Social Science





Writing Skills, Part 3

When composing your essay, remember to
• Choose a topic from your personal knowledge and experience. Remember that you must utilize
your first-hand experience to prove your authority to write on a topic. Purely generalized and/or
factual information is not acceptable.
• Write in your own words, from your perspective or point of view, using the pronoun “I.”
• Capture your reader’s attention with an interesting introductory paragraph.
• Use specific examples from your personal experience.
• Use concrete or vivid words.
• Use complete sentences, varying your sentence length and structure.
• Use fully developed paragraphs, where each paragraph has only one main idea with enough
supporting details to develop that idea clearly and logically.
• Write a total of 750 to 2,500 words on your topic. (If your essay is typed and double-spaced, your final draft should be between three and ten pages.)



Using everything you have learned from this course, finish the paper you began in Part 1 and revised in Part 2. Your final essay should be between 750 and 2,500 words long. If you are typing your paper, using a font equivalent to Times New Roman 12, with standard one inch
margins and double spacing, your paper should be between three and ten pages.


Before submitting your work for grading, be sure the paper follows a logical order, and check your writing to make sure you are sticking to a single point of view. Make certain that you are offering your personal experience, and remember that factual and/or generalized information
is not acceptable. Do your best to add a hook to the beginning of your essay, and try to give your writing punch.

As you work on this writing assignment, use all of the ideas discussed in this course. Then, as you revise, refer to Writing Skills, Part 1 to double-check your usage and grammar. As always, proofread your exam before submitting it to an instructor for grading.

On the next page of this study unit is a copy of the grading rubric that will be used to score your essay. Keep the listed criteria in mind when completing your final revisions. Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact an instructor.


 Introduction (10 points):

Establishes a specific topic and approach and sets an appropriate tone/mood for the rest of the essay. Engages the reader and creates interest.
10–9 8–7 6–5 4–1 0

Coherence and unity (25 points):

Ideas flow clearly and logically as essay is developed. Each paragraph
contains one main idea (with enough detail to develop that idea clearly and logically) and a
connection to the ideas that precede and follow it. Clear transitions are present between sentences as well as between paragraphs. Author remains focused on the topic.
25–22 21–18 17–14 13–1 0

Support for ideas (20 points):

Adequate detail and accurate support provided for each idea introduced. Specific, accurate, and relevant examples are used to show meaning. Essay does not simply make blanket claims without support.
20–18 17–14 13–10 9–1 0

Sentence structure (10 points):

Sentences are varied in both structure and length. Sentences are complete, expressive, clear, and to the point. No run-on sentences or fragments.
10–9 8–7 6–5 4–1 0

Spelling and word choice (10 points):

Essay is free of spelling errors. Appropriate language is chosen for each situation, fitting the mood/tone set in the introduction. Word choice complements, does not inhibit, clarity.
10–9 8–7 6–5 4–1 0

Punctuation (10 points):

Essay is free of errors such as comma splices, misplaced commas, and inappropriate end punctuation. All punctuation is used correctly so as not to interfere with comprehension.
10–9 8–7 6–5 4–1 0

Grammar (10 points):

Essay uses correct and consistent verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, clear pronoun-antecedent agreement, and so on. Grammar errors do not interfere with comprehension.
10–9 8–7 6–5 4–1 0
Conclusion (5 points):

Provides adequate closure and reinforces the meaning/significance established in the introduction. Effectively wraps up the essay.
5 4 3–2 1 0

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