Out of 20:
Ø ___ Paragraphs follow the following order: CLAIM – EVIDENCE – EXPLANATION (linking evidence to claim). Paragraphs may repeat this pattern within paragraph.
Ø ___ Every claim is backed up. [This means any sentence that is not a fact. Claims are topic sentences, but claims can also be found within paragraphs]
Ø ___ Evidence is typically one or more of the following: (1) quoted secondary source, and/or (2) paraphrased point from the secondary source
Ø ___ Do NOT use generalizations! Do not just spit back a summary of the article; FIND EVIDENCE, be evaluative, and be analytical!
Out of 20:
Ø ___ Tone: Tone is objective, academic, and avoids “gushing” (Do not write “The great scholar Robert Schorr was a intelligent theorist who should be read by all.”)
Ø ___ All quotes are embedded both from primary source (film, song, painting) and from the secondary sources. The embedded quotes make sense as actual sentences; the quotes/student’s sentences are revised as needed to do so (i.e., the quote can be put in past tense to make sense; just use [brackets] where new words or letters have been added & ellipses… where sections have been removed for clarity’s sake)
Ø ___ Transitions: Includes smooth transition paragraphs (between sections of paper), sentences (between paragraphs), and words (within paragraphs) where appropriate (“Similarly, ___” “Contrastingly, ___” “Schorr, however, disagrees with Smith regarding the significance of the symbol of the rose.”)
Ø ___ Proper Grammar:
Ø Present verb tense is used when discussing the written work (“Whitman uses free verse”), but not when discussing the author’s life events or historical situations (Dickinson wrote over 1,775 poems”)
Ø subject-verb agreement is correct
Ø avoids run-on sentences and fragments
Ø word choice is high-level; spelling, punctuation and capitalization are correct
Ø ___ Avoids awkward phrasing (and shows paper has been revised by several people in this regard)
Ø ___ Shows Conventions of Formal Writing: avoids first and second person (I, you, we, us, our); avoids contractions (can’t, don’t won’t), avoids “shortcut” words such as “etc.”, avoids informal speech such as conversational or “cute” writing (Well, now, like, all in all, things, stuff).
Ø ___ Uses strong diction (word choice/vocabulary): Shows a thesaurus has been used to make sentences interesting and lively
Ø ___ MLA Format: parenthetical documentation is correct (period comes AFTER the citation) and ALL quotes & info that is not general knowledge or author’s original ideas are cited; all ideas belonging to a secondary source are cited!
Ø ___ Bibliography: follows MLA format and order for author info, title info, and publication info
Ø ___ PLAGAIRISM is avoided (all difficult terms and concepts are explained in the student’s own words); remember the 3-word rule: any three words in a row that are not your own are either quoted or cited!
Ø ___ Title: The title has two parts: (1) the hook, or creative part, then a colon (:), and (2) the explanation part. Go ahead & explain the assignment in the second part—see the sample paper on the website for how to do this.
Ø ___ Format: 12 point fort, Times New Roman, double spaced.
Out of 20:
Ø ___ Page requirement: Paper fulfills minimum & maximum page requirement (4-6 pages)
Ø Thesis statement is a map for the rest of the paper.
Ø ___ In 1-4 sentences, it clearly specifies and outlines the author’s argument exactly. Quite like an abstract, the reader should have a crystal clear idea of the following sections of the paper.
Ø ___ The thesis statement is specific, interpretive, analytical, and comprehensive (like the 2 thesis statement handouts I have given you so far).
Ø ___ The thesis statement is easily located at the end of the introduction.
Ø ___ Suggestions to include in your thesis statement:
Ø ___ how exactly the 2 sources are similar and different (including both their points as well as their respective methodologies and perspectives)
Ø ___ (“A level”) get evaluative by staking a claim regarding which source makes the stronger case and why (just make sure to follow this line of thought throughout the paper!)
Ø The introduction:
Ø ___ Begins with a hook, or an interesting lead sentence
Ø ___ Answers the 5 W’s for each secondary source as well as for the primary source. The key is to manage to do this succinctly
Ø ___ Each article thesis is clearly identified
Ø ___ Each article is succinctly summarized. The summary will:
Ø ___ pay attention to complexity
Ø ___ resist urge to oversimplify
Ø ___ pick and choose what to elaborate on (telescope)
Ø ___ mentions & explains the relevance of the perspective (formalist, intentionalist, etc.) as well as the methodology used by each
Ø ___ the introduction overall is comprehensive, analytical, interpretive, and provable
Ø ___ keywords (a.k.a. jargon or key terms) to be used & discussed in the paper are defined explicitly
Ø ___ information provided is relevant to paper’s argument
Ø ___ Ends in a thesis statement
Ø The conclusion:
Ø ___ The “topic sentence” of the conclusion is a natural rephrasing of the thesis statement
Ø ___ Briefly rephrases the major points of each paragraph
Ø ___ (A level) is evaluative, stating which article made the stronger case & why (make sure this feature is previewed clearly in your introduction & followed throughout)
Ø ___ Ends in a sentence or two that “closes the deal,” or leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind that the student’s case has been successfully argued.
Ø ___ Paragraphs are in a logical order (order shows a detailed outline has been written and followed)
Ø ___ Topic sentences are (1) specific, (2) provable claims that (3) clearly further thesis
Ø ___ Paragraphs clearly support and further topic sentences: supporting details are on-topic and occur in a logical order
Ø ___ Paragraphs naturally end in a closing sentence that clearly links back to the topic sentence or thesis statement
Ø ___ Cut the fat! Irrelevant info is cut.
Ø ___ Add the meat! Necessary info is discussed.
Out of 30:
Ø ___ Scholar’s examples, points, and quoted text are DISCUSSED and ANALYZED as opposed to being merely mentioned, reworded, or summarized.
Ø ___ Strong, detailed, well-supported, and well-organized comparison, contrast, and conclusion sections are present. Paper avoids a mere summary of each article.
Ø ___ All information is clearly related and linked back to the thesis (after reading each paragraph, the reader should be able to clearly answer the question: “What does this have to do with the thesis statement?”)
Ø ___ (“A level”) Student evaluates which article presents the stronger case throughout the paper
Out of 10:
Ø ___ Articles came from a scholarly, peer-reviewed database (unless otherwise cleared by me)
Ø ___ Articles have clearly correlate even if they disagree
Ø ___ Remember, you MUST INCLUDE A works cited / works consulted list that AT LEAST cites the original text itself as well as the sources. This bibliography must be in MLA format.
TOTAL SCORE out of 100: