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Improving your Research-Driven Critique Essay Draft

Focus on rhetorical analysis principles, thesis statement, and engaging critically with claims

The Research-Driven Critique Essay Draft you have submitted needs work to improve:

1. Rhetorical analysis principles

2. Thesis statement

3. Engaging critically with claims in the article you are analyzing; avoid generalizations

4. Sentence structure

5. Paragraph development: neat sentences with good connections and a sense of direction; work more on your paragraphs

6. Clear and strong topic sentences and supports in each body paragraph; your paragraphs need to be revised

7. Academic honesty

8. Revising and proofreading

9. Making sure you write a strong introduction and conclusion based on the templates provided in the modules

You should identify at least 7-10 changes. These could range from significant revisions (for example, re-write introductory paragraph) to more minor edits (for example, reword first sentence of introduction to engage the reader more effectively). Along with the list of specific changes, you should also identify the rationale for those changes.

  • Synthesize responses to your essay and make an action plan of specific steps to improve the paper.
  • Deevelop the introduction and conclusion of your essay.
  • Develop, revise, and edit the paper for submission.

Using Quotations 

Quotations are meant to support your point, not make it for you. Introduce the idea shown by the quotation before giving the quotation.

Here are two tips on using quotations: 

  1. Be selective: Only quote the most important points. You don’t need everything.  
  2. Frame every quotation: present the quotation within the context of your essay.
  3. Introduce the quotation (identify the author, source, or idea before giving the quotation)
  4. Comment on the quotation. Explain what it means to you and why it is significant.

The Framing Pieces 

Write a topic sentence that critiques the main source

Support and develop the critique through reference to the primary source and secondary sources

Add commentary on the sources

Write a closing sentence that reinforces the topic sentence

In this Unit, you will look at the introduction and conclusion paragraphs, which frame the response sections. Although there are many ways to introduce and conclude an essay, here are simple organizations for each paragraph.

  • Hook : Compel the reader’s attention with a “hook” at the very opening.
  • Background : Orient the reader, telling them what you’re writing about and why, providing any necessary background information and establishing the tone of the writing.
  • Credibility : Create a strong first impression and establish your credibility as a writer (you sound like you know what you’re talking about: we can trust you).
  • Roadmap/Methodology : Provide a sense of what to expect in the essay, and how the thesis will be developed.
  • Thesis:State your thesis.

The Critique Conclusion

Common features of the conclusion include the following:

1. Restatement : Restate the thesis in new words. Restate the main points in new words.

2. Questions : Raise limitations to the critique essay, or new questions that it provokes.

3. Implications : Suggest some of the implications of the critique.

4. Closure : Provide a sense of resolution and finality, paying close attention to the final lines.

In Unit 11, we complete the work of developing the Research-Driven Critique Essay by going through the following steps: 

  • Synthesize responses to your essay and make an action plan of specific steps to improve the paper;
  • Develop, revise and edit the paper for submission.Revise, Edit, and Proofread with Track Changes
  • The Phases of Post-Writing
  • Use your revision plan and your own re-readings as tools to help you revise the essay.

When post-writing, it makes the most sense to go from the large-scale to the small-scale by moving through the phases of

  • revising (the big picture),
  • editing (sentence details), and
  • proofreading (correcting errors).
  • Revision

In Unit 5, you revised, edited, and proofread the first Critique Essay following these 5 steps: 

  • Develop your essay's content
  • Develop your essay's organization
  • Integrate/Contextualize sources and build APA reference list
  • Develop your essay's sentence variety and punctuation
  • Review and finalize essay

In this unit, you will follow the same steps to improve your Research-Driven Critique Essay. 

Revise or rewrite content, use of sources, organization first. Ask the following questions:

  • Are the explanations of textual evidence clear and focused?
  • Are the claims clear and related to the thesis?
  • Does the thesis reflect the purpose of the essay?
  • Are sources integrated and cited correctly?
  • Is enough textual evidence presented? Is every point supported with evidence?
  • Are the main source and research sources used in the essay?
  • Are sources contextualized?

You Will Have Two Separate Submissions of Your Essay in This Unit

1) A "Track Changes" draft version of your essay in Word.

2) A final version of your essay in Word.

STEP 1: Copy the draft of your essay into a new Word doc named "Draft Essay."

STEP 2: Turn on "Track Changes."

If you are new to using "Track Changes," this Microsoft tutorial will help you get oriented to the product: 

STEP 3: Revise, edit, and proofread your essay. Check that the edits are visible. You may need to click “Review” and change to "Final: Show Markup" in the "Tracking" pane. 

STEP 4: Submit this “Track Changes” draft version of the essay to the Research Essay Revised Folder.  

STEP 5: After submitting the draft version, prepare the final version of your essay.

In the "Changes" pane, click the dropdown under "Accept" and click "Accept all Changes in Document."

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