CHOOSE ONE OF THESE ARTTCLE TO WRITE ABOUT:
Length: 2 full pages in MLA format (12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, one-inch
margins). You do not need a Works Cited or formal, MLA-style citations
These assignments are written always for the purpose of eliciting an analytical response; that is,
professors don’t want summaries but rather critical interpretations of subject matter.
Form a specific analytical interpretation/argument about the topic, then defend your
interpretation with evidence. This evidence should come in the form of specific examples and
quotations and of well-developed analysis of how those examples and quotations support your
argument. You may also bring in any topic that you think relates, doing so would help establish
originality and depth.
Be sure to organize your thoughts into paragraphs. A short, less-formal response paper like these
should not feature a lengthy introduction or conclusion. The introductory paragraph can consist
of one sentence that establishes the context of your argument and one sentence that contains your
argument itself, i.e. the paper’s thesis. It does not require a conclusion paragraph at all. You’ll
likely have two or three body paragraphs, each of which should have its own analytical subclaim in the form of a topic sentence that offers a debatable point and clearly advances the thesis.
Be sure you have a specific interpretation, analysis, or argument rather than merely summarizing
the author’s argument. Remember that originality and depth are important on these responses.
Originality comes from thinking beyond the parameters of the author’s argument. Depth
comes from discussing the more universal implications of the author’s argument.
Most important aspects of your paper for your grade:
1. Originality: An idea, concept, or example that you make relevant to the article or
lecture/discussion, even though the article or lecture/discussion didn’t get into it. Ideally, your
idea, concept, or example will make the other thirty intelligent people in our class say, “Huh!
That’s interesting; I hadn’t thought of that connection. How does it work?”
2. Depth: The application of an idea, concept, or example to human nature in general. You can
take the content of the article or lecture/discussion and explain how it is characteristic of humans,
or human decision-making, or human interaction. Again, the point here is to make the other
thirty intelligent people in our class get an interesting new perspective.
Other aspects of your paper that will have an impact on your grade:
3. Clarity: How clearly you make and develop your points. Your ideas should not be ambiguous
or hard for an intelligent audience such as this class to comprehend.
4. Organization: The arrangement of your ideas. Your paper should divide your thoughts and
claims into a perceptible order. In a college essay, each body paragraph should begin by stating
one major claim or interpretation, and then it should proceed by developing that claim or
interpretation fully, supporting it with evidence, before moving on to the next idea/paragraph.
5. Sentences: Sentence-level writing should be polished, clear, and readable. It should reflect a
A: Paper focuses on an original idea, concept, or example and uses it to explore a concept from
RWS 305 in depth. Clarity, organization, and sentences are all above average.
B: Paper focuses on an original idea, concept, or example OR explores an idea, concept, or
example from RWS 305 in depth. Clarity, organization, and sentences are mostly above average,
although some are average.
C: Paper provides some originality or depth, but that originality or depth is underdeveloped.
Clarity, organization, and sentences are mostly average.
D: Paper mostly restates the ideas from an article or a lecture/discussion with little originality or
depth. Clarity, organization, and sentences are mostly average or below average.
F: Paper is merely a summary of an article or lecture/discussion that shows deficient
comprehension or writing. Clarity, organization, and sentences are below average.
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