What is the most important, specific step a new writer should take when deciding the purpose of an essay?

Instructions: Using our assigned readings so far in the course, offer advice to a beginning writer on how to plan an essay and follow the writing process. What is the most important, specific step a new writer should take when deciding the purpose of an essay? Remember to consider both the goal of the writing, and the motivation behind the writing.

Please note: You’re going to be evaluated for your ability to stay on task. Your goal here is to provide a single piece of advice to a beginning writer, and not simply offer as much advice as possible. Please remember to explain what the advice is, offer the reason why the advice is solid, explain the origin of the advice (from our assigned readings), and give an example of the advice working.

Your response must be between 200 to 400 words.  The assignment must be submitted as a Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx file type). If you submit the assignment using a different format, you will be asked to submit the assignment again.

Rubric

Minor Essay RubricMinor Essay RubricCriteriaRatingsPtsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDevelopment of PurposeYour essay needs to establish a clear purpose to the writing, providing a clear introduction that offers context to the writing, consideration of exigency, and development of a focused thesis related to the assignment prompt.10.0 to >8.5 ptsExemplaryContains a clear thesis that is relevant to the prompt and provides purpose and reasoning. Provides a clear context to the overall goals of writing this essay — this context is relevant to the selected thesis, rather than just repeating the assignment prompt.8.5 to >7.5 ptsProficientProvides a clear thesis with purpose and reasoning. Context present, but only repeats the assignment prompt.7.5 to >6.5 ptsSatisfactoryProvides a clear thesis with purpose and reasoning. Lacks context.6.5 to >4.5 ptsDevelopingProvides an unclear thesis, or thesis is not relevant to the overall goals of the assignment4.5 to >0.0 ptsNeeds ImprovementThesis is completely confusing. Alternatively, answer is irrelevant to the assigned question.0.0 ptsMissing, or UnacceptablePurpose is not appropriate to the assignment, or the purpose is missing.10.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeClarity of ReasoningSupporting details should explain why you have accepted certain ideas to be true — there should be a clear establishment of why you think the way you think, and elaboration on how an outsider might understand your thinking (which may include illustrations of your points through clear, self-created examples)10.0 to >8.5 ptsExemplaryIdeas are fully developed and connected to thesis — both explains and illustrates idea to audience, making it clear and understandable.8.5 to >7.5 ptsProficientIdeas are mostly developed, and mostly connected to thesis — provides explanation and illustration of points, even if they are somewhat muddled.7.5 to >6.5 ptsSatisfactoryIdeas are connected to thesis — provides at least an explanation or illustration of points, but may be missing one or the other.6.5 to >4.5 ptsDevelopingIdeas are not relevant to the thesis, or make little sense. No clear explanation of thinking or illustration of point present.4.5 to >0.0 ptsNeeds ImprovementSimply summarizes source material — no effort made to answer question posed in prompt.0.0 ptsMissing, or UnacceptableReasoning is not present, or is so confusing that it only evokes confusion in the audience.10.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomePresentation of EvidenceSource material has been synthesized into your point — the source material is used to help clarify the origin of your point, or to help give precedence to your reasoning.10.0 to >8.5 ptsExemplaryClear and correct synthesis of source material. Reasoning is backed up with source material. Uses appropriate documentation methods.8.5 to >7.5 ptsProficientPresents source material that backs up source material, but may lack clear explanation of how source material supports reasoning. There may be some issues with documentation, but at minimum contains a signal phrase and quotation marks.7.5 to >6.5 ptsSatisfactorySource material present and relevant to thesis; however, there are clear errors in documentation or synthesis of material.6.5 to >4.5 ptsDevelopingSource material is irrelevant to thesis, or inadequate to defend reasoning. Little to no effort made to properly document material. May only summarize the material, rather than providing a direct quotation.4.5 to >0.0 ptsNeeds ImprovementEvidence provided is not used correctly (misinterpreted or misquoted).0.0 ptsMissing, or UnacceptableFails to provide evidence, or evidence is not one of the assigned sources.10.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeReflection of PurposeBy the end of the essay, you should take time to reflect on the significance of your ideas — why do you think your ideas will matter to your audience, or what actions do you think your audience should take now that they understand your purpose?10.0 to >8.5 ptsExemplaryFinal conclusion explains relevancy of ideas to audience, and offers either a reflection on the significance of the ideas presented, or provides a final call to action to the audience.8.5 to >7.5 ptsProficientFinal conclusion attempts to explain relevancy of ideas to audience, but may not adequately elaborate on that significance.7.5 to >6.5 ptsSatisfactoryFinal conclusion provides a weak explanation of the relevancy of the ideas to the audience.6.5 to >4.5 ptsDevelopingFinal conclusion simply restates the main ideas of the essay.4.5 to >0.0 ptsNeeds ImprovementConclusion is irrelevant to the thesis provided.0.0 ptsMissing, or UnacceptableConclusion missing.10.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEvidence of Revision, Editing, and FormatThis is still an essay — there should be signs that you reviewed the material, revised for style and ease of reading, edited for grammatical issues, and formatted the essay to conform to MLA guidelines.10.0 to >8.5 ptsExemplaryEssay shows clear signs of revision — material is polished and contains almost no errors.8.5 to >7.5 ptsProficientEssay mostly revised, though could use some polish for either grammar, sentence structure, style, or MLA format.7.5 to >6.5 ptsSatisfactoryEssay needs some revision — there are clear errors in either sentence structure, grammar, style choices, or MLA format.6.5 to >4.5 ptsDevelopingLimited signs of revision — there are significant errors in either sentence structure, style choices, grammar or MLA format. Begins to hinder the readability of the essay.4.5 to >0.0 ptsNeeds ImprovementErrors are significant, and prevent readability of material.0.0 ptsUnacceptableEssay cannot be understood in current condition.10.0 pts
Total Points: 50.0PreviousNext

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