1400 words (and no more than 1800)
Use of 6 credible sources (and no more than 10)
Works Cited
I don’t read papers that do not meet the above minimum requirements.
Your paper must be originalnot recycled from a previous class.
Your paper must use sources to inform your argument. You will synthesize information and ideas that you find in order to develop and support your point of view.
Your paper is not for specialists in any field. Your audience is educated general readers. They should find your paper engaging, relevant, and practical.Additional Elements I am Looking for . . .
your voice in an organized, idea-driven, coherent body
multi-paragraph discussion of single points
acknowledging and responding to opposing voices when appropriate
well-formatted citations
use of multiple sources to support a single point
How I Grade the Final Draft of the Research Paper
The first thing I do is check the page/word count.
Then I begin reading the introduction. I am looking for which strategy you have used to introduce your topic. I am also looking for your thesis. The thesis should be
easy to locate among all the other details in the introduction
clearly written
Now I skip to the end. I look for how the conclusion reflects what you said in the introduction. Your thesis should be restated in the conclusion. Perhaps you also return to that anecdote, those facts or key words that you used in the introduction. The conclusion should not make any claims that the body has not discussed and supported.
Next, I skim the body for your sources and citations. I am checking that you have met the minimum requirement of six and that you have formatted each source correctly. I am also checking the credibility of these sources. What have you done to help readers trust that your research is valuable?
Now I turn back to the works cited page. Do the entries there correspond to your in-text citations? Do I count the same number of sources in the body and in the works cited? Is the works cited page formatted correctly?
If all of the above looks like a passing paper, I then begin reading the body closely. I am looking for
development around main points/reasons
multiple paragraphs dedicated to supporting a single point/reason
well-chosen, credible sources used in a variety of ways: examples, expert testimony, research data and other facts to support your ideas
multiple sources dedicated to supporting a single point/reason
opposing voices to which you respond critically but fairly
Finally, I am also paying attention to language and structure as I read. This includes
sentence structure
MLA formatting
A demonstration of competence in each of the above areas earns an A. Problems in one or more of the above areas will drop the grade below an A.


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