2. Do you have a clear thesis in the first
paragraph of your essay (or maybe in the title)? Is the thesis narrow and
detailed? A poor thesis: "Ancient and modern literature are different."
A better thesis: "Greek and twentieth- century literature differ sharply
in their use of conflict: many Greek conflicts are between the Gods and
people, but many modern conflicts are between differing attitudes and impulses
within an individual person."
3. Did you relate your analysis to the thesis of the literary work? That is, if you discussed the style, imagery, narration, characters, or plot, did you relate your discussion to the thesis of the novel, poem, or play? You cannot analyze in a vacuum. You cannot say a writer uses an unreliable narrator or lots of flower imagery or anti-patriarchal women and stop. You must continue to explain what it all means by relating your points to the meaning of the literary work as a whole.
4. Did you define your key terms when necessary? Were your terms consistent?
5. Does the writing demonstrate understanding and adequate fulfillment of the assignment? Did you follow my instructions?
6. Is the writing well organized? That is, does it have a beginning, middle, and end? Are individual paragraphs well organized. That is, does each one, except perhaps for the introduction and conclusion, have a (more or less) clear topic sentence near the beginning of the paragraph which is detailed and developed fully in the remaining sentences of the paragraph?
7. Is the essay coherent? That is, do the topics in the individual paragraphs support the thesis in the introduction? Do you stick to your point in individual paragraphs? Does everything in your essay more or less relate to your point or thesis?
8. Are there fluent transitions between and within paragraphs?
9. If possible and appropriate, is the introduction dramatic and interesting? Is the conclusion dramatic and interesting?
10. Are the sentences clear and correct--no comma splices, fragments, or run- ons? Is there sentence variety? That is, among other things, did you use a short sentence for emphasis when appropriate?
11. Is your diction concise, fluent, specific, and free from cliché?
12. Do the examples, comparisons, and definitions support your explanations in a coherent way? Are you moderate and fair with the evidence?
13. Are the punctuation, spelling, and grammar correct?
14. Is the work written in standard English, or are there departures from the standard for intended effects?
15. Is the writing typed (double-spaced)? Is it neat in appearance? Has it been carefully proofread to remove all typographical errors?
16. Does the writing document your quoted or paraphrased evidence when necessary? That is, do you use proper footnote and bibliography format?
17. Does your essay have a title?
18. Do you have sufficient evidence in the form of brief quotations or descriptions or analysis to support your assertions?
19. Do you use page numbers?
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