not write the way you speak (clarify causal relation between sentences; choose
the precise words carefully and avoid generalized verbs); avoid the passive
voice, dangling pronouns and unspecified pronouns.
Describe fictional narrative only in the present simple; start with a
punch-line rather than with a historical survey of the theme; check spelling
(including names); pay attention to verb-noun coordination; explain quotation
marks unless used for quoting.
out from a very short passage or scene and a limited set of questions; try
to substantiate the argument with textual evidence.
not base your findings on personal reaction; do not assume audience reception
intentions; do not quote if you can paraphrase; provide plot synopsis only when
it serves your argument; do not mention irrelevant details.
Provide a clear argument at the beginning and work systematically
through its implications; make sure that the argument does not rely only on
what has already been discussed in class or secondary material.
for formulations to which your friends will react, “I never thought about that!”; keep the same level of
innovation and motivated questioning throughout the paper.
Grading scale: style
§ 3.6–4.0: Elegant writing, flowing argument with well-structured paragraphs,
topical sentences and transitions.
§ 2.8–3.5: No jarring language, clear structure. Few linguistic mistakes. A few awkward phrases.
§ 1.8–2.7: Colloquial or ungrammatical language. Little attention to
§ F–1.7: Sloppy language with frequent grammatical errors.
Grading scale: exposition
n 3.6–4.0: Coherent argument throughout. Well-substantiated by specific
textual evidence. Very concise argumentation with little “fat” in descriptions.
n 2.8–3.5: Coherent argument, although with some deviation to unrelated
n 1.8–2.7: Mixture of argumentation and unmotivated descriptive
passages. No examples from text.
n F–1.7: Drawn, descriptive paragraphs unmotivated by any argument.
Grading scale: originality
n 3.6–4.0: An argument most of the other students are likely to have never
thought about before, or synthesizing more than a single argument.
n 2.8–3.5: Solid argument, although more expected and less complex.
n 1.8–2.7: Description of easily-discernible textual theme or style, or
recycling of argument made in class.
n F–1.7: No argument.