text citations correct works cited page references W r i t i n g

text citations correct works cited page references W r i t i n g

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Assignment:  Choose any play from our book, then focus on a specific theme from the play and then write a researched literary analysis paper on the specific theme you have chosen.  Make sure your theme is interesting, focused, and manageable and you make an arguable claim.  

Secondary sources:  You must use at least 3 (of the 5) scholarly sources from your annotated bibliography. [And don’t forget your Primary source (the play)]

Purpose of Secondary Sources:  Use your secondary sources as support for your argument, the same way you use the primary text as support/evidence.  Remember this is your paper not a paper about what other people have said about your topic.  Do not allow your sources to take over.  Although we will be introducing outside research, this is not a “Research Paper.”  Rather, this is an extended, well-supported literary analysis, just like the other papers we have written.  In other words, you should be conducting your own analysis, not merely listing and reporting what others have said on the topic.  Use the secondary sources to help prove your thesis. You must be very careful not to let your “experts” take over the conversation.  This is your thesis and ideas.  You are not merely summarizing what other people have to say. Your paper should include NO more than 20% of quoted material; use the turnitin report.

Your essay will be graded based upon the following categories:

(25) OVERALL CONTENT:  entire paper achieves unity, coherence, and completeness.

Topic:  Chosen topic is a central issue in the text, interesting, arguable and focused.

Argument:  Paper contains a central argument appropriate to assignment, central issue in text, arguable, worth writing about, focused, well developed, complete, and coherent.

Introduction:  Provides the necessary information for your reader to understand your central argument; previews main points and central idea. 

Thesis Statement: 

A strong, original, and arguable thesis statement that is well supported by your evidence.

Takes a stand on a specific subject.

Justifies discussion.

Expresses one central argument.

Controls the whole paper.

Body Paragraphs:

Each paragraph contains one main point that is focused and relates/connects to central argument.

  • Each paragraph relates to each other and central argument.

Paragraphs and main points are fully developed and supported.

  • Evidence:  Paper contains specific evidence that supports all main points and central argument.

Conclusion:  Your conclusion recaps your main points and central argument and escorts your reader out of your paper.


Central Argument:

  • Arguable and worth arguing.

Contains insight into an aspect of the text(s) that may not be seen at first glance

Persuasive to audience and supported by textual evidence.

Includes all main points necessary to prove central argument.

  • Organization:  main points are presented in a logical argumentative structure, appropriate in order to arrive at the central argument.
  • Evidence:
  • Direct quotes are only used when paraphrase and summarizing of text are inadequate proof or evidence.
  • Specific evidence is relevant to corresponding main points and central argument
  • All evidence contributes to central argument.
  • Explanation of relevance:

Does not assume your reader sees what you see

Evidence is introduced and integrated into paragraph.

  • Explanation and analysis of evidence is provided after evidence is presented, in order to show your reader how and why the evidence supports the main point.
  • Supports main points and central argument
  • Consists of paraphrasing, summarizing, and when necessary direct quotes.
  • Relevance:


  • Rhetorical Structure:  standard structural format of a paper.

Thesis:  You state your thesis statement clearly and it appears at the end of your introduction.

Body Paragraphs:  Your paper proceeds logically and smoothly.

Topic sentences: Appear at the beginning of the paragraph and inform your reader of the point to be presented.

  • Transitions: Use transitional words and sentences between ideas and paragraphs. 

Each body paragraph:

Connected to main points and central argument.

  • Presentation: Clear and organized, reader can see your reasons for organizing and dividing the sub-sections in the manner you have chosen.
  • Conclusion:  recaps main points and central argument.
  • Argumentative Structure:  Logical progression of main points leading your reader to your central argument.
  • Thesis: Contains central argument.

Body paragraphs:

  • Main points are presented and proven in a logical order (A + B + C + D = E)
  • After each main point is presented and proven a connection is established to the central argument (thesis)

Transitions: appear either at end or beginning of paragraph to establish connection between main points


  • Correct in-text citations

Correct works cited page

  • References to text are specific, clear, and accurate.
  • (10) TECHNICAL QUALITY:  Uses language that is exact, forceful, and comprehensive.

Note:  Each above category is independent to some extent but also interconnected.  Each category contributes to overall quality of paper and each category includes multiple aspects.  Therefore, if you focus on making each category the best you can and understand how each category connects to the others you will produce a unified, coherent, and complete analysis of your topic.  Another way to see it is by analogy:  Your paper is like a story consisting of specific elements that contribute to the overall ideas in a story, such as, characters, setting, point of view, diction, metaphors and etcetera.  Each of these elements contributes to the overall themes and ideas the author wants to the reader understand and believe. 

Guidelines for Writing:

Keep returning to your points.

  • Uses material from the work as evidence to support your argument; do not retell the story

Include NO details from the work unless you have clearly connected them to your points

  • Develop your topic, make it bigger than it was when you began
  • Always strive to make your statements exact, comprehensive and forceful.

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