Composition Scoring & Feedback Sheets
(Original composition in the style of and using content appropriate for the poetry of an identified pre-1650 culture. Must be accompanied by documentation.)
(Composition for instrumental performance. A written score is required. The score may be handwritten as long as it is neat and easy to follow. Entrants have the option of including a recording as well. Must be accompanied by documentation.
(Composition for vocal performance. A written score with lyrics is required. The score may be handwritten as long as it is neat and easy to follow. Entrants have the option of including a recording as well. If lyrics are in a language other than English, entrant must provide a translation. Must be accompanied by documentation.)
(Original composition in the style of and using content appropriate for a play of an identified pre-1650 culture. Maximum 4,100 words. Must be accompanied by documentation.)
This is an article or paper on a subject of historical interest and should convey information in an engaging style (e.g., an article appropriate for Tournaments Illuminated). The judging will focus on the writer’s voice and how well the information from different sources is integrated in an entertaining fashion. The judges will look for the fresh historical insight instead of a list of facts gathered from multiple sources. The layout and incorporation of illustrations/graphics are also important. Research obtained from external sources should be attributed within the text of the piece, rather than footnotes. Mechanics of spelling, punctuation, grammar and the appearance of the paper will be judged. Maximum length of the entry is 4,100 words. The entry must include an alphabetical list of references at the end of the piece that contains any attributed sources. For judging purposes, the list of references must provide the specific page number ranges for the attributions in the piece to allow the judges to identify the source material. This reference or “works cited” list does not count toward the word count limit.
This composition may be fiction or nonfiction and must be documented. The composition itself will be judged on how well and creatively the information is portrayed, how well the entrant portrays the style and content of an author from the period. The documentation should explain the historical style and how the entry fits this style. The documentation will be judged on how well the entrant proved the entry is correct for the style attempted. The documentation must include an alphabetical bibliography, or “works cited” list with specific page references. The overall appearance of the paper will also be considered, as will the mechanics of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Mechanics will also include appropriate use of pre-1650 style variations, which should be explained in the documentation. Maximum length for the composition is 4,100 words, excluding endnotes, documentation and bibliography.
The paper must cover the design and making of an item applicable to a pre-1650 culture. The introduction should explain item and its historical authenticity. An explanation of the research should follow. This explanation should specify both how the author adapted period processes and any processes the author discovered by experimentation. The bulk of the paper should then provide step-by-step instructions that could be used to duplicate the project. The paper should end with a brief conclusion stating the outcome of the process and provide some historical relevance and context. Judging will be weighted in two areas: a) how well the author combined historical source material with their own processes, and b) how clearly the instructions enable a reader to replicate the making of the item. The readability of diagrams and pictures, and how well their formatting enhances the flow of the information, will also be considered. Mechanics of spelling, punctuation, and grammar and the overall appearance of the paper will be considered. The documentation must include an alphabetical bibliography, or “works cited” list with specific page references. Maximum length is 4,100 words, excluding footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography.
A research composition proposes a focused topic (Topic Paper) or an actual research question (Research Paper) then provides evidence from a variety of sources to support and explain the topic or to answer the research question. A research composition is the final product of research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and integration of the material from multiple sources to provide a fresh view of a topic or to answer a research question. Broad or generic topics will not score as well as a focused topic or question. The paper should begin with an introduction that presents the topic or question and provides historical relevance or context. The paper should end with a conclusion that summarizes the findings and the importance and relevance of the topic/question beyond a simple restatement of the introduction.
A topic paper should contain all of the elements described for research compositions above. The paper has a specific pre-1650 historical topic or a specific topic of interest to the SCA mind. A topic paper doesn’t require an actual research question but the integration and synthesis of information is important. The topic paper should provide more than a list of facts, statements or data from multiple sources. The author’s ability to synthesize and integrate the material to provide an intriguing or fresh viewpoint will be a primary concern in judging the paper. Judging will also consider the breadth and scholarly nature of the sources and how well each source is used. Maximum length is 4,100 words, excluding footnotes or endnotes, and bibliography.
A research paper should contain all of the elements described for research compositions above. The research paper asks a thesis question which will be answered. The thesis question asks about something from pre-1650 culture or about modern perceptions of something from that time. The introduction should present the question and provide historical relevance and context for the question – with scholarly resources supporting that context. The body of the paper provides evidence from a variety of scholarly sources that the author presents and analyzes (e.g., comparing and contrasting evidence from multiple sources, providing summary tables of information from different sources, etc.) to answer the research question, and to explain more fully the historical relevance of the question and its answer. The conclusion summarizes the answer to the research question based on the evidence, explains the importance of the question, and provides some context beyond a simple restatement of the introduction. Judging will focus on the research question and analysis of data, how convincingly the evidence answered the question, and how well the author explained the historical relevance or context. Almost as much emphasis will be placed on the research sources and their use – how scholarly the sources are, the breadth of sources used, and how thoroughly the sources were used. Writing style, mechanics, and appearance of the paper – as described for all research compositions – will receive somewhat less emphasis than for a topic paper, but will still significantly affect the score. Maximum length is 4,100 words, excluding endnotes and bibliography.