This course (PSY3070) will be taught Spring 2017 at Saybrook University as part of their Clinical PhD Program.
This course provides an introduction to logotherapy and meaning therapy (MT). With meaning as its central organizing construct, MT is an integrative, person-centered, positively-oriented therapy. It is a very flexible and comprehensive approach, because it can be tailor-made to meet individual needs and is capable of integrating diverse therapeutic modalities, such as CBT and existential-phenomenological therapy.
Building on the philosophical foundation of logotherapy, this course will introduce the four major meaning-centered intervention strategies:
- PURE (Purpose, Understanding, Responsibility, and Enjoyment)
- ABCDE (Acceptance, Belief, Commitment, Discovery, and Evaluation)
- Dual-systems (integrating approach and avoidance systems), and
- Double-vision (seeing both the immediate situation and the big picture).
In addition, the course will demonstrate the use of such meaning-centered interventions skills as attribution retraining, re-appraisal, value-clarification (identifying core values, beliefs, and ultimate concerns), reflecting on self-identify (the real self vs. the ideal self), guided life review, and practicing the meaning mindset. The meaning mindset is a particularly powerful tool, because it can enhance clients’ motivation for meaningful living simply by their learning to see the meaning potential for significance in every situation, no matter how trivial.
It sum, it teaches students how to make the best of people’s meaning-seeking and meaning-making capacities to facilitate healing and flourishing. It enhances well-being, resilience, and personal growth thorough the path of meaning. This course will teach students how to identify the challenges and opportunities of addressing clients’ deeper issues of meaning, whatever their presenting problems.
One final caveat: Any therapist can make good use of the meaning therapy intervention tools, but to be fully effective, the therapist needs to embrace (1) the philosophical assumption of logotherapy that life has inherent meaning, and (2) the assumption of humanistic psychology that to be fully human, people need to develop their growth potential.
Textbooks and Readings
- Frankl, V. E. (1986). The doctor and the soul: From psychotherapy to logotherapy. (Revised and Expanded.). New York, NY: Vintage Books
- Frankl, V. E. (2010). The feeling of meaninglessness: A challenge to psychotherapy and philosophy. A. Batthyany, & A. Tallon (Eds.). Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press.
- Wong, P. T. P., & Fry, P. S. (Eds.). (1998). The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. (Many of the required chapters are selected from this book).
*Prices vary. Discount pricing and used copies may be found at amazon.com, abe.com, powells.com, biblio.com, or other sites. Additionally, you may find that book search and price comparison tools, like addall.com or bookfinder.com, can be helpful. Please consider the timeliness of the delivery when selecting a purchase price and mode of shipping.
Required Articles & Chapters
- Goldman, B. M., & Kernis, M. H. (2002). The role of authenticity in healthy psychological functioning and subjective well-being. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 5(6), 18-20. Available online at http://www.biomedsearch.com/article/role-authenticity-in-healthy-psychological/95844662.html
- Hoffman, L., Vallejos, L., Cleare-Hoffman, H. P., & Rubin, S. (2014). Emotion, relationship, and meaning as core existential practice: Evidence-based foundations. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 44.
- Klinger, E. (1998). The search for meaning in evolutionary perspective and its clinical implications. In P. T. P. Wong & P. Fry (Eds.), The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications (pp. 27-50). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Korotkov, D. L. (1998). The sense of coherence: Making sense out of chaos. In P. T. P. Wong & P. Fry (Eds.), The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications (pp. 51-70). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Peacock, E. J., & Wong, P. T. P. (1990). The Stress Appraisal Measure (SAM): A multidimensional approach to cognitive appraisal. Stress Medicine, 6, 227-236.
- Seligman, M. E., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35(3), 293-311.
- Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion. Psychological Review, 92(4), 548-573.
- Wong, P. T. P. (1993). Effective management of life stress: The resource-congruence model. Stress Medicine, 9, 51-60.
- Wong, P. T. P. (1995). The processes of adaptive reminiscence. In B. Haight & J. D. Webster (Eds.), Reminiscence: Theory, Research Methods, and Applications (pp. 23-35). Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis.
- Wong, P. T. P. (1997). Meaning-centered counselling: A cognitive-behavioral approach to logotherapy. The International Forum for Logotherapy, 20(2), 85-94.
- Wong, P. T. P. (1998a). Meaning-centered counselling. In P. T. P. Wong & P. Fry (Eds.), The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications(pp. 395-435). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Wong, P. T. P. (1998b). Academic values and achievement motivation. In P. T. P. Wong & P. Fry (Eds.), The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications (pp. 261-292). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Wong, P. T. P. (1999). Towards an integrative model of meaning-centered counselling and therapy. The International Forum for Logotherapy, 22(1), 47-55.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2005a). Existential and humanistic theories. In J. C. Thomas, & D. L. Segal (Eds.), Comprehensive Handbook of Personality and Psychopathology (pp. 192-211). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2005b). Creating a positive participatory climate: A meaning-centered counseling perspective. In S. Schuman (Ed.), The IAF handbook of group facilitation: Best practices from leading organization in facilitation (pp. 171-190). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2010). Meaning therapy: An integrative and positive existential psychotherapy. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 40(2), 85-99.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2011a). Meaning-centered counseling and therapy: An integrative and comprehensive approach to motivational counseling and addiction treatment. In W. M. Cox & E. Klinger (Eds.), Handbook of Motivational Counseling: Goal-based approaches to assessment and intervention with addiction and other problems (pp. 461-487). West Sussex, UK: Wiley.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2012a). From logotherapy to meaning-centered counseling and therapy. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning: Theories, research, and applications (2nd ed., pp. 619-647). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2012b). Toward a dual-systems model of what makes life worth living. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning: Theories, research, and applications (2nd ed., pp. 3-22). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2013a). A meaning-centered approach to addiction and recovery. In L. C. J. Wong, G. R. Thompson, & P. T. P. Wong (Eds.), The positive psychology of meaning and addiction recovery. Birmingham, AL: Purpose Research.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2013b). Suicide risks among college students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Directions in Psychiatry, 33(4), 237-249.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2014a). Viktor Frankl’s meaning seeking model and positive psychology. In A. Batthyany & P. Russo-Netzer (Eds.), Meaning in existential and positive psychology (pp. 149-184). New York, NY: Springer.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2014b). Meaning in life. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of quality of life and well-being research (pp. 3894-3898). New York, NY: Springer.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2015). Meaning therapy: Assessments and interventions. Existential Analysis, 26(1), 154-167.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2016a). Meaning centered positive group intervention. In P. Russo-Netzer, S. Schulenberg, & A. Batthyány (Eds.), Clinical perspectives on meaning: Positive and existential psychotherapy. New York, NY: Springer.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2016b). Integrative meaning therapy: From logotherapy to existential positive interventions. In P. Russo-Netzer, S. E. Schulenberg, & A. Batthyany (Eds.). Clinical perspectives on meaning: Positive and existential psychotherapy. New York, NY: Springer.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2016c). Self-transcendence: A paradoxical way to become your best. International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy, 6(1).
- Wong, P. T. P. (in progress, invited paper). Meaning-centered research and therapy: Bridging existential and positive psychology. The Humanistic Psychologist.
- Wong, P. T. P., & McDonald, M. (2002). Tragic optimism and personal meaning in counselling victims of abuse. Pastoral Sciences, 20(2), 231-249.
- Wong, P. T. P., & Stiller, C. (1999). Living with dignity and palliative counselling. In B. de Vries (Ed.), End of life issues: Interdisciplinary and multidimensional perspectives (pp. 77-94). New York, NY: Springer.
- Wong, P. T. P., & Weiner, B. (1981). When people ask “Why” questions and the heuristic of attributional search. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40, 650-663.
- Wong, P. T. P., & Wong, L. C. J. (2012). A meaning-centered approach to building youth resilience. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning: Theories, research, and applications (2nd ed., pp. 585-617). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Wong, P. T. P., & Wong, L. C. J. (2013). Communication with the other: The integrative existential approach. In E. van Deurzen & S. Iacovou (Eds.), Existential perspectives on relationship therapy. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Wong, P. T. P., Ivtzan, I., & Lomas, T. (2016). Good work: A meaning-centred approach. In L. G. Oades, M. F. Steger, A. Delle Fave, & J. Passmore (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell handbook of the psychology of positivity and strengths-based approaches at work. West Sussex, UK: Wiley Blackwell.
- Wong, P. T. P., Nee, J. J., & Wong, L. C. J. (2013). A meaning-centered 12-step program for addiction recovery. In L. C. J. Wong, G. R. Thompson, & P. T. P. Wong (Eds.), The positive psychology of meaning and addiction recovery. Birmingham, AL: Purpose Research.
- Wong, P. T. P., Reker, G. T. & Peacock, E. (2006). The resource-congruence model of coping and the development of the Coping Schema Inventory. In P. T. P. Wong, & L. C. J., Wong (Eds.), Handbook of Multicultural perspectives on stress and coping (pp. 223-283). New York, NY: Springer.
- Wong, P. T. P., Wong, L. C. J., & Scott, C. (2006). Beyond stress and coping: The positive psychology of transformation. In Wong, P. T. P., & Wong, L. C. J. (Eds.), Handbook of Multicultural perspectives on stress and coping (pp. 1-26). New York, NY: Springer.
- Anderson, R. E. (2014). Human suffering and quality of life: Conceptualizing stories and statistics. New York, NY: Springer.
- Batthyany, A., & Guttmann, D. (2005). Empirical research in logotherapy and meaning-oriented psychotherapy: An annotated bibliography. Phoenix, AZ: Zeig, Tucker & Theisen.
- Breitbart, W. S., & Poppito, S. (2014). Individual meaning-centered psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer: A treatment manual. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Breitbart, W. S., & Poppito, S. (2014). Meaning-centered group psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer: A treatment manual. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Bugental, J. F. (1992). The art of the psychotherapist. New York, NY: Norton.
- Dezelic, M., Neale, A-M. (Ed.). (2014). Meaning-centered therapy workbook: Based on Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy & existential analysis [Kindle edition]. San Rafael, CA: Palace Printing and Design.
- Elkins, D. N. (2009). Humanistic psychology: A clinical manifesto: A critique of clinical psychology and the need for progressive alternatives. Colorado Springs, CO: University of the Rockies Press.
- Fabry, J. B. (2013). The pursuit of meaning: Viktor Frankl, logotherapy, and life. Birmingham, AL: Purpose Research. (Original work published 1969)
- Frankl, V. E. (1985). Man’s search for meaning (Revised and updated). New York, NY: Washington Square Press.
- Goleman, D. (2006). Emotional intelligence. New York, NY: Random House.
- Graber, A. V. (2004). Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy: Method of choice in ecumenical pastoral psychology (2nd ed.). Lima, OH: Wyndham Hall Press.
- Guttmann, D. (2008). Finding meaning in life, at midlife and beyond: Wisdom and spirit from logotherapy: Wisdom and spirit from logotherapy. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- Hilsenroth, M. J. (Ed.). (2013). Clinical process [Special issue]. Psychotherapy, 50(3).
- Hoffman, L., Yang, M., Kaklauskas,F., & Chan, A. (2009). Existential psychology east-west. Colorado Springs, CO: University of the Rockies Press.
- Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. New York, NY: Delacourt.
- Kashdan, T. B., & Ciarrochi, J. (2013). Mindfulness, acceptance, and positive psychology: The seven foundations of well-being. Oakland, CA: Context Press.
- Katz, R., & Murphy-Shigematsu, S. (2012). Synergy, healing and empowerment: Insights from cultural diversity. Calgary, AB: Brush Education.
- Khong, B. S. L., & Churchill, S. D. (Eds.). (2013). Bringing Heidegger home: A journey through the lived worlds of psychologist and philosophers [Special section]. The Humanistic Psychologist, 41, 201-260.
- Marshall, M., & Marshall, E. (2012). Logotherapy Revisited: Review of the Tenets of Viktor E. Frankl’s Logotherapy. Ottawa, Canada: Createspace Independent Pub.
- Noddings, N. (2002). Educating moral people: A caring alternative to character education. Williston, VT: Teachers College Press.
- Rogers, C. R. (1980). A way of being. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin.
- Rogers, C. R. (2012). On becoming a person: A therapist’s view of psychotherapy. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (Original work published 1961)
- Schneider, K. J. (Ed.). (2008). Existential-integrative psychotherapy: Guideposts to the core of practice. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Schneider, K. J., & Längle, A. (Eds.). (2012). Humanism in psychotherapy [Special section]. Psychotherapy, 49, 427-455.
- Spinelli, E. (2005). The interpreted world: An introduction to phenomenological psychology (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Tomer, A., Grafton, E. & Wong, P. T. P. (Eds.). (2008). Existential and spiritual issues in death attitudes. New York, NY: Erlbaum.
- Van Deurzen, E., & Adams, M. (2010). Skills in existential counselling & psychotherapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Van Deurzen, E., & Iacovou, S. (Eds.). (2013). Existential perspectives on relationship therapy. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Yalom, I. D. (2008). Staring at the sun: Overcoming the terror of death. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass
Optional Articles & Chapters
- Ahammed, S., & Cherian, I. (2013). The future of humanistic psychology: Towards a self with expanded horizons. The Humanistic Psychologist, 41, 364-370.
- Ameli, M., & Dattilio, F. M. (2013). Enhancing cognitive behavior therapy with logotherapy: Techniques for clinical practice. Psychotherapy, 50, 387-391.
- Chan, W. C. H.(2009). Can personal resources make a difference? An exploratory study of Chinese cancer patients in palliative care. Journal of Social Work in End-Of-Life & Palliative Care, 5(3), 186-200.
- Csillik, A. S. (2013). Understanding motivational interviewing effectiveness: Contributions from Rogers’ client-centered approach. The Humanistic Psychologist, 41, 350-363.
- De Castro, A. (2013). Dysfunctional personal experiences and existential dilemmas. The Humanistic Psychologist, 41, 371-383.
- Duckworth, A. L., Steen, T. A., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). Positive psychology in clinical practice. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 629-651.
- Elkins, D. N. (2009). Why humanistic psychology lost its power and influence in American psychology: Implications for advancing humanistic psychology. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 49, 267-291.
- Mascaro, N., & Rosen, D. H. (2006). The role of existential meaning as a buffer against stress. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 46, 168-190.
- Patterson, C. H. (1984). Empathy, warmth, and genuineness in psychotherapy: A review of reviews. Psychotherapy, 21, 431-438.
- Rashid, T., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2013). Positive psychotherapy. In R. J. Corsini & D. Wedding (eds.), Current psychotherapies (10th ed.; pp. 461-495). Belmont, CA: Cengage.
- Reker, G. T., Peacock, E. J., & Wong, P. T. P. (1987). Meaning and purpose in life and well-being: A life-span perspective. Journal of Gerontology, 42, 44-49.
- Seligman, M. E. P., Rashid, T., & Parks, A. C. (2006). Positive psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 61, 774-788.
- Sundararajan, L. (2013). The Chinese notions of harmony, with special focus on implications for cross-cultural and global psychology. The Humanistic Psychologist, 41, 25-34.
- Wong, P. T. P. (1998c). Spirituality, meaning, and successful aging. In P. T. P. Wong & P. Fry (Eds.), The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications (pp. 359-394). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2009). The need for a balanced approach to positive psychotherapy and traditional masculinity [Review of the video Positive psychology with male clients]. PsycCRITIQUES, 54(45).
- Wong, P. T. P. (2010). The future of humanistic psychology: A commentary on David Elkins’s (2009) critique of the medical model. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 50(2), 248-255.
- Wong, P. T. P. (2016). Humanistic theories in psychopathology. In H. L. Miller (ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of theory in psychology (pp.438-441). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Wong, P. T. P., Reker, G. T., & Gesser, G. (1994). Death Attitude Profile – Revised: A multidimensional measure of attitudes toward death. In R. A. Neimeyer (Ed.), Death anxiety handbook: Research, instrumentation, and application (pp. 121-148). Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis.
- International Network on Personal Meaning
- International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy
- Interview with Rollo May on Existential Therapy
- Meaningful Living Project
- UPenn Positive Psychology Center
- Viktor Frankl Institute in Vienna
By the end of this class, students will be able to
- Explain the need and demand for an integrative approach to psychotherapy.
- Identify and interpret the philosophical assumptions of logotherapy for meaning therapy (MT).
- Use the four major MT intervention strategies.
- Use the important MT intervention skills.
- Apply MT to various conditions.
Course Activities to Meet Learning Outcomes
- Taking part in online discussions each week on assigned readings and prescribed questions
- Monthly practicing meaning therapy interventions with a classmate through mutual agreement
- Writing a paper on the Journey of Self-Discovery
- Writing an essay comparing MT with another therapeutic modality or on any theoretical issue related to meaning in life
- Completing a case study with a client applying MT
- Course Participation (30%)
Students need to post at least one thoughtful question and answer based on required readings. They also need to answer any one of the questions posted by the instructor. Everyone will receive a minimum B participation grade for completing course participation. Grades of B+ or higher for participation will be given for students whose writing reflects a good understanding of the material.
- Partnered Practice (20%)
Students need to submit a 2-3 page report for each practice, describing the nature of the intervention, the procedure of intervention, and evaluating the outcome. Everyone will receive a minimum B grade for completing the 4 partnered practices. B+ or higher will be given for the quality of writing and for the appropriateness of intervention in each context.
- Journey of Self-Discovery (10%)
Write a reflection paper (approximately 1000 words) on issues related to your personal identity, core values & beliefs, dark side, healing, and personal growth.
- An Essay (10%)
Write an essay (approximately 1000 words) either comparing two therapeutic modalities or one theoretical issue related to meaning (e.g., meaning of death, meaning of life, meaning of suffering, meaning of work).
- Case Study (30%)
Write up a clinical case study (approximately 2000 words) from an MT perspective, including case description, diagnosis, treatment, outcome, and a segment of transcribed therapeutic conversation. It needs to include comments on appropriate and inappropriate use of MT skills in the counselling process.
|Topic||Assigned Reading||Date Assigned Work Due|
|Week 1||An Overview||Frankl, 2010 – Part I, 3.3||Course Participation|
|Week 2||Basic Tenets of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis||Frankl, 2010 – 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2||Course Participation|
|Week 3||Existential analysis of the meaning of life||Frankl, 1986, pp.25- 62||Course Participation
Partners Practice #1
|Week 4||Existential analysis of the meaning of death||Frankl, 1986, pp. 63-104||Course Participation|
|Week 5||The meaning of suffering, work and love||Frankl, 1986, pp.105- 175||Course Participation|
|Week 6||Logotherapy: Mental health and medical ministry||Frankl, 1986, pp.176- 301||Course Participation
Partners Practice #2
|Week 7||From Logotherapy to Meaning Therapy (MT)||Wong, 1997, 1999, 2012a||Course Participation
Journey of Self-Discovery
|Week 8||MT as evidence-based||Wong, 2015, in press; Frankl, 2010 – 2.3, 2.4; Goldman & Kernis, 2002; Hoffman, Vallejos, Cleare-Hoffman, & Rubin, 2014||Course Participation|
|Week 9||Defining characteristics of Meaning Therapy||Wong,1998a, 2005a, 2010, 2012a||Course Participation
Partners Practice #3
|Week 10||The PURE strategy of intervention||Wong, 1998a, 2010, 2012a, Korotkov, 1998; Klinger, 1998||Course Participation|
|Week 11||Major meaning-centered interventions (e.g. ABCDE, Double vision, Dual system model)||Peacock & Wong, 1990; Wong, 1995, 2012b, 2015, 2016a, b; Wong & McDonald, 2002||Course Participation|
|Week 12||Meaning-centered coping and effective coping||Wong, Reker, & Peacock, 2006; Wong, Wong, & Scott, 2006; Peacock & Wong, 1990; Wong 1993, 2014a, 2016c||Course Participation
Partners Practice #4
|Week 13||MT and Addiction||Wong, 2011a, 2013a; Wong, Nee, & Wong, 2013||Course Participation|
|Week 14||MT and Education||Wong, 1998b, 2013b; Seligman et al. 2009; Weiner, 1985; Wong & Weiner, 1981; Wong & Wong, 2012||Course Participation|
|Week 15||MT in Mental Health and Organizations||Wong & Stiller, 1999; Wong 2014a, b; 2005b; Wong & Wong, 2013; Wong, Ivtzan & Lomas, 2016||Course Participation
Expectations for Writing Style
- Follow APA, 6th ed./Saybrook Style Handbook (or other approved citation style) guidelines for all papers. For front matter of papers, include a separate title page, abstract, table of contents, etc., according to Saybrook guidelines unless otherwise specified within the course.
- Follow APA, 6th ed./Saybrook Style Handbook guidelines except for front matter of paper (i.e., you do not need to include a separate title page, abstract, table of contents, etc., but should include proper citations and references).
Rubric for Grading or Evaluation
Rubric for Course/Cohort Participation grading/evaluation is as follows:
|Participation at the A level||Participation at the B level||Participation at the C level||Participation at the D level|
|Ideas||Participation and interaction about the course reflects well-developed ideas relevant to the course content. The ideas make a contribution to the course as well as demonstrating critical thinking and complexity of thought.||Most of the participation or interaction about the course reflects well-developed ideas, with occasional lapses. The ideas generally contribute to the course as well as demonstrating critical thinking and complexity of thought.||Adequate development of ideas, but common lapses and/or often not relevant to the course. Ideas inconsistently contribute to the course. Ideas commonly do not demonstrate critical thinking or complexity of thought.||Ideas generally unclear or inadequately developed. Communication is often not relevant to the course and often do not contribute to the course. Ideas often do not demonstrate critical thinking or complexity of thought.|
|Demonstrates Comprehension of Course Materials||Consistently demonstrates that the course materials has been read and comprehended. Contributions draw upon a variety of sources from the course material. Reflects critical thinking about the content.||Demonstrations that most of the course material has been read and comprehended. Draws upon a variety of sources from the class material, with occasional lapses. In most discussions of the material demonstrates critical thinking.||Inconsistently demonstrates that course material was read and comprehended. Draws upon a limited number of sources from the class materials. Inconsistent demonstration of critical thinking about the course material.||Only occasionally demonstrates that the course material was read and understood. Draws upon only a few sources from the class material. Limited demonstration of critical thinking about course material.|
|Respectful of Different Perspectives||Participation is openly respectful of different perspectives. Does not push views on others. Demonstrates an ability to understand and learn from different viewpoints. Disagrees assertively, but respectfully.||Participation generally respectful of different views. At time, may push one’s viewpoints over others. Shows an ability to learn from some other perspectives. Disagrees assertively, but respectfully in most interactions.||Respectful of most other viewpoints, with some lapses. Repeatedly pushed one’s perspective on others. At times demeaning of other perspectives. Only occasionally demonstrates ability to learn from other viewpoints. At time disagrees in a disrespectful manner.||Inconsistently respectful of other viewpoints. Often will push one’s perspectives on others, or will be demeaning toward other perspectives. Often does not demonstrate an ability to learn from different viewpoints. Often disagrees in a manner not respectful of the other person or their ideas.|
|Advances Conversations||Most interactions advance the conversations with new ideas, creative examples, comparing to other ideas/sources, or other ways of making unique contributions. Uses multiple ways of advancing the conversation.||The majority of interactions advance conversations with new ideas, creative examples, comparing to other ideas/sources, or other ways of making unique contributions. Uses different ways of advancing the conversation. Occasionally may summarize ideas or contribute in ways that are not substantive.||Often interacts in a way that advances conversations with new ideas, creative examples, comparing to other ideas/sources, or other ways of making unique contributions. Uses a limited number of ways in advancing conversations. Often just summarizes ideas from others or the course materials. Often relies or merely offering an appraisal of others people’s contributions.||Rarely advances the conversation. Uses a restricted way of contributing new ideas to the conversation. Primarily relies or summarizing other people ideas or offers an appraisal of the quality of other people’s contributions.|
Rubric for Paper/Essay Grading/Evaluation is as follows:
|Ideas||A||A- / B+||B||B- or lower|
|Excels in responding to assignment. Interesting, demonstrates sophistication of thought. Central idea/thesis is clearly communicated, worth developing; limited enough to be manageable. Paper recognizes some complexity of its thesis: may acknowledge its contradictions, qualifications, or limits and follow out their logical implications. Understands and critically evaluates its sources, appropriately limits and defines terms.||A solid paper, responding appropriately to assignment. Clearly states a thesis/central idea, but may have minor lapses in development. Begins to acknowledge the complexity of central idea and the possibility of other points of view. Shows careful reading of sources, but may not evaluate them critically. Attempts to define terms, not always successfully.||Adequate but weaker and less effective, possibly responding less well to assignment. Presents central idea in general terms, often depending on platitudes or clichés. Usually does not acknowledge other views. Shows basic comprehension of sources, perhaps with lapses in understanding. If it defines terms, often depends on dictionary definitions. May list ideas or arrange them randomly rather than using any evident logical structure.||Does not have a clear central idea or does not respond appropriately to the assignment. Thesis may be too vague or obvious to be developed effectively. Paper may misunderstand sources.|
|Organization and Coherence||A||A- / B+||B||B- or lower|
|Uses a logical structure appropriate to paper’s subject, purpose, audience, thesis, and disciplinary field. Sophisticated transitional sentences often develop one idea from the previous one or identify their logical relations. It guides the reader through the chain of reasoning or progression of ideas.||Shows a logical progression of ideas and uses fairly sophisticated transitional devices; e.g., may move from least to more important idea. Some logical links may be faulty, but each paragraph clearly relates to paper’s central idea.||May use transitions, but they are likely to be sequential (first, second, third) rather than logic-based. While each paragraph may relate to central idea, logic is not always clear. Paragraphs have topic sentences but may be overly general, and arrangement of sentences within paragraphs may lack coherence.||May have random organization, lacking internal paragraph coherence and using few or inappropriate transitions. Paragraphs may lack topic sentences or main ideas, or may be too general or too specific to be effective. Paragraphs may not all relate to paper’s thesis.|
|Support||A||A- / B+||B||B- or lower|
|Uses evidence appropriately and effectively, providing sufficient evidence and explanation to convince.||Begins to offer reasons to support its points, perhaps using varied kinds of evidence. Begins to interpret the evidence and to explain connections between evidence and main ideas. Examples bear some relevance.||Often uses generalizations to support points. May use examples, but they may be obvious or not relevant. Often depends on unsupported opinion or on personal experience and/or assumes that evidence speaks for itself and needs no application to the point being discussed. Often has lapses in logic.||Depends on clichés or on overgeneralizations for support and/or offers little evidence of any kind. May be using personal narrative rather than essay or summary rather than analysis.|
|Style||A||A- / B+||B||B- or lower|
|Chooses words for their precise meaning and uses an appropriate level of specificity. Sentence style fits paper’s audience and purpose. Sentences are varied, yet clearly structured and carefully focused, not long and rambling.||Generally uses words accurately and effectively, but may sometimes be too general. Sentences generally clear, well structured, and focused, though some may be awkward or ineffective.||Uses relatively vague and general words, some inappropriate language. Sentence structure generally correct; sentences may be wordy, unfocused, repetitive, or confusing.||May be too vague and abstract, or very personal and specific. Usually contains several awkward or ungrammatical sentences; sentence structure is simple or monotonous.|
|Mechanics||A||A- / B+||B||B- or lower|
|Almost entirely free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.||May contain a few errors, which may annoy the reader but not impede understanding.||Usually contains several mechanical errors, which may temporarily confuse the reader but not impede the overall understanding.||Usually contains either many mechanical errors or a few important errors that block the reader’s understanding and ability to see connections between thoughts.|