Essay #1 Directions (Thesis-based Essay using one Muller textbook source) AND
Essay #1 Evaluation Checklist
 Spring 2011  WR 121 Handout - Prof. Cora Agatucci 
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1. Essay #1 Topic/Thesis & Source/Reading: Write your Essay #1 on a topic & thesis of your choice, using at least one Muller textbook source/reading of your choice.

2. Essay #1 Muller Source/Reading In-Text Citation, Works Cited Documentation, & Avoiding Plagiarism Requirements:

--At least one Muller textbook source/reading must be used to develop your topic/thesis and/or one or more of your essay body paragraph/s.
--Selected Muller textbook source/s must be explicitly cited at least once within the text of your Essay #1: in-text citation/s may be summary, paraphrase, and/or direct quotation from the source/s, and should be correctly cited following MLA style In-Text Citation Practices to avoid plagiarism.*
--Selected Muller textbook source/s cited in the text of your essay must also be documented in your Essay #1 Works Cited, giving full bibliographical information in MLA Works Cited style on the Muller textbook source/s to avoid plagiarism.*

3. Essay #1 Length & Manuscript Form Requirements: 

--Length of Essay itself should be approximately 1000 words. 
--Length of Final Draft should be 4 to 6 double-spaced word-processed pages including
the separate Works Cited page, using standard margins, fonts & point sizes--
e.g. Times New Roman 12 point or Arial 10 or 11 point or Calibri 11 or 12 point--etc.

--Label your assignment with a 4-line MLA Style Header in the upper left-hand corner of the first page of your document:

Juanita Mikulski (your first and last name)
Writing 121, Prof. C. Agatucci
(identify course & instructor)
Essay #1 - Final Draft
(identify assignment & which draft if applicable)
7 April 2011
(identify date assignment is due)

--MLA-style Running Page Headers, consecutively numbered, should be provided in the upper right-hand corner of each subsequent page, including the Works Cited page, of your document:

Mikulski  2
(your last name and the page number)

4. Essay #1 Genre Requirement - & Essay Writing Skills Evaluation Criteria:

A. Topic Choice, Thesis Focus, Use of Source should be thoughtfully designed to address assignment requirements 1, 2, & 3 (see above):
    --Topic selection & Thesis focus can be effectively developed in an essay of the recommended length
    --At least one Muller textbook source/reading is selected and used to design the topic, focus the thesis, and/or develop one or more main point/s of the essay
    --At least one well-selected summary, paraphrase, and/or direct quotation from the Muller textbook source/reading is
effectively incorporated into the essay, and the student's own commentary accompanies each source citation/s to interpret/explain its relevance to the student's essay thesis and/or body paragraph point; . . .
    --In-Text Citation of each source borrowing (summary, paraphrase, direct quotation) and Works Cited documentation of the source/s should demonstrate a good faith attempt to follow MLA style and avoid plagiarism.

B. Content Quality, Audience Awareness, & Author Engagement:
   --Essay content should demonstrate college-level critical/creative thinking in the treatment of the chosen topic and thesis (e.g. depth, complexity, approach/es, development, style, and/or other aspects of the essay)
   --Audience awareness should be strong: student author is clearly writing to communicate effectively with targeted audience (i.e. WR 121 college-level, including uninformed, readers)
   --Author engagement (interest) in the her/his chosen topic/thesis should be apparent (e.g. in essay tone, persona/ethos, content, development, style, etc.)

C. Thesis/Purpose, Unity, & Thesis Transitions:
   --Thesis/Purpose should be clearly established sufficiently early in the essay; explicit thesis/purpose statement/s should be clearly stated & effectively placed (see also  "Developing the Thesis," Muller 53)
   --Essay should be unified, meaning Thesis/Purpose should control essay content & development: i.e. everything included in the essay should be consistent with & contribute effectively to achieving the essay's thesis/purpose
   --Clear Thesis Transitions should be integrated into essay body at timely intervals to point out how/why body points/paragraphs are related to and support the overall thesis/purpose of the essay

D. Essay Form, Organization & Coherence:
    Essay Form:
should be a compact (i.e. fairly brief) and relevant forecast of your essay topic/thesis focus
     --Introduction paragraph/s should introduce, as well as engage your readers' interest in, your essay topic and thesis/purpose (see also "Writing Introductory Paragraphs,"  Muller 54). Introduction paragraph/s should be set off by appropriate paragraph break/s so that it is clear where the essay introduction ends and the essay body begins.
     --Body: see E. below (and see also "Writing Body Paragraphs," Muller 54-65)
     --Conclusion paragraph/s should provide your readers with a satisfying sense of closure, consistent with and reinforcing your essay thesis/purpose (see also "Writing End Paragraphs," Muller 65-66). Conclusion paragraph/s should be set off by appropriate paragraph break/s so that it is clear where the essay body ends and the essay conclusion begins.
    Organization & Coherence:
Essay ideas/points should be presented in a logically ordered arrangement, appropriate to & effective in achieving the essay thesis/purpose; readers should be able to discern and follow the logic of the organizational structure without getting confused
     --Logical idea progression should be supported by grouping related content (e.g. into body paragraphs) and planning its logical arrangement
     --Essay coherence (including logical progression of ideas) within and among paragraphs should be strengthened by embedding clear, well-placed transitions (see also C. on Thesis Transitions above). Coherence should also be strengthened by clarity of written expression throughout the essay (see also F. Style, Clarity, & Command of standard U.S. written English below)  

E. Body Paragraph Structure, Development, & Thesis Relevance:
   --Each body paragraph should present a clear point (explicit/implicit topic sentence), which unifies & controls the rest of the paragraph's content
   --Each body paragraph point should be supported by effective well-selected specific development (see also "Writing Body Paragraphs," Muller 39-50)
   --Internal structure of each body paragraph should be logically organized, and demonstrate effective balance of meaningful generalization & specific supporting development
   --Body paragraph breaks should be logical and strengthen essay coherence/"readability" (Cora will explain in class!)
   --Body paragraph points should be sufficiently distinct (i.e. mutually exclusive) to avoid redundancy and advance coherent idea progression in body paragraph content/development.
   --Each body paragraph should be relevant to--and make an effective contribution to achieving--the essay's thesis/purpose (see also C. on Thesis Transitions above).

F. Style, Clarity, & Command of standard U.S. written English:
Clear, effective Style is demonstrated: e.g. in diction/word choice, sentence structure & variety, tone/persona appropriate to thesis/purpose, etc.
Command of standard U.S. written English is demonstrated: effective proofreading/editing has left few errors in grammar, usage, punctuation, mechanics; and has eliminated major sentence errors, especially "high distortion" errors that hurt clarity: e.g. fragments (FRAG); run-on comma splices (CS) & fused sentences (FS); persistent misuse of commas or other punctuation (P); unclear (broad/ambiguous) pronoun reference (PRO REF); errors in subject-verb agreement (S/V AGR), verb form or verb tense (Vb Form, Vb Tense); unclear word choice (WC), unclear or mixed sentence structure (SS), or any other type of error that results in unclear (UNCL) communication.

See also Essay #1 Evaluation Checklist (provided below)
AND Example Student Essay #1 provided in our Blackboard course

Essay #1 Evaluation Checklist                        Name:_____________________________
Final Draft = 100 pts possible        
WR 121, Spring 2011, Prof. C. Agatucci                              

                                                                                               ____LATE Final Draft: Penalized points & NO Revision Option allowed

Handwritten Final Drafts will NOT be accepted for grading -
Final Drafts must be word processed, double spaced, and correctly formatted.

___ Revision Option is allowed because word-processed, correctly formatted Final Draft was submitted on time. However, allowed Optional Revisions will NOT be accepted for re-grading consideration UNLESS both (1) Cora's completed Essay #1 Final Draft Evaluation Checklist and (2) your submitted "Final Draft" with Cora's critique comments are re-submitted with your Revision.

Yes   or   No    BASIC REQUIREMENTS are met:

_1. Topic/Thesis of your choice, using at least one Muller textbook source/reading of your choice.
_2.  In-Text Citation/s & Works Cited documentation of at least one Muller source/reading (& any other source/s used, if applicable) satisfies basic assignment requirements & avoids plagiarism
_3.  Final draft of Essay #1 conforms to standard college-level manuscript format (MS) requirements; is properly labeled using MLA-style heading & running page headers; and its length is approximately 1000 words or 4-to-6 word-processed double-spaced pages, including separate Works Cited page.

__4. Essay #1 GENRE & ESSAY WRITING SKILLS Evaluation:

__A. Topic Choice, Thesis Focus, Use of Source/s are thoughtfully designed to achieve Basic Requirements:

         Topic  scope & thesis focus are effectively designed for an essay of recommended length

         At least one Muller source is effectively used in topic design, thesis focus, and/or main point development

         Well-selected citation (summary, paraphrase, and/or direct quotation) from Muller source is effectively incorporated into the essay & accompanied by student’s commentary to demonstrate its relevance

         In-Text Citation/s of source/s demonstrate good faith effort to follow MLA style & avoid plagiarism

__B. Content Quality, Audience Awareness, & Author Engagement:

         College-level critical/creative thinking is demonstrated in treatment of  topic, essay thesis & development

         Strong audience awareness is demonstrated in clear, effective communication

         Author’s engagement/interest in her/his chosen topic/thesis is clearly felt and communicated

__C. Thesis/Purpose, Unity, & Thesis Transitions

         Thesis/Purpose is clearly established and  well-placed

         Essay content/development is unified & controlled by its thesis/purpose; i.e. everything in the essay is consistent with and contributes effectively to achieving the thesis/purpose

         Clear thesis transitions are integrated & well-placed esp. in essay body to demonstrate how/why body points/paragraphs are relevant to & support the essay’s overall thesis/purpose

__D. Essay Form, Organization, & Coherence

         Title is an effective (usually compact/brief ) forecast of essay’s  thesis/purpose/ theme

         Introduction paragraph/s effectively introduce the topic , set up/present the essay’s thesis/purpose, engage readers’ interest, & are set off with appropriate paragraph break/s (e.g. it is clear where the introduction ends and the body begins)

         Conclusion paragraph/s are set off with appropriate paragraph break/s (e.g. it is clear where the body ends and the conclusion begins), are consistent with & reinforce the essay’s thesis/purpose, and provide a satisfying sense of closure.

         Organization of ideas/points is logically / effectively ordered  to achieve  the essay’s thesis/purpose; attentive college-level readers can discern /follow organization’s logic without getting lost/confused

         Idea progression is strong;  related content is effectively / logically grouped  & unnecessary backtracking/redundancy is avoided (e.g. in body paragraphs)

         Coherence within & between paragraphs /sentences is strong,  especially by integrating well-placed logical  transitions & maintaining clear expression throughout

__E. Body Paragraph Structure, Development, & Thesis Relevance

         Each body paragraph presents & is unified by a clear point (explicit/implicit topic sentence)

         Each body paragraph point is supported by effective well-selected specific development

         Internal structure of body paragraphs is logically organized & demonstrates effective balance of meaningful generalization & specific supporting development

         Body paragraph breaks are logical & strengthen essay coherence/ organization

         Body paragraph points/content are sufficiently distinct to avoid redundancy & advance idea  progression

         Each body paragraph is demonstrably relevant to—and makes an effective contribution to achieving—the essay’s thesis/purpose.

__F. Style, Clarity, & Command of standard U.S. written English

         Clear, effective style is demonstrated

         College-level command of standard U.S. written English is demonstrated

Spring 2011 WR 121 Syllabus | Course Plan | WR 121 Course Home Page 

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Last Updated: 06 April 2011

1997 - 2011, Cora Agatucci, Professor of English
Humanities Department, Central Oregon Community College
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