Social Sciences Essay

W233 – Summer 2006

K. Smith

  1. Argues intelligently for acceptance of writer’s research and the importance of the topic under consideration.  The “argument” should be subtle--- the writer’s research will support their claim(s).
  1. “I” is used only to indicate writer’s personal experience with the topic discussed, IF appropriate.  The fact that he/she has written the essay and makes his/her points makes the use of “I think” unnecessary and redundant.
  1. Reports and interprets fresh, relevant, factual information from written and oral sources.
  1. Provides all necessary information that reader seeks.  Anticipates and answers questions that members of audience would have while reading & provides answers to those questions.
  1. Shows that writer has first located from research all the subtopics within the general topic, narrowed the topic considerably, then found subtopics within the narrowed topic.  In other words, they are discussing a lot about a little rather than a little about a lot.
  1. Uses sources appropriate to the level of discussion and answers to project plan questions.  Choice of source materials makes selectivity and discernment very clear.
  1. Includes signal words and phrases that indicate writer’s agreement or disagreement with source statements.  Examples include however, whereas, similarly, “although X asserts Y,” etc. (others have been discussed in class).
  1. Shows knowledge of audience knowledge level.  It is written with attention to use of appropriate vocabulary and format.
  1. Makes clear connections between all facts and explanations provided and the topic being discussed so that readers do not ask, “why is the writer telling me this?” or “What does this have to do with anything else?”
  1. Uses transitional words and phrases and/or headings and subheadings as appropriate.
  1. Has visuals or graphics developed by writer or adapted from source materials (if the latter, credit is given through citing source of original material).
  1. Has a title that both indicates the subject and draws the reader in.
  1. Is scholarly/ethical--- gives credit to sources for ideas and information as appropriate.
  2. Is original and brilliant.