GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR THIS ESSAY Essays are evaluated on the basis of several

Essays are evaluated on the basis of several factors. Not only must they address the
assignment topic, but their organization, style, and creativity are also considered; more
important are the strength and quality of their arguments and presentation. Specific
point totals are not assigned for any of these components; instead, each essay is
evaluated according to the degree to which it incorporates all of them in total. Please
review these components and take them into consideration as you prepare your essay.
Thesis/Argument: Does the paper have a clearly stated thesis? That is, does
the essay take a certain stand and try to support a particular point (the thesis),
with arguments and examples, or does it simply offer a summary of information?
Summary is necessary to situate the reader, but an essay should do more than
simply supply information.
Introduction/Organization: Is there an introductory paragraph that states
the thesis and outlines or otherwise introduces the reader to the subject matter of
the essay? Is the body of the essay well organized? That is, is it divided into
separate paragraphs, each of which develops the thesis? Are there transitions
between these paragraphs?
Analysis/Evidence: Does the essay go beyond mere summary? Does it identify
and develop key themes, ideas, points that support the thesis? Does it provide
specific examples that support them?
Mechanics (Style/Spelling/Grammar): Is the essay written in a clear and
straightforward fashion? Is it largely free of spelling and grammar errors, e.g.
confusion between “its/it’s”, improper use of commas, run-on sentences, etc.?
Conclusion: Does the essay end with a final, concluding paragraph, one that
summarizes the paper’s discussion and possibly makes additional observations?
That is, does the essay “wrap things up” or end abruptly with no closure?