incomplete in various segments.  Student presents concepts in isolation, and does not perceive to have a logical sequencing of ideas.

Research paper will consist of a full analysis of a topic covered in class. The student may select their topic, but it must be approved by the instructor. The paper should be written from a transportation management approach. The paper should be written using APA format. The word count for the research paper should be a minimum of 2000 words with a minimum of 5 references to your work. Articles selected for references should be peer-reviewed and from the University library, Government websites, and/or GAO Reports. The paper will be graded on contents, grammar, and format. Suggested topics: Transportation and the Supply Chain Transportation Management Transportation Strategy Mode Selection Transportation and the Panama Canal NAFTA C-TPAT TWIC

Research Paper

Graduate Level Rubric:


APUS Assignment Graduate Level Rubric500-600  EXEMPLARY












FOCUS AND THESIS Student exhibits a defined and clear understanding of the assignment.  Thesis is clearly defined and well constructed to help guide the reader throughout the assignment.  Student builds upon the thesis of the assignment with well-documented and exceptional supporting facts, figures, and/or statements.10 points Establishes a good comprehension of topic and in the building of the thesis.  Student demonstrates an effective presentation of thesis, with most support statements helping to support the key focus of assignment.7 points Student exhibits a basic understanding of the intended assignment, but the thesis is not fully supported throughout the assignment.  While thesis helps to guide the development of the assignment, the reader may have some difficulty in seeing linkages between thoughts.  While student has included a few supporting facts and statements, this has limited the quality of the assignment.5 points Exhibits a limited understanding of the assignment.  Reader is unable to follow the logic used for the thesis and development of key themes.  Introduction of thesis is not clearly evident, and reader must look deeper to discover the focus of the writer.  Student’s writing is weak in the inclusion of supporting facts or statements.1 point /10
CONTENT AND SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE Student demonstrates proficient command of the subject matter in the assignment.  Assignment shows an impressive level of depth of student’s ability to relate course content to practical examples and applications.  Student provides comprehensive analysis of details, facts, and concepts in a logical sequence.25 points Student exhibits above average usage of subject matter in assignment.  Student provides above average ability in relating course content in examples given.  Details and facts presented provide an adequate presentation of student’s current level of subject matter knowledge.20 points The assignment reveals that the student has a general, fundamental understanding of the course material.  Whereas, there are areas of some concerning in the linkages provided between facts and supporting statements.  Student generally explains concepts, but only meets the minimum requirements in this area.15 points Student tries to explain some concepts, but overlooks critical details.  Assignment appears vague or incomplete in various segments.  Student presents concepts in isolation, and does not perceive to have a logical sequencing of ideas.10 points /25
CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS Student demonstrates a higher-level of critical thinking necessary for 500-600 level work.  Learner provides a strategic approach in presenting examples of problem solving or critical thinking, while drawing logical conclusions which are not immediately obvious.  Student provides well-supported ideas and reflection with a variety of current and/or world views in the assignment.  Student presents a genuine intellectual development of ideas throughout assignment.25 points Student exhibits a good command of critical thinking skills in the presentation of material and supporting statements.  Assignment demonstrates the student’s above average use of relating concepts by using a variety of factors.  Overall, student provides adequate conclusions, with 2 or fewer errors.20 points Student takes a common, conventional approach in guiding the reader through various linkages and connections presented in assignment.  However, student presents a limited perspective on key concepts throughout assignment.  Student appears to have problems applying information in a problem-solving manner.15 points Student demonstrates beginning understanding of key concepts, but overlooks critical details.  Learner is unable to apply information in a problem-solving fashion.  Student presents confusing statements and facts in assignment.  No evidence or little semblance of critical thinking skills.10 points /25
ORGANIZATION OF IDEAS AND FORMAT Student thoroughly understands and excels in explaining all major points.  An original, unique, and/or imaginative approach to overall ideas, concepts, and findings is presented.  Overall format of assignment includes an appropriate introduction (or abstract), well- developed paragraphs, and conclusion.  Finished assignment demonstrates student’s ability to plan and organize research in a logical sequence.  Student uses at least of 5-7 references in assignment.15 points Student explains the majority of points and concepts in the assignment.  Learner demonstrates a good skill level in formatting and organizing material in assignment.  Student presents an above average level of preparedness, with a few formatting errors.  Assignment contains less than 5 resources.10 points Learner applies some points and concepts incorrectly.  Student uses a variety of formatting styles, with some inconsistencies throughout the paper.  Assignment does not have a continuous pattern of logical sequencing.  Student uses less than 3 sources or references.7 points Assignment reveals formatting errors and a lack of organization.  Student presents an incomplete attempt to provide linkages or explanation of key terms.  The lack of appropriate references or source materials demonstrates the student’s need for additional help or training in this area.  Student needs to review and revise the assignment.1 point /15
WRITING CONVENTIONS (GRAMMAR & MECHANICS) Student demonstrates an excellent command of grammar, as well as presents research in a clear and concise writing style.  Presents a thorough, extensive understanding of word usage.  Student excels in the selection and development of a well-planned research assignment.  Assignment is error-free and reflects student’s ability to prepare a high-quality academic assignment.10 points Student provides an effective display of good writing and grammar.  Assignment reflects student’s ability to select appropriate word usage and present an above average presentation of a given topic or issue.  Assignment appears to be well written with no more than 3-5 errors.  Student provides a final written product that covers the above-minimal requirements.7 points Assignment reflects basic writing and grammar, but more than 5 errors.  Key terms and concepts are somewhat vague and not completely explained by student.  Student uses a basic vocabulary in assignment.  Student’s writing ability is average, but demonstrates a basic understanding of the subject matter.5 points Topics, concepts, and ideas are not coherently discussed or expressed in assignments.  Student’s writing style is weak and needs improvement, along with numerous proofreading errors.  Assignment lacks clarity, consistency, and correctness.  Student needs to review and revise assignment.1 point /10
USE OF COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY/ AND APPLICATIONS Student provides a high-caliber, formatted assignment. Learner exhibits excellent use of computer technology in the development of assignment.  Quality and appropriateness of stated references demonstrate the student’s ability to use technology to conduct applicable research.  Given assignment includes appropriate word processing, spreadsheet and/or other computer applications as part of the final product.5 points Assignment presents an above-average use of formatting skills, with less than 3 errors.  Students has a good command of computer applications to format information and/or figures in an appropriate format.  Student uses at least two types of computer applications to produce a quality assignment.4 points Student demonstrates a basic knowledge of computer applications.  Appearance of final assignment demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format and present data.  Resources used in assignment are limited.  Student may need to obtain further help in the use of computer applications and Internet research.3 points Student needs to develop better formatting skills.  The student may need to take additional training or obtain help from the Educator Help Desk while preparing an assignment.  Research and resources presented in the assignment are limited.  Student needs to expand research scope.  The number of formatting errors is not acceptable.1 point /5
RESEARCH SKILL Student provides sophisticated synthesis of complex body of information in the preparation of assignment.  Research provided by student contributes significantly to the development of the overall thesis. Student incorporates at least of 7-10 quality references in assignment.  Student incorporates a variety of research resources and methodology in the preparation of assignment.10 points Student achieves an above average synthesis of research, but interpretation is narrow in scope and description within assignment.  Assignment contains less than 7 resources, and presents an average overview of key concepts.7 points Assignment provides a basic, but borderline perspective of student’s research abilities. Student has incorporated less than 4 sources, which does not attempt to cover key elements of assignment.5 points Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for assignment.  The lack of appropriate references or source materials demonstrates the student’s need for additional help or training in this area.  Student needs to review and revise the assignment. The paper is not of acceptable quality for graduate-level work.1 point




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