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Assessment (HC)

Classics Department

                                                            Classics Department Four-Year Library-Skills Rubric-Draft                                       


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4


Defining Research Questions

Students develop a research question that is of interest to them and meet with the subject librarian to work out terminology, search strategies, and database choices.

Students draw on class discussion, readings, personal knowledge, and targeted searching to develop compelling research questions that engage with significant issues in the field of Classics.

While incorporating methods and standards from Classics, students also consider what other disciplines and approaches may bring to the questions they are seeking to answer.

Students engage with literary works, other primary materials including art and artifacts, and secondary sources to pose an original research question for their theses.  As they gather more texts and analysis, they rethink their question and the connections they have drawn, making changes that strengthen their argument.

Situating Research Questions within Classical Scholarship

Students understand the difference between scholarly publications and those intended for a general audience.  They recognize the importance of finding and using relevant and up-to-date scholarly work.

Students use both general and subject-specific databases to find recent research.  They choose journal articles based on topic and approach.  They understand what different methods in Classics contribute to the larger scholarly project.

Students recognize that the field of Classics involves individuals, institutions and organizations exchanging ideas online, in person and in print.  They understand that research involves tracing these lines of dialog and determining what new ideas or evidence to develop.

Students are skilled in searching and identifying relevant scholarship, including books, journal articles, and theses, using databases, bibliographic notes, and citation searches.  They evaluate material critically, distinguishing those works that are likely to have a greater credibility.

Working with Texts and Other Kinds of Primary Materials

Students understand that Greek and Roman texts can be interpreted in a variety of ways and that a greater knowledge of Classical culture through art, artifacts, and documents can enrich their interpretations.  They understand the insights that can be gained from reading Latin and Greek texts in the original languages.  They realize that translators take different approaches, and readers need to choose carefully among available translations.

Students read ancient texts critically and understand Classics as a study of a culture that is at the same time very familiar and strikingly different. They can navigate library catalogs, databases, and websites that give access to editions, translations, and visual images.  They use recent scholarship to better understand the issues involved in the thematic contents, language, textual tradition and reception of both texts and their ancient cultures.

Students are adept at reading and analyzing ancient texts, using commentaries and scholarly editions to deepen their understanding.  This fluency with texts and language in turn informs students’ search for secondary sources and their use of critical ideas.

Students identify and select relevant ancient texts for their seminar papers and theses, recognizing differences among translations and/or editions.  They contextualize their reading of a text by bringing in scholarship and methods from Classics, theoretical and critical ideas from other disciplines, additional texts and other primary materials, including art and artifacts, as needed.

Understanding and Applying Methods of Analysis

Students understand that

Classical texts, culture, and history are subject to different interpretations and methods.  They see the importance of thinking critically and self-reflectively in order to develop a sound argument.

 Students develop a familiarity with a range of analyses in Classical Studies and realize that cross-disciplinary and  trans-historical approaches can be pertinent.  They recognize key scholars in the field of Classics and can locate more information in secondary literature and reference works. 

Students broaden their knowledge of Classics by strategic use of such disciplinary sources as literature reviews (Oxford Bibliographies Online), book reviews, and studies of the history of Classics.

Students bring a Classical Studies sensibility to seminar papers and theses, presenting their argument within a larger context of the related scholarship.  They give a cogent account of the issues involved and explain why their new interpretation is significant.

 Reference Literature for the Study of Classics

Students realize the difference between authoritative reference works produced under editorial review and those done for a general audience by authors without extensive subject expertise.

Students use subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other summary accounts to find background, identify interpretive themes, connect to critical ideas, and see recommended sources for further reading.

Students deepen their knowledge through topic-specific reference guides including handbooks and companions that emphasize critical evaluations of major issues in the field.

Students bring the full range of reference works to bear on projects, making connections and sharpening their arguments.  When they do research in a new subject area, they are able to identify relevant resources for reference.

Using Libraries Effectively

Students know that they can get the assistance they need either by contacting their personal librarian or by going to the Research Help Desk.  They have experience using the Library’s catalog and website and can request materials both from the bicolleges and from outside the local system.

Students can identify the appropriate subject librarians for courses they are taking and seek their assistance with research projects.  Students understand that they have a great variety of library resources and services in the tricolleges.

Students consult with the subject librarian for Classics and can use the library research guides prepared for classes to identify and access materials needed for coursework and personal interests.  They also make use of the Library’s Senior Thesis Archive to see good examples of student work.

Students work with the Classics subject librarian as they develop a thesis topic, defining subject areas, search strategies and topical connections.  As students learn more about their area of thesis research, they consult librarians when they rethink their arguments or seek further evidence.

Responsible Use of Sources

Students understand that they must cite others’ work whether quoting directly or acknowledging an author’s ideas within their own statements.  Awareness about plagiarism and copyright is connected to an understanding of how citations function to foster scholarly exchange.

 Students take on more involved research projects and learn to use citation-management programs, so that they can save, organize, and put to use the research they have gathered.


Students do research that connects them to scholars and casts them in a practitioner’s role.  The attention which the American Philological Association gives to issues involving ethical practices in research and writing helps convey to students the importance involved.  

Students have developed a critical awareness of the ways in which Classics scholarship is created, distributed, and used.  This knowledge informs the production of their own work in terms of handling sources, understanding fair use, and providing access to their finished projects.