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Essay Rubric

Essay Rubric

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Essay Rubric

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  1. Essay Rubric

  2. The Argument Essay Process • Read the articles, answer questions, and select quotes. • Select 1 quote from two different articles to support your argument. • Select 1 quote from the opposition argument. • Construct your outline • Thesis statement – last sentence of first paragraph • 3 body paragraphs – First two support your argument, third points out problems with the opposing argument • Concluding paragraph – restate thesis, your two points, and the problem with the opposing argument. (Say what you said) • Final Thought • Draft 1 - Copy from outline • Draft 2 – ELABORATE using Four Strategies and edit for grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, agreement, etc.

  3. The Important Parts of an Essay • An essay can be thought of in 3 sections: • Say what you’re going to say • Say it • Say what you said • Parts of an Essay: • Lead • Thesis Statement (2 Parts) • Claim • 2 Points/Avenues - In a persuasive essay, only your two points/avenues are stated in the first paragraph because the last body paragraph is actually going to be about the opposing argument. • Body Paragraphs • PEEL • PEEL • EPEL (Counter Argument) • Conclusion - Restates Thesis and points/avenues in different words

  4. The Argument Thesis Claim A thesis claim in an argument essay is more limited than it is in a research or explanatory essay. An argument thesis claim always takes a side on a problem or question. Therefore, the thesis claim can only be one of two things: It can be in favor of an issue or saying one thing is true. It can be opposed to the issue or saying the opposite is true. Examples: Students should wear uniforms to school Or Students should not wear uniforms to school. The US is a country divided along lines of race, religion and gender. Or The US is a country united by growing tolerance and acceptance of diversity.

  5. Writing a PEEL Paragraph P – Make a Point – 1 sentence E– Provide Evidence and Examples (quotes) FROM THE TEXT – 1-2 sentences - Be sure to cite your evidence in MLA format E – Explain the example or evidence – 3-4 sentences L – Link the explanation back to your point, or forward to the next point (next PEEL paragraph) – 1 sentence PEEL in Action The United States does not have the conditions present that tend to cause civil wars.In a 2003 study, researchers found that, “…the countries that are most likely to have a civil war have three major things in common: (1) They are poor; (2) their populations are actually not very diverse; and (3) the government is weak, dishonest, and brutal.” (Bass 1) The United States does not have any of these conditions. Although there are poor people in the US, we are still one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Our population is growing in diversity all the time, and our government is strong, with a good system of checks and balances. It is therefore unlikely that we would experience a civil war in the present day.

  6. How to Outline Your PEEL Body Paragraphs In the first two of your 3 Body Paragraphs, you will need to write in the PEEL format and provide examples that support your points. Your points will eventually serve as your two avenues. Follow these steps to outline your PEEL body paragraphs: P – Decide on your two Points. Finish this sentence: The United States is/is not divided because: Point 1: Point 2: Circle One E – Choose your Evidence for each point. Go back to the text and find quotable evidence that supports the point you are making. When you have found it, highlight it or underline it. E – For each quote, jot down notes about how you will Explain your evidence. Having difficulty? Answer this question: How does the evidence you chose support your point? L – Link your Explanation (the second E) back to your Point. Some good linking words to consider: Therefore, we may conclude, thus, consequently, it must be that, it follows that, as a result, clearly, it is evident that, etc.

  7. Filling in Your Outline Now that you have your PEEL body paragraphs outlined, you will need to plug them into your essay outline. When you have completed each step below, check it off. ______ First, put your thesis statement together: The United States is/is not divided because (your Point 1) and (your Point 2). Make sure that you adjust the sentence above once you plug your points in, so that it flows. ______Second, put the thesis statement on the outline on the next page. ______Third, put the PEEL body paragraph outlines from the previous page into the outline. LEAVE THE THIRD BODY PARAGRAPH BLANK FOR NOW. ______Fourth, fill in the conclusion in the outline. Pick One

  8. EPEL– Counter-Argument: Third Body Paragraph • It is important in an argument essay, to acknowledge the opposition. The idea in the third body paragraph is to bring up an idea from the opposing viewpoint and point out the flaws or problems in it. To do this, we’ll need to remember two things: • The P (Point) and E (Example) of PEEL are reversed in this paragraph so that it’s EPEL – These two points can sometimes be together in one sentence. • We use “may” or “might” to introduce the example. E – Example of the opposition's point of view – 1 sentence P – Your Point about why this Example is flawed – 1 sentence E – Further Explanation about why the Exampleis flawed – Use a quote that supports your viewpoint and/or provide some Evidence that counters the opposition’s viewpoint – 2-4 sentences L – Link your Explanation back to your Point – 1 sentence Can be together in 1 sentence Example: Some people may feel that because “a record number of women and racial minorities (non-Whites) were recently elected to Congress,” (Haynes 1) it shows that we are becoming more diverse and united as a nation. In truth the diversity in congress does not reflect the rest of the country. Actually, only one of the political parties in congress has become diverse in terms of race and gender, while the other is still primarily made up of white men. As diverse as our population is becoming, it is still “…clearfrom (the) research that we…have problems to do with segregation.” (Barber 2) because different ethnic groups tend to live together in segregated neighborhoods across the country. Clearly, although congress is setting a good example, the rest of the country is not there yet.

  9. How to Outline Your EPEL (Counter-Argument) Body Paragraph In the last Body Paragraph, you will be using EPEL to present the opposing argument and point out its flaws or problems. Follow these steps to outline your EPEL body paragraph: E – Choose a piece of Evidence that supports the OPPOSITE point of view from the one you are arguing. Go back to the text to find this quotable evidence, and when you have found it, highlight it or underline it. P – Decide on the Point you will make about how this Evidence is flawed. E – Jot down notes about how you will further Explain the details about how the evidence is flawed. Having difficulty? Answer this question: How does the evidence you chose support your point? L – Link your Explanation (the second E) back to your Point. Some good linking words to consider: Therefore, we may conclude, thus, consequently, it must be that, it follows that, as a result Once you’ve figured out your EPEL paragraph, go back and fill in the outline.

  10. Persuasive Argument • Opinions • Emotion • Use “I think, I believe, I feel” • Use of “should” ie. We “should” do something • Facts • Logic • Use “they, he, she, one” • Use of “is” or “isn’t” ie. The United States is/isn’t divided. Example Example We should realize that we are one nation and I don’t think people should be writing petitions to secede. The multiple petitions requesting secession demonstrate that the United States is a divided country.

  11. A Good Explanation • The Explanation section of your PEEL paragraph is the most important part because it ties your Examples to your Point. This part of the essay is the “bottom bread” of the sandwich – the part where you explain your example. A good analysis has these qualities: • Ties the example to the thesis by explaining why • Is specific rather than general • Shows insight Examples: Not So Good: In a 2003 study, researchers found that, “…the countries that are most likely to have a civil war have three major things in common: (1) They are poor; (2) their populations are actually not very diverse; and (3) the government is weak, dishonest, and brutal.” (Bass 1) This shows that the United States won’t go to war because it does not have any of these conditions. Better: In a 2003 study, researchers found that, “…the countries that are most likely to have a civil war have three major things in common: (1) They are poor; (2) their populations are actually not very diverse; and (3) the government is weak, dishonest, and brutal.” (Bass 1) The United States does not have any of these conditions. We are wealthy, diverse and have a strong government. Even Better: In a 2003 study, researchers found that, “…the countries that are most likely to have a civil war have three major things in common: (1) They are poor; (2) their populations are actually not very diverse; and (3) the government is weak, dishonest, and brutal.” (Bass 1) The United States does not have any of these conditions. Although there are poor people in the US, we are still one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Our population is growing in diversity all the time, and our government is strong, with a good system of checks and balances.

  12. Four Revision Strategies • Build Transitions • Build Explanations • Vanilla to Spicy • Fine-Tuning Sentences for Better Flow

  13. Transitions • 3 Parts to a transition • Refer back to what you just talked about • Refer forward to what you’re going to talk about • Linking idea • Transitions can be used between sentences as the first step in revision • Go through each paragraph two sentences at a time and build a transition sentence between each pair. • Re-read your paragraphs aloud. • Add anything that feels unsaid • Delete where you feel like you’ve overdone it

  14. Elaboration Strategies • Explain Why • Explain Why Not • Explain How • Explain the Details • Explain More • Give an Example

  15. Vanilla to Spicy And Dropping Unnecessary Adverbs! • Some words are better than others. When you revise: • Go through your draft and underline all the “bland, vanilla” words that you can find. • If they are too vanilla, or if you are using several adverbs to spice them up, use a thesaurus to find a more “spicy” word. • Avoid using the same “spicy” word twice. Examples: Vanilla: Our government is very strong, with a good system of checks and balances. Less Vanilla: Our government is very stable, with an excellent system of checks and balances. Very Spicy: Our government is robust with an exceptional system of checks and balances.

  16. Fine-Tuning Sentences for Better Flow • Sentence structure affects the way the language of your piece flows. • Read through the piece ALOUD to yourself • Read it through ALOUD to someone else • Have someone else read it ALOUD to you • Listen for: • Short, choppy sentences • Repetitious words or ideas • Combine short sentences • Delete or reword repetitious ideas or words Examples: Not So Good: Our government is stable. It is stable because it has an excellent system of checks and balances. Better: Our government is stable because it has an excellent system of checks and balances.

  17. Editing Basics Verbs: Agreement – Subjects and verbs. Tense – Check each verb – are they all in the same tense? Variety – Are you using the same verbs over and over again? Person – Does it switch anywhere from you to I, from I to they, from you to they or he/she? Have you taken “I” out of it, as in “I think”… Word Variety – Are you using the same word over and over again? Sentence Structure – Are your sentences varied and not all the same? Spelling – Check for words the spell checker won’t pick up and incorrect duplicates ie. Aloud/Allowed Capitalization – Beginning of sentences, and proper nouns Sentences – Check for run-ons and fragments. • Strategy: • Read your piece backwards. This will help you find spelling and technical errors. • Read it aloud to a partner – have the partner read it aloud to you.