University of California Los Angeles Application of the Idol in Human Life Questions

1. Evaluate the introduction. What do you expect from the rest of the essay? What kind of context/background has the author provided for the reader? Does it seem like enough context? Has the author primarily listed a series of general claims that will need to be developed (created an outline of the essay), or has the author simply shown the problem by presenting an anecdote or an example that leads to a single claim/thesis statement? Has the author done something else entirely? Does it seem like enough set up for the rest of the essay? Too little? Too much? What has the introduction committed the author to do – to develop — in the rest of the essay? Ultimately, does the introduction give the reader a clear sense of the main issue/problem? If the introduction contains a thesis statement, evaluate it.

80 word minimum

2.Evaluate the first body paragraph. What is its main purpose? Does it have a single purpose (good), or does it seemingly have more than one purpose vying for control (not so good)? How well does it achieve the main purpose? Is the paragraph built around a single controlling claim, or is it essentially built around an example? What is the paragraph made of? Is it essentially one claim + one example? A summary of a source? A main claim + reason(s) + evidence? What types of evidence are used? Are there any claims that would benefit from some SHOWing, from a concrete example or detail? Are there any claims that would benefit from the addition of a number or statistic? Do you have alternative or additional ideas for developing the paragraph? Any small items in need of improvement – the grammar and mechanics and style and tone – that you can mention? Anything other advice or comments to offer?

3. Evaluate the second body paragraph. What is its main purpose? Does it have a single purpose (good), or does it seemingly have more than one purpose vying for control (not so good)? How well does it achieve the main purpose? Is the paragraph built around a single controlling claim, or is it essentially built around an example? What is the paragraph made of? Is it essentially one claim + one example? A summary of a source? A main claim + reason(s) + evidence? What types of evidence are used? Are there any claims that would benefit from some SHOWing, from a concrete example or detail? Are there any claims that would benefit from the addition of a number or statistic? Do you have alternative or additional ideas for developing the paragraph? Any small items in need of improvement – the grammar and mechanics and style and tone – that you can mention? Anything other advice or comments to offer?

4. Evaluate the third body paragraph. What is its main purpose? Does it have a single purpose (good), or does it seemingly have more than one purpose vying for control (not so good)? How well does it achieve the main purpose? Is the paragraph built around a single controlling claim, or is it essentially built around an example? What is the paragraph made of? Is it essentially one claim + one example? A summary of a source? A main claim + reason(s) + evidence? What types of evidence are used? Are there any claims that would benefit from some SHOWing, from a concrete example or detail? Are there any claims that would benefit from the addition of a number or statistic? Do you have alternative or additional ideas for developing the paragraph? Any small items in need of improvement – the grammar and mechanics and style and tone – that you can mention? Anything other advice or comments to offer?

5. Evaluate the fourth body paragraph. What is its main purpose? Does it have a single purpose (good), or does it seemingly have more than one purpose vying for control (not so good)? How well does it achieve the main purpose? Is the paragraph built around a single controlling claim, or is it essentially built around an example? What is the paragraph made of? Is it essentially one claim + one example? A summary of a source? A main claim + reason(s) + evidence? What types of evidence are used? Are there any claims that would benefit from some SHOWing, from a concrete example or detail? Are there any claims that would benefit from the addition of a number or statistic? Do you have alternative or additional ideas for developing the paragraph? Any small items in need of improvement – the grammar and mechanics and style and tone – that you can mention? Anything other advice or comments to offer?

6. 80 word minimum

Evaluate the conclusion. Does it merely restate the major claims from the body of the essay, or does it offer something more? In other words, is it a summary or a conclusion? Does it close the essay with a larger significance and relevance (relative to the smaller significance of individual body paragraphs)? Does it revisit a story or detail or phrasing from the introduction to give the reader the impression of coming full circle and therefore reaching the natural end of the paper? Is the conclusion effective? Why or why not? Do you have any alternative ideas for concluding the essay? Any additions to recommend to the author? Anything other advice or comments to offer regarding this paragraph? (70 words minimum)

7. What is the main issue the author will be developing in the essay? The thesis statement or your succinct version of the issue both work as a response to this question. What is the first thing the author gives you to make you believe them? Brief (one sentence) description of the main point or purpose of the second paragraph. Combine what the author DOES and SAYS in this paragraph. What is the second thing the author gives you to make you believe them? What is the third thing the author gives you to make you believe them? What is the fourth thing the author gives you to make you believe them? What larger significance does the author connect to the main issue in the conclusion? What does your five or six sentence portrayal of the essay reveal?(60 words minimum)

8. Evaluate the author’s use of outside sources. Are the sources blended into the essay smoothly and skillfully? Does the author integrate the sources in a variety of ways, or does the author rely on a repetitive, robotic integration approach? Are the sources used for various purposes – providing a claim, contributing a reason, offering a piece of evidence – or does each source serve the same purpose? Does the author make use of paraphrase (good), or does the author rely solely on direct quotes? Could or should any of the quotes be converted to a paraphrase? Anything other advice or comments to offer regarding sources?(40words minimum)

9. Does the author make any connections between the main issue/subject and unrelated (until the author made the connection) subjects such as historical or current events, philosophy, psychology, sociology, literature, scientific theories, famous quotes, and so on? If so, how well does the connection “work”?

(25 words minimum)

10. Any other constructive comments to add? Any improvements to suggest regarding grammar and mechanics and style and tone? You could, and probably should, offer some comments with the “Essay Grading Rubric – General” handout in mind (find it in the “Handouts” folder on Blackboard). The Know Your Audience handout might also be instructive and help you offer useful constructive criticism.

11. Evaluate the introduction. What do you expect from the rest of the essay? What kind of context/background has the author provided for the reader? Does it seem like enough context? Has the author primarily listed a series of general claims that will need to be developed (created an outline of the essay), or has the author simply shown the problem by presenting an anecdote or an example that leads to a single claim/thesis statement? Has the author done something else entirely? Does it seem like enough set up for the rest of the essay? Too little? Too much? What has the introduction committed the author to do – to develop — in the rest of the essay? Ultimately, does the introduction give the reader a clear sense of the main issue/problem? If the introduction contains a thesis statement, evaluate it. (80 words minimum)

12. 80 word minimum

Evaluate the first body paragraph. What is its main purpose? Does it have a single purpose (good), or does it seemingly have more than one purpose vying for control (not so good)? How well does it achieve the main purpose? Is the paragraph built around a single controlling claim, or is it essentially built around an example? What is the paragraph made of? Is it essentially one claim + one example? A summary of a source? A main claim + reason(s) + evidence? What types of evidence are used? Are there any claims that would benefit from some SHOWing, from a concrete example or detail? Are there any claims that would benefit from the addition of a number or statistic? Do you have alternative or additional ideas for developing the paragraph? Any small items in need of improvement – the grammar and mechanics and style and tone – that you can mention? Anything other advice or comments to offer?

13. Evaluate the second body paragraph. What is its main purpose? Does it have a single purpose (good), or does it seemingly have more than one purpose vying for control (not so good)? How well does it achieve the main purpose? Is the paragraph built around a single controlling claim, or is it essentially built around an example? What is the paragraph made of? Is it essentially one claim + one example? A summary of a source? A main claim + reason(s) + evidence? What types of evidence are used? Are there any claims that would benefit from some SHOWing, from a concrete example or detail? Are there any claims that would benefit from the addition of a number or statistic? Do you have alternative or additional ideas for developing the paragraph? Any small items in need of improvement – the grammar and mechanics and style and tone – that you can mention? Anything other advice or comments to offer?

14. Evaluate the third body paragraph. What is its main purpose? Does it have a single purpose (good), or does it seemingly have more than one purpose vying for control (not so good)? How well does it achieve the main purpose? Is the paragraph built around a single controlling claim, or is it essentially built around an example? What is the paragraph made of? Is it essentially one claim + one example? A summary of a source? A main claim + reason(s) + evidence? What types of evidence are used? Are there any claims that would benefit from some SHOWing, from a concrete example or detail? Are there any claims that would benefit from the addition of a number or statistic? Do you have alternative or additional ideas for developing the paragraph? Any small items in need of improvement – the grammar and mechanics and style and tone – that you can mention? Anything other advice or comments to offer?

15. Evaluate the fourth body paragraph. What is its main purpose? Does it have a single purpose (good), or does it seemingly have more than one purpose vying for control (not so good)? How well does it achieve the main purpose? Is the paragraph built around a single controlling claim, or is it essentially built around an example? What is the paragraph made of? Is it essentially one claim + one example? A summary of a source? A main claim + reason(s) + evidence? What types of evidence are used? Are there any claims that would benefit from some SHOWing, from a concrete example or detail? Are there any claims that would benefit from the addition of a number or statistic? Do you have alternative or additional ideas for developing the paragraph? Any small items in need of improvement – the grammar and mechanics and style and tone – that you can mention? Anything other advice or comments to offer?

16. Evaluate the conclusion. Does it merely restate the major claims from the body of the essay, or does it offer something more? In other words, is it a summary or a conclusion? Does it close the essay with a larger significance and relevance (relative to the smaller significance of individual body paragraphs)? Does it revisit a story or detail or phrasing from the introduction to give the reader the impression of coming full circle and therefore reaching the natural end of the paper? Is the conclusion effective? Why or why not? Do you have any alternative ideas for concluding the essay? Any additions to recommend to the author? Anything other advice or comments to offer regarding this paragraph?

17. What is the main issue the author will be developing in the essay? The thesis statement or your succinct version of the issue both work as a response to this question. What is the first thing the author gives you to make you believe them? Brief (one sentence) description of the main point or purpose of the second paragraph. Combine what the author DOES and SAYS in this paragraph. What is the second thing the author gives you to make you believe them? What is the third thing the author gives you to make you believe them? What is the fourth thing the author gives you to make you believe them? What larger significance does the author connect to the main issue in the conclusion? What does your five or six sentence portrayal of the essay reveal?

18. 60 word minimum

Evaluate the author’s use of outside sources. Are the sources blended into the essay smoothly and skillfully? Does the author integrate the sources in a variety of ways, or does the author rely on a repetitive, robotic integration approach? Are the sources used for various purposes – providing a claim, contributing a reason, offering a piece of evidence – or does each source serve the same purpose? Does the author make use of paraphrase (good), or does the author rely solely on direct quotes? Could or should any of the quotes be converted to a paraphrase? Anything other advice or comments to offer regarding sources?

19. Does the author make any connections between the main issue/subject and unrelated (until the author made the connection) subjects such as historical or current events, philosophy, psychology, sociology, literature, scientific theories, famous quotes, and so on? If so, how well does the connection “work”?

20. Any other constructive comments to add? Any improvements to suggest regarding grammar and mechanics and style and tone? You could, and probably should, offer some comments with the “Essay Grading Rubric – General” handout in mind (find it in the “Handouts” folder on Blackboard). The Know Your Audience handout might also be instructive and help you offer useful constructive criticism.

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