LENGTH: 3-5 pages of text (excluding title page and works cited/references page)
FORMAT/FONT: Follow M.L.A. style, (1” margins, double-spaced, 12 font)
SOURCES: Three sources minimum are required, but no more than five are allowed, to not equal more than 20% of the essay. I want this assignment to be an opinion paper marked by your intellectual evaluation of the individual leader. I don’t want to read textbook interpretations…I want your evaluation. Essays loaded with more than 20% source documentation will be severely penalized in points received. This essay isn’t about sources—it’s about your interpretation of a leader. Use your source properly—just not excessively!
General Tips About Writing Your Essay:
THE DEPTH OF YOUR ANALYSIS. In other words, discuss specifics and wrestle with them. Dig down under the surface and analyze details. Most body paragraphs (aside from the intro and conclusion) should have P.I.E: POINT (a topic sentence that states the main idea of your paragraph) · ILLUSTRATION (an example or bit of proof, make sure any quotations are cited from the text using MLA guidelines) · EXPLANATION (your reasoning). In general, you should state your point in a sentence, the proof in a sentence or two (make sure you cite examples from the text using MLA or MLA guidelines), and then give your explanation in several sentences.
SAVE YOUR WORK OFTEN & IN MULTIPLE PLACES. I know that you have heard this before, but do not let yourself fall victim to a crashed hard-drive or bad flash drive. The assignment is due when the assignment is due and it will be on you to take proper precautions with your work. In the world of cloud computing there is zero reason you should have your paper “lost” due to an IT issue.
TYPE YOUR DRAFTS AND FINAL VERSIONS. Word processors catch most spelling mistakes and typos and make revision painless. Use twelve-point Times New Roman (or a similar font), double-spaced, with one-inch margins. This may seem obvious, but please run spell and grammar check first, then clean up your paper from there!
CREATE A TITLE for your work that makes the reader curious about your essay. (“Essay 1” is a poor title.) Include a TITLE PAGE to MLA standard.
WRITE FIRST, EDIT LAST. After you are satisfied with the content of your essay, edit your essay for grammar and style. Begin the writing process early so that you have time to revise & perfect your paper. You will amaze yourself when given adequate time to write the paper, at how well you can craft an essay. Do not save the paper for the night before the due date! A rushed paper is obvious to the grader and is often riddled with multiple mistakes. If you first draft is the same as your final draft, you will more than likely not be pleased with the final grade.
TURN YOUR WORK IN ON TIME. It’s hard enough to write a good essay without working against yourself worrying about the deadline. Late essays will NOT be accepted— you will receive a zero for that grade.
WORKS CITED PAGE. Follow the MLA guidelines. The works cited page or reference page will be fairly short in this length of essay, but it will give you practice in how to follow the MLA style. This should be the last page of the paper.
The Grading Standards when I evaluate your essay are very clear. I will consider your focus (thesis), analysis (how well you explain and analyze your subject), organization (how the pieces fit together), strength of proof (persuasiveness), ingenuity (novelty of approach), rhetorical awareness (the effectiveness of your essay given its context), style (tone/word choice), and mechanics (grammar and spelling).
An “A” essay needs to have an introduction that engages the reader, an innovative thesis, a forecasting statement, a purposeful structure, in-depth analysis in the form of extended PIE paragraphs, a perfect or near-perfect use of mechanics, a mix of sentence structures, and accurate, college-level vocabulary. Your essay also needs to match or stretch beyond the assignment and demonstrate a purposeful use of tone and style. The essay uses high quality sources effectively and appropriately in number and content.