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Evaluation of Essay Assignments

Five basic criteria:

1) Introduction: tell me what you are going to say (10%).

grade - how to earn it
A - strong, interesting, grabs attention
B - sets up the thesis and purpose well
C - vague thesis statement, lacks purpose
D - little introduction, no purpose unclear
F - no introduction

Comments: Does the reader know what will be addressed? What's the point of the paper? Why should I be interested in reading it?

2) Body and Thesis: unity, coherence, development, accuracy (40%)

A - clear, logical, detailed, concise and accurate, illustrated as specified
B - well structured and thought out, but needs revision
C - sufficient, but still needs a lot of work, not illustrated as specified
D - doesn't follow directions, thesis never developed
F - unclear, inaccurate, doesn't address the assignment, isn't geographical

Comment: Is there enough background information and is it accurate?

3) Organization and transitions (20%)

A - well written, flows well, writer tells me where they're going
B - basically sound, understandable
C - reader gets lost, choppy, jump from idea to idea
D - first draft, didn't proofread the final hard copy
F - illogical, incomprehensible, painful to read, written today at dawn

Comment: Have you followed a clear line of argument or description throughout?

4) Conclusion: reiterate what you said (10%).

A - good punchline, ties it up, natural closure
B - sufficient closing, recapitulates point
C - weak punch line, no clear purpose
D - reader left stranded
F - no clear ending

Comment: Does the reader know why s/he read the paper? What are the lasting impressions you want to leave?

5)  Citations (20--100%)

A - many sources synthesized throughout the essay
B - proper citation form
C - few sources and citations
D - inaccurate citations, padded bibliography (listing sources you didn't use)
F - no citations or bibliography, plagiarism (could count as 100%)

Comment: Did you give credit to all your sources?

Grade breakdown
 Introduction  10%
Body and Thesis  40%
Organization and transitions  20%
Conclusion  10%
Citations  20--100%
 TOTAL  100%