Writing 122- Cora Agatucci
English Composition [Argumentation & Critical Reading-Response]

Essay #2 Evaluation
Short Cuts: Grading Criteria & Revision Checklist | Evaluation Form |
WR 122 Competencies Addressed

See also Essay #2 Directions & Preparation

See also Example Student Argument Essays #2 (online handout)

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Essay #2 Grading Criteria & Revision Checklist    

These Essay #2 Basic Requirements Are Met:

___a. Topic Choice & Type of Argument are suitable for argument essay (e.g. convince, persuade, evaluate, problem-solution, mediate/negotiate conflict, inquiry)

___b. Suggested Length (5 to 7 typed double-spaced pages) & Topic Focus:  thesis claim & argumentative purpose are neither too narrow nor too broad to be fully developed and supported in an essay of this length.

___c. At least three (3) sources relevant to the chosen topic are cited/used to develop the essay, and at least one of these sources represents an opposing/alternative viewpoint

___d. MLA Documentation Style is used & Plagiarism is successfully avoided: A good faith effort is made to follow correct documentation form for citing sources

___(1) in-text (within the essay) using timely author tags, parenthetical page citations for quotations and paraphrases; so that readers can clearly match sources cited to sources listed on the Works Cited page; and

___(2) in a ďWorks CitedĒ page included on a separate page at the end of the essay, properly titled; all sources and only sources cited in-text in Essay #2 are listed in the Works Cited in alphabetical order, double-spaced, with any second+ lines of an entry properly indented;

___e. Quotation, Paraphrase (AKA:  indirect quotation), Summary from sources: accurate and correctly punctuated quotations, using ellipses and brackets when needed, and blocked format for long quotations; paraphrases (indirect quotations) and summaries are faithful to the original sources and do not distort the meaning of the original.

Evaluation Guide:

___ = Excellent; ___ =  Very good; ___ = Satisfactory, but could improve; ___ = Weak/needs work

___1.  Title, Introduction, Thesis

___a.  Title effectively reflects the issue and studentís essay thesis claim/persuasive purpose.

___b.  Issue or problem under discussion is clearly introduced, and the scope and grounds of the argument are controlled through needed definitions and qualifications.

___c.  Thesis and purpose of the argument is clearly stated, well-placed and appropriately qualified.

___d.  (If applicable) Optional preview of main supporting points aids coherence by previewing all main points to be addressed, and in the same order that they are addressed, in essay body.

___e.  Unity: Central thesis or purpose unifies essay content such that everything in the essay is consistent with and contributes to that thesis/purpose, reinforced by clear and timely thesis transitions integrated into the essay body.

___2.  Organization, Coherence, and Conclusion

___a.  Overall organizational plan/arrangement of ideas is clear, logical, and effective in achieving the essayís thesis/purpose.

___b.  Coherence is strong, achieved through clear expression, logical and well-placed transitions, logical and readable paragraph breaks, well-structured body paragraphs unified by clear (implicit or explicit) topic sentences.

___c.  Conclusion is appropriate to the type of argument chosen, effective and consistent in (re)emphasizing the thesis and purpose of the essay, in expanding on the implications of the preceding argument for readers and author, and in providing a pleasing sense of closure.

___3.  Audience

___a. Essay effectively addresses a diverse readership, anticipating ranges of background knowledge and of pre-existing opinions that readers are likely to have on the topic issue under discussion

___b.  Essay effectively appeals to common values and experiences likely to be shared by author and most readers, targeting specific groups of readers appropriate for special appeals that serve the argumentís thesis/purpose.  Any unargued assumptions (implicit or explicit) about authorís and readersí common values, experiences, and viewpoints relevant to the issue under discussion, are reasonable and likely to be accepted by most readers and/or targeted groups in the authorís audience.

___c.  Addressing the Weightiest Opposition: Author anticipates opinions different from her/his own, effectively identifies significant opposing viewpoints on the issue under discussion, and answers her/his opposition fairly and effectively.

____4.  Supporting Development

___a.  Use of Appeals: Author develops and supports her/his points using an appropriate selection of relevant and effective appeals (to reason/logos, to emotions and values/pathos, to character and persona/ethos, to language/style), demonstrating the ability to apply what s/he has been learning in WR 122 about successful argumentation.

___b.  Body Paragraphs: Each of the major body points is clearly, adequately, and effectively supported, using appropriate and persuasive specific development.

___c.  Thesis Support: Body paragraph development offers relevant, appropriate and ethical appeals in support of the thesis claim and the central purpose(s) of the argument.

___d.  Use of Sources is accurate, fair and effective in developing and supporting the authorís body points and overall purpose/thesis; if/when appropriate, the sourcesí rhetorical contexts and/or any special claims to authority on the issue are introduced.; and source citations (e.g., quotations, paraphrases, summaries) are accompanied by adequate interpretation and explanation to point out their relevance to the student authorís argument.

___5.  Authorís Engagement, Ethos & Tone

___a.  Engagement:  it is clear that the author has chosen a topic, thesis, and/or argumentative purpose of interest or importance to her/him; student author conveys a persuasive sense of engagement with the issue under discussion, encouraging readers to consider the issue significant and the argument worthy of serious attention

___b. Ethos and Tone: The authorís dominant ethos (character), persona (self-presentation), and/or tone (of voice) makes a persuasive contribution to achieving the essay thesis/purpose; and the author can vary her/his persona and tone effectively to serve the purposes and points of different sections of the argument.

___6.  Style, Clarity, and Grammatical Correctness

___a.  Sentence style is clear, effective and mature, showing a command of stylistic devices like coordination and subordination, emphasis, parallelism, pleasing sentence variety.

___b.  Word Choice:  Special attention is given to careful, precise, clear, and concise word choice necessary to successful argumentation.

___c.  In-text citations are incorporated smoothly and grammatically correctly into essay, using ellipses and brackets as needed to maintain concise, clear, and effective expression.

___d. Correct grammar, usage, punctuation, and mechanics characterize written expression in this essay, suggesting careful editing and proofreading based on the authorís knowledge of past patterns of errors likely to occur in her/his writing, and demonstrating a college-level command of the conventions of standard written English (e.g., major sentence errors like fragments, comma splices, fused/run-on sentences, subject-verb agreement, verb form and tense problems, are avoided).  

Essay #2 Evaluation Form 
Worth:  25% of course grade; ____If Late: Ĺ Grade Penalty & No Revision Option

___All Essay #2 Prep. Exercises have been completed.

Essay #2 Basic Requirements are met (see Essay #2 Directions & Evaluation handouts)

__a. Topic Choice & Type of Argument suitable for argument essay (e.g. inquiry/exploratory, convince, persuade, mediate/negotiate, evaluation, problem/solution)
__b. Suggested Length (5-to-7 typed double-spaced pages) & Topic Focus (thesis/purpose can be fully developed & supported in essay of this suggested length)
__c. Minimum 3 sources relevant to chosen topic cited explicitly in-text & used to develop argument, including at least one source representing opposing viewpoint
__d. MLA Documentation style used & Plagiarism is avoided: good faith effort to follow models and format provided for in-text parenthetical citations, easily & clearly matched to full bibliographical entries for the same sources listed alphabetically & correctly formatted on separate Works Cited page at end of Essay #2; and . . .
Correct Manuscript Format (MS) followed for heading, running page headers, margins, etc.
__e. Quotation (accurate & correctly punctuated, ellipses & brackets used when needed; long quotations blocked); Paraphrase (indirect quotation) are also cited (incl. page numbers if source is paginated); source Summary cited; timely author tags, original meaning not distorted

Evaluation Checklist:
___ = excellent;  ___= very good; ___ = satisfactory; ___= weak/needs work

___1.  Essay (a) Title relevant & effective, (b) clear Introduction to issue/problem, incl. needed definitions & qualifications; (c) Thesis and/or Purpose well placed, clearly presented, appropriately qualified; (d) (optional) preview lists all main supporting points in same order they are addressed in essay body; (e) Essay Unity is strong: essay content consistent with & controlled by thesis/purpose

___2.  (a) Organization is logical and effective; (b) Coherence is strong: clear expression & few sentence errors, logical timely transitions, logical/readable paragraph breaks, well-structured body paragraphs with clear topic sentences; (c) Conclusion appropriate to type of argument, reemphasizes thesis/purpose, provides pleasing sense of closure

___3.  Audience: (a) diverse readership (prior knowledge & opinions) effectively addressed; with appropriate appeals to (b) common values & experiences, targeted special groups, and any unargued assumptions likely to be shared by most readers

___4.  Supporting Development: (a) Use of appeals (e.g. to logic, emotion, values, character, style) is effective to support thesis/purpose, and varied, showing strong preparation & ability to apply what student author has learned in WR 122 this term; (b) Body Paragraphs develop each major supporting point clearly, specifically, effectively; (c) Thesis case & argumentative aim/purpose are effectively achieved; (d) Use of Sources is accurate, fair, effective in developing main points; relevant rhetorical contexts & claims to authority are stated; all source citations are accompanied by studentís commentary, explaining citationsí relevance and significance to student authorís argument

___5.  Student Authorís (a) Engagement persuades readers that issue is significant & argument worthy of serious attention; (b) Ethos/Character, & Tone contributes positively to argumentative thesis/purpose

___6.  (a) Sentence Style and (b) Word Choice are clear, careful, precise, effective, & mature; (c) In-text citations (e.g. quotations) are incorporated smoothly, clearly, and grammatically correctly into essay; (d) Grammatical Correctness characterizes written expression in this essay, suggesting careful, effective editing and proofreading; major sentence errors are avoided.

---Essay #2 Preliminary Drafts & Workshop Credits---

WR 122 Competencies Addressed by Essay #2

As stated in the WR 122 Syllabus, the Humanities Department Composition Committee has identified the following competencies (or learning objectives) for all WR 122 courses.  Essay #2 (Argument Using at least 3 Sources) has been designed to help you achieve these course competencies:

Competency 1. Demonstrate the ability to use a variety of analytical and argumentative essay patterns, such as evaluation of a published argument, comparative analysis of sources, persuasion, argumentation synthesis.

Competency 2. Demonstrate the ability to use several quotations from either published sources or interviews, which are (1) integrated into the student's own writing (at both the paragraph and the sentence level), and (2) correctly documented according to some currently accepted practice.

Competency 3: Demonstrate the ability to adopt a persona or tone that serves one's persuasive purposes in written argument, and to identify and anticipate audience considerations (e.g. readers' knowledge, assumptions, beliefs/values, attitudes, needs) in the selection of evidence and presentation of the writer's argument.

In addition, Essay #2 preparatory exercises, Workshops, preliminary drafts, as well as follow-up Writerís Profile assignment, are intended to help you achieve these WR 122 competencies:  

Competency 4: Summarize published arguments and analyze components of written arguments, such as claim, support (including the distinction between observation and inference, fact and opinion), warrants, assumptions, logic, rebuttals, credibility, psychological appeals, connotation, tone, slanted language, irony.

Competency 5: Use writing to provide a peer with alternative viewpoints and suggestions for revising and editing.

Competency 6: Adopt a writing process to incorporate the special concerns of arguments such as analyzing opposing viewpoints, synthesizing personal opinions with written sources, thesis formation, organization, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading.

Competency 7: Analyze and evaluate one's own argument, identifying strengths, weaknesses and potential biases, assumptions--and suggest some means of improving his or her argumentative practice.

Approved by Composition Committee, rev. 4-14-99 

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