NROC Developmental English
Unit 5: Analysis through Definition
Writing Assignment and Rubric
Write a multi-paragraph essay providing (defining) your personal criteria for happiness and exploring whether or not you have achieved happiness based on these criteria. For this writing assignment, your response should be persuasive, thoughtful, and detailed, showing various points that support both the criteria you have chosen to define happiness and your discussion of how closely you currently match this definition. Logical evidence that backs up your opinion should be used throughout.
The essay should clearly explain what you think it means to be happy and whether or not you currently fit or match the definition you present. The first paragraph will offer an interesting introduction that pulls the reader into your views on how happiness should be defined using specific criteria. The following two paragraphs need to include main points that prove how and why your criteria define happiness (one criterion per paragraph), evidence supporting these criteria, and analysis explaining how the evidence supports each point. The next paragraph (#4), needs to discuss whether or not your situation matches the criteria you used to define happiness and answers the question, Based on your definition, are you currently happy? Its okay for the answer to this question to be no, but you should have some idea of what you might need to do to be happier, if that is one of your goals. You may be content as is, which is great. For the purpose of this assignment, just be honest about your current state and your thoughts on why you feel that way. You will need to provide evidence and reasoning to support the match. Your final paragraph should conclude your thoughts on this topic in an interesting, thoughtful way that goes beyond summary and gives your reader something to consider.
As a reminder, each paragraph should have a topic sentence that clearly states your point and details to support/prove this point. You should have transitions between paragraphs that show why each point appears in this order. The grading rubric below will help you develop your paper.
Your essay will be graded using five separate categories: Purpose, Thesis Statement, Supporting Ideas, Paragraph Development, and Grammar & Punctuation. Each of these items will be rated as Proficient, Developing, and Needs Improvement.
Proficient means that you have met the standards of an effective response. Developing means you have partially met the standards of a response, but it needs some revision. Needs Improvement means you did not meet the standards of a response.
|Purpose (definitional writing)||Clearly presents a well- supported, interesting claim that defines personal criteria for happiness and examines how well the writers personal experience matches this definition.||Includes a partial definition of happiness and minimally addresses how well the writers personal experience matches this definition, but doesnt fully support the position and/or presents an unoriginal view of the topic.||Does not include a clear definitional claim or provide sufficient support.|
|Thesis Statement||Clearly presents a thesis statement in an interesting way and shows how the essay will progress.||Vaguely identifies a functional but uninteresting thesis statement. The essays overall direction is present but inconsistent.||Does not include a thesis statement about happiness, and the essays direction is unclear.|
|Supporting Ideas (use of Major and Minor Details)||Uses solid examples to support the thesis statement and prove important points||Partially uses examples as proof; lacks support for some important points.||Does not develop or provide examples to prove or illustrate the claim.|
|Paragraph Development (strength of introduction, conclusion and coherency)||Smoothly connects ideas between/within paragraphs in a purposeful manner; introduction and conclusion make interesting, effective statements about the topic.||Ideas between/within paragraphs are partially connected or moderately purposeful; introduction and conclusion are present but not effective.||Missing connection between ideas; puropose of content is unclear; incomplete introduction and conclusion.|
|Grammar & Punctuation||Essay contains appropriate use of sentence structure, commas in a series, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person pronouns.||Essay needs further editing and/or contains some sentence structure, comma, and pronoun usage problems.||Displays little attention to editing or correct usage of sentence structure, commas in a series, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person pronouns.|
Developed by The NROC Project. Copyright 2014 Monterey Institute for Technology and Education
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