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Essay 3

Analytical Research Essay

1st Draft Due: Friday, November 19

Final Draft Due: Wednesday, December 8

Length Requirement: 5-7 pages

Audience: Consider your subject matter, then decide who would be the best or most likely

audience for such a topic. Imagine that your audience includes experts in the topic you are

discussing. Your tone and voice should be appropriate for someone addressing experts in the

field. For instance, if you chose to discuss how the concerns of farmers weigh into the decisions

of politicians, you might consider your audience to be farmers as a whole and others in the

agricultural industry. On the other hand, you might want to consider politicians or the electorate

as your audience. Determining your audience depends on who you think needs to hear your

report. It is possible that once you get into the revision process, your perception of the

appropriate audience may change. And ideally, your overall thesis should evolve as you gather

evidence and revise your essay.

Your Assignment: The goal of this assignment is to choose a topic of personal interest, then

utilize the library database and other credible sources to provide a comprehensive, objective

analysis of the research material. You will start your research very broad, and then become more

specific as you locate sources. Determine your thesis statement based on the exercises and

research done prior to this assignment. Your thesis should present an original viewpoint on your

subject matter. This is not an argumentative or persuasive essay. You will utilize and interpret

sources to support your analysis of the topic. Choose sources that provide supporting facts,

definitions, or anecdotes. You should not use sources to make your point for you. Present your

viewpoint without personal bias or emotional language, but instead with logical reasoning. Your

essay must utilize at least 3 academic/scholarly sources. Other sources may be included, but

they will not count toward the 3 sources required by the assignment, and they must be credible.

You must utilize at least 3 quotations in your essay. Block quotes are highly discouraged.

Format: MLA or APA format, Times New Roman, 12-point font, one-inch margins, double

spaced. Number your pages and include a header at the top left corner of the page with your

name, my name, the class name, and the date. Provide a Works Cited page for any and all

sources referenced (not included in page count). Keep in mind that there are proper ways of

citing your own primary research in both MLA and APA formats. And as always, please give

your paper an appropriate title. Be creative!


This assignment is designed to address the following Learning Outcomes:

The ability to write in a range of genres, using appropriate rhetorical conventions.

Competency in reading, quoting and citing sources, as well as competency in balancing the

writer’s voice with secondary sources.

The ability to employ flexible strategies for generating and revising your writing.

Engage in multiple methods of inquiry.

The ability to assess a piece of writing, identifying arguments and recognizing strategies for

improvement, both in the works of others and your own work.

Produce texts that: have a clear purpose; respond to the needs of intended audiences; assume

an appropriate stance; adopt an appropriate voice, tone, style, and level of formality; use

appropriate conventions of format and structure.

Work with others to improve your own and others’ texts; balance the advantages of relying

on others with taking responsibility for your own work.

Employ appropriate conventions for structure, paragraphing, mechanics, and format;

acknowledge the work of others when appropriate; use a standard documentation format as

needed; control syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Locate, evaluate, and use primary and secondary research material, while employing

appropriate textual conventions for incorporating ideas from sources (e.g., introducing and

incorporating quotations; quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing).

Use strategies—such as analysis, interpretation, synthesis, response, critique, and

design/redesign—to compose texts that integrate your ideas with those from appropriate



Your paper will be evaluated on the following four criteria:

1. Content/Purpose – The content of your essay should be appropriate to the subject matter.
Be sure that all information provided is pertinent to the point you are trying to make.

Extraneous information may confuse your message and cause you to lose your audience.

Please state your purpose in a direct thesis statement in your introductory paragraph. It

should be clear the point you are trying to make, and that it is significant.

2. Coherence – Read and re-read your work to make sure you are getting your points across.
Have a friend read it as well to ensure they can understand it. Use appropriate transitions

between paragraphs. Your readers must be able to follow your progression of thought, so

be sure to make it clear why you are moving from one point to the next. It’s okay to

remind your reader of what has come before, so long as you are not insulting their

intelligence. Ask yourself why you shift from one piece of information to the next and if

that reasoning is clear in your writing.

3. Language/Mechanics – Use your spelling/grammar check. Minor errors will be excused
but noted. Errors that confuse your message will lose you points. Incorporate feedback

from your peers and utilize the school’s Writing Commons and Academic Success Center

for further help.

4. Format – See formatting instructions above.


This is a qualitative rubric, meaning no specific points are assigned to the listed levels of

achievement. The rubric demonstrates how essays will be evaluated, providing a descriptive

scale, from left to right, of essays that would receive a lower grade to essays that would receive a

higher grade. It is based on the above explanations of assessment.

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4

Content/Purpose The focus of the
essay is broad and
fails to make a
clear analytical
thesis statement.
Essay is guided
primarily by
and does not
employ clear
logical reasoning.
No quotations are
included, or if
they are, they are
dropped in
without clear

The focus of the
essay is a bit
broad, failing to
home in on a
specific aspect of
the subject. The
author provides a
viewpoint on the
subject, but not
necessarily an
analytical thesis.
Author maintains
an objective
viewpoint for
some of the
essay, but allows
interpretation to
guide some
portions of their
Reasoning used to
justify the thesis is
not explained
Quotations are
not integrated
correctly, and are
used primarily to
provide basic
facts rather than
presenting unique
explanations or

The essay
maintains focus
on relevant
material for most
of the essay,
though may
information or
broad view of the
subject matter.
Essay contains a
clear thesis, even
if not stated
explicitly. Author
maintains an
objective tone for
most of the essay,
occasionally may
include some
language or
Author uses
reason and logic
to analyze
sources, though
explanations may
lack detail.
Quotations are
usually integrated
correctly, and are
relevant to the
author’s points,
though may
information that
could easily be

The essay
maintains focus
on only that
material which is
relevant to the
thesis and does
not include
Includes a specific
area of focus,
rather than
speaking about a
broad subject
matter. An explicit
thesis statement
is included in the
Author maintains
an objective tone,
free from bias,
and uses reason
and logic to
analyze sources.
Includes the 3
academic sources,
and any
subsequent, non-
academic sources
are considered
Quotations are
correctly, and
provide unique
viewpoints that
could not
otherwise be
paraphrased or

restated by the

Coherence There is
understanding the
author’s points
and overall
message. The
thesis statement
is vague or not
present, and
cannot be easily
inferred by the
content of the
essay. Sentence
structure and
word choice lead
to frequent
confusion. No
clear reason for,
or transitions
paragraphs. There
is no clear sense
of structure to the
essay. Relevance
of source material
is doubtful. The
author fails to
convey the
authority of their
sources, and does
not clearly
connect the
source material to
their ideas.

There is some
understanding the
author’s points,
but the overall
message of the
essay is clear. The
thesis may
contain vague
language, but can
be understood
through context.
There may be
confusion due to
structure and
word choice.
paragraphs are
often abrupt and
it is not always
clear why the
author is moving
from one subject
to the next. The
author does not
always make clear
between their
thoughts and
referenced source
material, and
sources may not
be introduced
correctly. It is
difficult at times
to follow the
author’s line of
reasoning as the
essay progresses.

The author’s
points may
sometimes lack
connection, but
can be inferred
without great
There may be
confusion due to
structure. The
essay contains a
clear thesis
though may
include some
vague language.
paragraphs are
logical, but may
sometimes be
abrupt. The shift
from one aspect
of the topic to
another is
sudden, and may
not always
explore key
details to their
fullest effect. The
author makes a
clear connection
between their
ideas and
referenced source
material, though
source may not
always be
introduced to the
fullest effect. The
essay follows a

The author’s
points are easy to
follow and
proceed using
logic and reason.
The essay
contains a
definitive thesis
statement. There
are appropriate
paragraphs. The
presence of
source material in
the essay is
clearly justified by
the author’s
explanations and
is relevant to the
overall thesis. All
content pertains
to a logical
progression of the
reasoning for
their thesis

progression of
thought from the
author’s thesis.

Formatting Author does not
show signs of
following a style
guide. Incorrect
font and size
used. Margins and
spacing do not
meet the one-inch
or double spaced
requirements. No
header included.
Does not cite
sources. Does not
include a Works
Cited or
References page.
Title is missing or
simply says “Essay
3.” Page count is
below the 5-7

Author clearly
attempts to
follow some style
guide, though
specific style
guide may be
unclear. Incorrect
font and size
used. One-inch
margins, double
spaced. Header
included with at
least your name
and the date.
Includes a Works
Cited or
References page
for any and all
referenced (not
included in page
count), that at
least attempts to
follow proper
format. Title is
generic or does
not attempt to
address the
subject matter.
Page count is
below the 5-7

Clear attempt to
follow MLA or
APA format,
though there may
be some minor
errors. Times New
Roman, 12-point
font, one-inch
margins, double
spaced. Header
included with at
least your name
and the date.
Includes a Works
Cited or
References page
for any and all
referenced (not
included in page
count), that at
least attempts to
follow proper
format. Includes
an appropriate
title. Meets the 5-
7 page

format, Times
New Roman, 12-
point font, one-
inch margins,
double spaced.
Numbered pages.
Header included
at the top left
corner of the page
with your name,
instructor’s name,
the class name,
and the date.
Includes a Works
Cited or
References page
for any and all
referenced (not
included in page
count). Includes
an appropriate
and original title.
Meets the 5-7

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