Eng1500

Dyer 1

Example (Illustration) Essay

It is natural to use examples to prove points. You do it all the time and probably did it last week in your narrative essay. In this essay, the heaviest part of your grade comes from how effectively you usethree examplesto prove a thesis. The criteria for a good example are specificity, relevance,andlogical infallibility.

Thethesis statementwill be argumentative. Moreover, it must be specific enough to defend in a very short paper. “Good parenting is important” is way too general. “Using positive reinforcement instead of spanking” is better. This paper can be about whatever you like, so long as it’s very specific and well supported by three examples.

Organization is important in this paper. Consider organizing your examples from most general to most specific, chronologically, by type, or in a logical sequence in which the examples build upon one another.

This paper must be at least 375 words and cannot exceed 750.

Example Paper Synopsis

Sonya’s thesis is that the death penalty is an inappropriate punishment for serious offences in a moral society. To prove her point, she uses examples of someone who was truly sorry for what he’d done, someone who shouted horrible things at his victim’s family right before being publicly executed, and of a man who was electrocuted and later proven innocent.

Sample Topics
A key element of good parenting
Educational reform
Why handguns should be illegal in the U.S./Why they shouldn’t

Eng1500
Descriptive Narrative Essay

Dyer 2

Grading Rubric
(Use these criteria as a checklist)

10 pts

A riveting introduction which succeeds in getting the reader’s attention and leading the reader willingly into your paper

10 to -40

A strategically placed thesis, based on something you firmly believe, intended to make readers agree with you, and around which the entire essay is formed

5

Smooth, natural transitions that guide the reader through the paragraphs of your paper

15

3 Relevant examples

15

Specificity, relevance, and logical validity of three examples in body of paper—how they are argued.

0 to -10

The paper as a whole must be focused. Stay on track. If there are extraneous elements of the paper which do not work to promote your thesis or persuade the reader (however subtly), revise/remove them.

10

A conclusion which drives your point home, makes the reader feel something, or invites the reader to think about the topic of your paper more or in greater depth. The conclusion cannot be a simply restatement your thesis and main points. That is boring, and you are a better writer than that.

0 to -30

1 1/2 to 3 double spaced pages in MLA format (375-750 words)

10

Essay should be organized for optimum impact on reader. Consider using the following: a) general to specific b) chronological c)spatial d) some permutation of the above e) a logical structure intended to optimize your argument f) an organization of your own device, designed to hypnotize the reader through your own virtuosity, which you know is perfect from the very core of your being, despite any prescriptive tried and true programmatic methods of organizations such as the aforementioned.

15 to -25

Correct grammar. Check for apostrophe usage, capitalization of proper nouns, subject verb agreement, verb tense, correct prepositions, comma splices, commas before coordinating conjunctions, correctly used colons and semicolons (if used at all), correctly placed modifiers, and pronoun agreement.

0 to -15

No outside sources necessary. If you do use one or more outside sources, be sure to cite them in MLA format and include a works cited page.

5 to -5

Style. Avoid faulty parallelism. As a general rule, avoid passive voice unless you feel it is absolutely necessary. If even one sentence is slightly confusing to the reader or to you, it is probably too long, awkward, or convoluted. Aim for a lean, athletic style that takes no prisoners.

5

An interesting, appropriate title that gets the reader’s attention.

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