Social Justice(this is the issue, you will choose one topic to write about)
1,200-1,500 word essay (4-5 pages)
An interesting and informative title
A document formatted in correct MLA format
5 sources (peer-reviewed journals, books, and credible web sources)
A works cited page written in correct MLA format and included in the same document as the essay
A clearly stated argument that uses reliable and well-reasoned evidence to support claims
A refutation of opposing arguments
Argument Research Paper Rubric 1301 Content Below Expectation?D Needs Improvement?C Average?B Exceptional?A Meets Minimum Requirements Essay is 4-5 pages long Essay is an argument, not a summary or a report Essay includes a Works Cited page with a minimum of four sources, two of which are academic peer reviewed articles, with corresponding in-text citations Papers that do not meet the minimum cannot earn a grade higher than a 60%
There is no title, or the title merely reflects the assignment name.
The title is interesting and catchy but reveals no information about the actual content of the paper.
The title is specific, so the reader knows what the topic is but may not be interesting or engaging.
The title is specific and interesting. The title allows the reader to know exactly what the paper is about, while still providing a sense of intrigue. It is in the form of metacommentary.
Thesis Statement 5%
There is no thesis, or it cannot be identified easily. Questions are not theses.
Thesis is present but vague or too broad.
Thesis is stated but not fully developed or does not give a sense of organization to the paper. Thesis may be weak or lacking clarity.
Thesis is clearly stated in the form of an argument and is fully developed. It prepares the reader for the paper?s organization.
Overall Argument and Sources 35%
The argument is biased and inaccessible to readers of a different perspective. Overall, the argument is ineffective because it does not stand a good chance of persuading an audience. Fallacies may have occurred in the argument. Popular sources are not very credible. There is little to no analysis or synthesis of sources. Both counterargument and refutation paragraphs are missing.
The argument is articulated and supported, but popular sources might not be the most credible, or the author’s voice shows no authority on the subject. Textual evidence is minimal or not enough to support the argument or interpretation. There simply needs to be more analysis and synthesis of sources. The counterargument or refutation paragraph is missing.
The argument is supported by carefully selected, authoritative sources and is presented in a thoughtful manner. However, supportive evidence should be stronger. Naysayers are addressed but not explained fully. Refutation paragraph should be stronger. The ?So what?? and ?Who cares?? questions may not be answered successfully. The analysis or synthesis of sources should be stronger.
The author’s purpose and claim are clear to the reader. The author fairly discusses the opposition’s perspective. Naysayers are fully addressed and overcome. There is a clear sense of authority and credibility not only within the supporting sources, but also in the author’s own voice. The argument is convincing with ample reasons and evidence. Sources are analyzed and synthesized, not just reported. The reader is not left with lingering doubts or questions. Author has successfully answered the ?So what?? and ?Who cares?? questions.
Coherence and Organization Tell, Show, Share 20%
The presentation of ideas is choppy and disjointed. The development of thesis is vague. The essay lacks order and coherence. Most topic sentences are not claims or are missing (TELL). Selected quotations do not connect with the surrounding writing logically or are missing (SHOW). Writer fails to refer back to the thesis at the end of most paragraphs (SHARE). Minimal to no paragraph development.
Concept and ideas are loosely connected. The essay lacks clear transitions. Many topic sentences are not claims or are simply missing (TELL). Many quotes need more integration or explanation (SHOW). Many times the writer fails to refer back to the thesis at the end of paragraphs (SHARE). Development of paragraphs is lacking. The introduction or conclusion is vague or pointless.
The essay is generally organized but better transitions between ideas or paragraphs are needed. Some topic sentences are not claims or one or two are missing (TELL). One or two quotes need more introduction, integration, or explanation (SHOW). Writer fails to refer back to the thesis at the end of a few paragraphs (SHARE). Author needs to use a variety of quotes and paraphrases. The introduction or conclusion may be lacking purpose or closure. Development of paragraphs should be better.
The introduction gives an overview of the paper?s purpose without pointless generalizations; it is a road- map for the reader (TELL). Specific examples are appropriate and clearly develop the thesis. Textual support is widely used to strengthen the argument. Each quote is introduced and fully explained. A variety of quotes and paraphrases are used (SHOW). Writer consistently refers back to the thesis at the end of every paragraph. Paragraphs are fully developed. The conclusion is clear and provides a sense of closure or application (SHARE). Ideas flow together well. There are good transitions, and the paper is well organized overall.
MLA Style, Works Cited, and Citations 15%
Author attempts to cite sources and/or style correctly but does not do so according to MLA guidelines.
There are more than a few errors in-text or on the Works Cited page, but it is still clearly in MLA.
The essay is formatted in correct MLA style with a proper heading, title, spacing, font, page numbers, and margins. The Works Cited page has more than two errors, or some in-text citations are not formatted correctly.
The essay is formatted in correct MLA style with a proper heading, title, spacing, font, page numbers, and margins. There is a Works Cited page with two or less errors. Each quote, paraphrase, and/or summary is followed by a properly formatted citation.
Grammar, Structure, and Mechanics 20%
Paper has six or more errors checked.
Paper has five errors checked.
Paper has four grammatical errors checked. Many awkward sentences. Writer may not have a mastery of the English language. Sentence structure needs work or the author uses informal register frequently.
Paper has three grammatical errors checked. Sentence structure is mostly clear and refined. There are a few awkward sentences. Author may use some informal voice but uses mostly formal register.
Paper has two or fewer grammatical errors checked. There are no awkward sentences, and sentence structure is clear, refined, and the writer consistently uses formal register. Grammar and sentence structure are at the college level.
Many nonsensical sentences. Severe sentence structure problems. Writer does not have a mastery of the English language. Writing is not at the college level, Final Grade: _____ Additional comments:
Common Writing Issues Check List
Grammar: __Articles: Your paper is missing articles (e.g. a, the, an) before nouns that require them or uses articles incorrectly. Read your paper aloud or visit a writing tutor for more help.
__Adverbs vs. Adjectives: Your paper misuses adverbs and adjectives. Adjectives describe nouns, whereas adverbs describe adjectives or verbs.
__ Empty intensifiers: Your paper uses empty intensifies, e.g. very, pretty, really. Find a more descriptive adjective or simply delete.
__ Fragments: Your paper contains incomplete sentences, i.e. sentences without both subjects and verbs. Combine these sentences with others or insert a subject and/or a verb.
__ Homonyms: Your paper confuses words that sound alike but have a different meaning and, often, spelling, (e.g. their, there, they’re, to, too, two, your, you?re). Locate these areas and find the proper spelling.
__ Numbers: Spell out small numbers. For example: three instead of 3, three hundred instead of 300. Do not spell out dates.
__Parallelism: Your paper lacks parallel sentence structure in lists or clauses. Refer to your book for help with parallel structure or visit a writing tutor for more help.
__ Passive voice: Your paper contains excessive use of the verb ?to be? in its many conjugations (e.g. ?is arguing? should be ?argues?). Or rephrase your sentence so the subject is the one doing the action (Passive: The ball was thrown by the pitcher. Active: The pitcher threw the ball).
__ Pluralization: Your paper uses improper pluralization in certain areas. Read your paper aloud or consult a writing tutor for more help.
__ Prepositional phrases: Your paper contains “dangling” prepositions: prepositions (on, through, at, of, etc.) followed by no indirect object (…the desk, …the door, …the park). Add indirect objects or rephrase your sentence.
__Prepositions: Your paper confuses the definition and, therefore, the use of certain prepositions. On is for placement; about is for discussion. Please review the correct definition and use of prepositions in your book.
__ Pronoun agreement: Your paper has sentences where the subject and object pronoun do not agree. Single subjects require single pronouns. Your paper has a single subject (a person, a student) followed by a plural pronouns (them). Either pluralize your subject (people, students) or change your pronoun to ?him or her.? (e.g. A student forgot his or her homework. Students forgot their homework.)
__ Pronouns: Your paper contains excessive use of pronouns (it, that, this, he, she, etc.). Find a noun to serve as a referent for the pronoun whenever possible, e.g. ?This book is new.?
__Pronoun use: Your paper misuses pronouns. Either you use object pronouns (me, him, her, them) when you should use subject pronouns (I, he, she, they) or vice versa. Review the pronoun usage section of your book.
__ Spelling: Your paper contains spelling errors or typos. Read your paper aloud, run a spell-check, and/or consult a writing tutor to correct these errors.
__ Subject-verb agreement: Your paper contains sentences where the subject and the verb do not agree. Either you have used a singular subject with a plural verb or vice versa. Subject and verb need to match.
__That vs. which: Your paper misuses that and which. That should be used when the clause is necessary for understanding, while which should be used when the information is extra or explanatory. Use a comma with which. Do not use a comma with that.
__Third person: Your paper uses too many I statements (first person) or includes the word you (second person). You need to write in third person.
__Typos: Your paper has many typos. For example, incorrect spacing between words or punctuation, lack of punctuation, miss-capitalization of words or letters, the direction of quotation marks, or is missing words necessary for meaning. Careful proofreading and the use of spell-check will help eliminate these errors.
__Verb conjugation: Your paper conjugates verbs incorrectly. In other words, your verb endings (e.g. ?ing, ?ed, to be, etc.) are inconsistent or incorrect for your sentence structure.
__Verbs: Your paper uses weak verbs. Avoid these types of verbs: talks, says, gives, shows. Instead, find a strong descriptive verb to use in its place. There is a list of literary verbs on eCampus.
__ Verb tense: Your verb tense is not consistent. It may change from past to present or vice versa, or you simply may use the wrong verb tense. Use present tense for all literary works but past tense for the actual history or people surrounding and/or outside of a work of literature. Use present tense if you are writing about actions happening currently.
__Wordy: Your paper contains unnecessary words or phrases. Reduce or eliminate wordiness, so your argument or claim is clear and refined.
__Wrong word: Your paper uses words incorrectly. You have misunderstood the meaning of a word, and therefore, use a word incorrectly. Read your paper aloud or consult a writing tutor for more help.
Punctuation: __ Capitalization: Your paper improperly capitalizes words. Either you capitalize words that should remain lower-case or you fail to capitalize proper nouns or words at the beginning of sentences.
__ Colons: Your paper contains colon errors. Only use a colon after a complete sentence, never in the middle of a sentence or after a verb.
__ Commas: Your paper contains comma errors. Review the comma usage section of your book. __you have left out a comma in a series of things (a list) __you have left out a comma before/after a dependent clause __you have left out a comma after an introductory clause (however, on the one hand, nonetheless) __you have left out commas that set off parenthetical information __you have used a comma where one doesn?t belong. __you have left out a comma with a FANBOYS conjunction. Only use a comma when connecting two complete sentences with a FANBOYS, otherwise, don?t use a comma.
__Comma splice: Your paper combines two or more complete sentences with only a comma. Use a semi-colon, separate into two sentences with a period, or add a FANBOYS conjunction instead.
__ Parentheses: Your paper misuses punctuation with parentheses. Punctuation should go outside the parenthetical statement (e.g. like this).
__ Possessives: Your paper misuses possessive punctuation. Either you use an apostrophe where it does not belong or you fail to use an apostrophe when necessary. Look for areas where your sentences require the possessive form and examine your usage for errors.
__ Quotation marks: Your paper misuses quotation marks. Use double quotes instead of single, (e.g. ” “). When no citation is present, punctuation such as commas and periods go inside the quotes; however, semicolons and colons go outside quotation marks.
__ Run-on sentences: Your paper contains sentences that combine too many thoughts without proper punctuation. Do not connect more than three complete thoughts into one sentence. Break long sentences up into coherent, distinct statements.
__ Semicolons: Your paper contains semicolon errors. Only use a semi-colon when connecting two complete sentences.
Formatting: __ Aligning: Your paper is left-right aligned like a newspaper column. Only left align your paper.
__ Double space: Your paper needs to adhere to the spacing specifications of the assignment. Double-space your work, including the Works Cited.
__ Font: Your paper needs to adhere to the font size and/or style specifications of the assignment, which requires Time New Roman, 12-point font.
__Hanging indent: Your Works Cited page is missing a hanging indent. Refer to the section on MLA in your book for the correct way to format a Works Cited page.
__Heading: Your paper has an improper heading. The heading should be in the body of the paper and include (in this order) your name, professor, class name, and date. It should be double-spaced.
__ Indenting: Your paper has block paragraphs. You need to indent all paragraphs one half inch only.
__Margins: Your paper needs to adhere to the margin specifications of the assignment. Use one-inch margins, no larger or smaller.
__ Page number: Your paper is missing a page number and/or your last name in the upper right corner of every page except the first page.
__ Spacing: Your paper has unnecessary space after paragraphs or sentences. Remove extra space after paragraphs. Only use a single space after sentence punctuation.
__Sources: Your sources are not formatted correctly. Books, movies, journals, newspaper, and other large sources are in italics. Articles, chapters, songs, poems, and other small sources are in quotation marks.
__Title: Your title is incorrectly formatted, center, capitalize, use the same font and size as the rest of the paper, place on one line, do not underline, do not place in quotation marks, and do not make it bold.