It’s actually an essay. I already have a statement of prospective claims with feedback.
Research: The superior paper integrates substantial research from quality sources to advance the reader’s understanding about the history of the problem. The research used comes from relevant and reliable sources, chosen for an academic audience. The credibility of each source is described or implied; the sources are accurately portrayed, properly cited, and rhetorically situated/integrated within the argument. The writer’s own argument is not overshadowed by the use of other voices; instead, the sources amplify and enhance the argument. The superior paper includes a graphic that offers persuasive evidence for one of its points; the graphic has been woven into the argument of the paper and is properly cited using MLA style.
Argument: The superior paper contains a well-written, precise and complex thesis that provides structure to an analytical argument; the thesis addresses the most significant historical moments in the timeline of this problem (i.e., specific ecological, cultural, political, legislative, public opinion events and trends). The superior essay incorporates critical thinking through evaluative analysis about the history of this problem. The very best essays also acknowledge various perspectives regarding the history of the problem.
Organization: Each historical point (process, event, trend, perception) chosen as a focus in the historical analysis is clearly articulated in a sequence of paragraphs. Each paragraph develops a single point, which is directly or indirectly introduced by a topic sentence; the relationships between the paragraphs are implicitly or explicitly signaled through transitional phrases. The reader feels informed about the direction of the essay and can easily follow the writer’s logical progression from one point to the next. At the same time, each major thesis point may take more than one paragraph to develop, but the progression of ideas remains clear.
Academic Ethos: The writer of the superior essay convinces an academic reader that he/she has, through research, become expert in the chosen topic. In making the argument (and in the Works Cited), the writer demonstrates a mastery of academic writing/research skills and a complex and nuanced understanding of the materials. The writer illustrates that s/he has attempted to remain objective as s/he presents evidence from sources. The writer has maintained his/her academic ethos while participating in peer review and has turned in all peer review comments, memos, drafts and revisions requested by the instructor. The paper has been carefully edited and uses specific, academic diction; it is virtually free of errors in mechanics, usage, grammar, and spelling. When errors do appear, they do not detract from the overall readability of the essay. The essay follows MLA style and citation format, as is expected of academic essays in the School of Humanities.