Critical Thinking & Information Literacy
Across the Curriculum
Final Essay Assignment
English 201: James Torrence
Over the last three or four weeks of the quarter, you’ll be putting together your final essay for this class.
Here are some things to think about while you’re writing:
Your three short essays and group essay should be steppingstones to this final.
Please DO incorporate concepts, ideas, information, sources, arguments that you used in your previous essays.
Please DO NOT cut and paste segments of other texts into a Frankenstein monster.
The feedback I’ve given you on your short essays is there to inform you of your strengths and weaknesses.
The feedback you get during your presentation can help you to strengthen your arguments and build rebuttals.
Successful essays will demonstrate:
Personal growth as reflected in the development of your thesis and argument this quarter.
Maturity in the ability to analyze, critique and develop your own argument and those of your sources.
Mastery of the information skills and concepts of MLA documentation we studied this quarter.
Logic in the organization: your mind at work behind the structure of this essay.
Professionalism in writing quality. Revise your mechanics and expression until they are flawless.
Here are my grading criteria for this final essay: Content: (30%)
Though I’ve been reiterating this since the first week of the quarter, your essay needs to be described by the
criteria on the “Powerful Thesis” handout. Near the front of your essay, I will be looking for a clear,
analytical or persuasive thesis, one that is well-supported by examples, reasoned thought, and argumentation
as appropriate. The essay should be 8 to 10 full pages long. Remember that this is a research
essay, not a personal essay. I’m looking for your opinion, but it needs to be backed up by researched,
documented, and verifiable facts and information. If you’re still struggling with the concept of argumentation,
review pages 37 to 48 in your textbook and then ask me about it.
As always, I will be looking for logical topic order, developed paragraphs (4 to 8 sentences long), symmetry (i.e a
good introduction and conclusion), and smooth transitions.
The tone of your essay needs to be appropriate to the audience, topic and situation. Your language needs to be
clear, precise, and free of jargon or slang.
Proofread and revise.
Standard MLA-style documentation:
The bibliography for the final essay is not to be annotated. It should contain at least eight (8) sources.
Of course, all of them should be cited in the text of the essay. If any source is not cited in the text of the
essay, it doesn’t belong in the bibliography. Model your bibliography and in-text citations after the examples in section
“M” of your textbook. In-text citation must be complete and consistent. Once more, cite everything that
is not common knowledge or your own idea.
Topic and sentence outlines: (10%)
Check the example on the reverse side of this sheet.
Proper MLA Format and Pagination:
Use the models in the textbook, and master your word processor.
This assignment is worth 30% of your grade for the quarter.
Topic outlines are due in class on Wednesday of week 9.
Topic outlines must be emailed by Monday of week 10.
Sentence outlines are due in class on Wednesday of week 10.
Sentence outlines must be emailed by Thursday of week 10.
Rough drafts are due in class on Monday of week 11.
Final drafts must be emailed by Wednesday, March 21st.