The Schomburg Center Essay Assignment
Assignment ID Number AFFGEHU83939HD Type of Document Essay Writing Format APA/MLA/Harvard Academic Level Masters/University References/Sources 4 References
I. Thesis Statement. A thesis statement is the key to a paperwithout it, you have nothing to write about. I strongly suggest, but do not require, that your thesis statement explain the importance of your subject. If your subject was the military campaigns of George Washington, for instance, then a good thesis statement might
begin something like: The military campaigns of George Washington were important because…
II. Evidence. Your evidence is a big deal here. You want to think carefully about it.
a. Except for primary source, evidence MUST come from acceptable sourcesbooks and library-approved websites only, please. If you were with us in the computer lab, youll know how to find these; if not, please see me.
b. Evidence MUST be cited with Chicago style, using footnotes. Again, if confused, ask me!
c. Nothing makes a paper more convincing and powerful than clear, organized, carefully chosen, and specific evidence.
III. Writing. Writing counts. A LOT! Proofread, please, and when youve finished, proofread it again, read it aloud, and proofread it a third time. The more work you put in here, the smoother it will be. If you want help, PLEASE bring me a draft, and Ill happily go over it so long as its not submitted the day before the due date or anything like that. Youre also welcome to go to the ARC for help, of coursealways!
IV. Structure: A research paper is always structured the same way, with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction presents the problem to be solved, and MUST include your thesis statement. The body presents your evidence. In the conclusion, youll be explaining the importance of your conclusion
a. Introduction: A good introduction briefly introduces your subject, as well as introduces your argument about your subject. Often, though not always, it will also give the reader some sense of how your argument will proceed. For the essays youre writing, they will likely be only one paragraph long.
b. Body: The body is where almost all the work of the essay will be found. This is where you present the evidence for the thesis.
i. Each paragraph in the body MUST begin with a topic sentence, telling the reader what the paragraph is meant to accomplish.
ii. Each paragraph in the body MUST contain evidence. While a longer research paper will occasionally be broken down still further, and might have paragraphs that dont have evidence in them, your papers are too short for this, so every single paragraph has to have evidence. If it doesnt, go back over itchances are its either part of a different paragraph or it isnt necessary.
iii. Because every paragraph has evidence, every paragraph MUST end in a footnote. This is important. Its a good way to make sure that youre citing everything and that youre not including paragraphs that dont need to be there.
iv. You should think A LOT about how paragraphs move from one to the next. There needs to be some sort of connection between thembut whether that connection is chronological, or relates to your argument in a different waythats sort of up to you. (I generally encourage you to think about what order will best serve your argument.)
c. Conclusion. These are notoriously hard to write. A strong conclusion will allow you to reflect on what youve done. You may want to think more about the events connection to todays events, or you may want to think about how it might relate to other past events, or to other past issues weve discussedwhat Im mainly looking for in the conclusion is something to show that youve thought about what this essay can teach the reader.
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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