Assessment for 2-year MA students: in-class written examination at the end of the first year. Students are expected to give a short, comprehensive and relevant response to the question they draw based on the content of the lectures and the readings assigned. Questions for the examination will be distributed after the term ends. Grading criteria for the written exam are as follows:
The usual length of answers is 600-900 words (1.5, 2 pages). In order to earn an “A-“ the written exam paper has to cover most of the relevant material covered in the lectures. It has to show evidence of a thorough understanding of the issues discussed in the course. It has to be written clearly and concisely, in competent academic English. One of the most important criteria will be the quality of the arguments. The text must be relevant to the question: it should not contain materials that do not pertain to the issue discussed. Failing to meet these criteria will result in the appropriate reduction of the grade. In order to earn an “A”, all the above are required, plus evidence of independent thinking or independent organization of the material. This means that the paper does not simply reproduce the lecture notes, or copies a sample answer prepared by someone else. An “A” paper presents the material in a way that shows that you have thought through the question yourself (consulting further readings can help this). You can also add your own assessment of the question. The emphasis is not on originality; you don't need to invent something nobody has said before. Rather, the idea is that you make these problems your own, and develop, as best as you can, your own view of them (which can very well agree with the views defended by some others).
Assessment for 1-year MA students: Students’ performance shall be evaluated on the following grounds. Students are required to submit a max. 2500-word long term-paper. The topic of the paper can be either a careful critical reconstruction of a particular and important argument for some position discussed in the course; or a comparison between competing arguments about alternative solutions to a problem; or a defense of some particular position/argument against some relevant criticism. The chosen topic should be approved by the instructor. References can, but need not, go beyond the material included into the compulsory readings.