Instructor Review of Rough Draft for Essay 1, English 101



Does the introduction paragraph provide enough background on the conversation the writer is entering, including the articles and film that the writer is engaging with, including the authors and full titles of the articles as well as the film’s name and director? X

Thesis statement

Does the introduction end with an appropriate thesis statement that includes “I say,” the writer’s own response to the conversation? X

Thesis statement

Is the thesis clearly worded?


Topic sentences of body paragraphs

Do all the body paragraphs begin with appropriate topic sentences that state the main idea of each paragraph, including the writer’s “I say” response, including transitions? Do the topic sentences also support the thesis? X

Development of the body paragraphs

Do all the body paragraphs contain enough relevant examples, paraphrased details, and quotations from the articles, film, and other relevant sources, including personal experience and observation where appropriate? X

Organization of body paragraphs

Are the body paragraphs well organized in a logical and easy to follow manner? X



This draft has many problems with focus and structure:

You have to begin with your name at the top of the required MLA headings.

You must number your pages or you will receive a 5-point deduction on your final Essay 1 draft. If you don’t know how to do this on your document, email me and tell me what type of program you are using (such as Microsoft Word).

Your draft doesn’t actually respond to the question in the essay topic, which was why do happiness and/or meaning matter?

Your draft also doesn’t follow the “Guidelines for How to Structure Your Essay” that were posted in Canvas. For example, it has a question in the place where your thesis should be, and your thesis cannot be a question. Also, as I just said, your thesis has to respond to the actual question in the topic, and yours doesn’t. In order to improve your essay and ensure that you receive at least a passing grade on your final grade for Essay 1, you need to

Review the Powerpoint called “Guidelines for How to Structure Your Essay” in Canvas;

Read the “Important Information for Essay 1” item in Canvas;

Read the handout called “The Structure of a College Essay” that I have attached to the Comments section in Submission Details for your Rough Draft for Essay 1.

Remember also that there are free non-credit classes that you can take along with English 101 to help you with your essay writing skills. See the item in the Week 1 module for the schedules and numbers for these courses. I’m pretty sure that you can still enroll in one of these courses if you want to.

Your introduction paragraph doesn’t follow the guidelines for introducing the names of the authors you have chosen to use in your essay, and the titles of their essays, and the name of the movie you have chosen to use, and the director’s name. You MUST include all this in your introduction paragraph. Then, for the rest of the essay, you don’t use the titles of the article again; you will just use the author’s last name. For the movie, you can refer to it either by its name in the body of the essay or its director’s name, but don’t give both pieces of information every time you discuss the movie because it is not necessary.

Your thesis is missing your main response to the topic question and the ideas of the sources you will be engaging with in your body paragraphs. Revise it so that it includes your “I say” response, your main idea about the topic question that is then developed through your analysis of the articles and film. Remember that it cannot be a question.

So far, you don’t have clear and distinct main points in the topic sentences of your body paragraphs, and your body paragraphs don’t have enough focus on just one main idea. The guidelines say that you should have no more than 3 body paragraphs also.

Don’t forget to include transitions in your topic sentences. College professors expect you to have adequate transitions at the beginning of each body paragraph but not the very basic “first,” “second,” “third” ones that you might have been encouraged to use in high school. In college, you are expected to learn how to use more sophisticated, varied, and graceful transitions. Review Chapter 8 in They Say, I Say for help with this.

The body paragraphs don’t have enough specific details from at least two articles in addition to the movie. Remember that you are trying to “enter the conversation” with the specific authors and filmmakers you have chosen to include in your essay, so the majority of your body paragraphs should be specific details from the articles and movie, along with your analysis of them. One quotation from one article is not nearly enough. You also need to discuss how these authors and filmmakers use the persuasive appeals of logos, ethos, and pathos to present their arguments about the topics.

Your final draft will need to include a Works Cited page.

This draft has some serious problems with focus and structure. Revise with my comments in mind and you can make it better. Please note that I haven’t reviewed it for grammar or punctuation because at this point, I am only looking for those aspects of the essay described on this form.

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