Unit 2 Essay: 1,000 – 1,500 words

First-Year Writing Essay 2 Rubric

Dr. Wheeler

In this unit, students develop an informed interpretation of a text, moving beyond summary or response into scholarly analysis. The textual analysis is meant to build on the critical skills of the first unit, but we will move from familiar personal experience to a primary text. We will begin to learn about the processes of annotation, paraphrasing, direct quotation, and proper source citation. Summary will inevitably play a role in the assignment, but that role should be subordinate to the careful analysis of the relation among parts. The assignment will also stress the process of identifying and developing a thesis statement based upon one’s analysis. Based on a required reading, the essay will answer these questions: How does the author accomplish his/her goal? How does he/she succeed in convincing you to change your mind or in persuading you to take action? You might consider using this formula: The author succeeds in convincing me of these two things, but fails to convince me in this third area.

Ideas: topic, thesis/central idea, focus, purpose, audience: 20% 
Ideas should be clear, insightful, thought-provoking, and focused so that they consistently support the topic, thesis, and audience for the paper. 

Development: details, evidence, examples, logic, arguments: 20% 
Development should be fresh, with abundant details and examples that arouse audience interest and provide relevant, concrete, specific and insightful evidence in support of sound logic. 

Organization: structure, coherence, unity, transitions: 20%
Organization should be coherent, unified, and effective in support of the paper’s purpose, and should consistently demonstrate effective and appropriate rhetorical transitions between ideas and paragraphs. 

Mechanics: sentence structure, word choice, tone, grammar, spelling, punctuation: 20% 
Style should be confident, readable and rhetorically effective in tone, incorporating varied sentence structure, precise word choice, and correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Format: presentation, sources, documentation, MLA style: 20% 
Format should meet all assignment directions, and should work expertly to support the essay’s purpose



“Two Ways to Belong in America” by Mukherjee, page 504.

“The Company Man” by Ellen Goodman, page 454.

Alain de Botton, “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person.”

Sandra Barron, “R We D8Ting?”

“A World Without Work” by Derek Thompson

“All the Single Ladies” by Kate Bolick

Jennifer Marshall, “Marriage: What Social Science Says and Doesn’t Say.”

Sandra Tsing Loh, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”

Amy Benfer, “When Date Night Is Not Enough.”

Amanda Fortini “Why Your Marriage Sucks.”

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