The Paper – Evaluating The Circle
For your fourth paper, you will write an essay evaluating Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle.
You may write on any aspect of the novel, but be sure to narrow the focus of the paper: for instance, if you criticize the novel for a flawed portrayal of how social media actually works, your paper should largely focus on those aspects of the novel that bear on your assertion. In this hypothetical case, you would not mention, say, the relationship between Kalden and Mae, since that has no bearing on the thesis. You need not summarize the book’s plot: assume your readers have already read the book, and mention only those elements of the story you need to set up your points.
Feel free to quote articles about the issue (or any other sources you find useful) in your paper, but remember to cite them (use in-text citations and a Works Cited page), and remember that you should provide plenty of your own backing for any evidentiary citations you use – you must fully explain any quote you use in your own words. Remember that the more specific your argument, the more developed and convincing it is likely to be (that is, we read the articles for a reason).
Writers looking for prompts to which to respond in this paper might find the following website useful: a short reader’s guide to the book written for Boston College’s academic convocation program. Warning: many of the prompts at the end of the pamphlet encourage response in first person, but the paper you write should be in third person as much as possible.
I will be grading the paper according to the same criteria as the third paper (reprinted below). As this is the final paper of this class, the essay will be read as a summative demonstration of your abilities, and will be graded as such.
Are body paragraphs focused? That is, does each paragraph contain a topic sentence? Does the remainder of the body paragraph adhere to theostensive focus of the topic sentence?
Are the body paragraphs developed? Does each paragraph provide specific evidence or support to back up its claim? Is that evidence explained (backing)? Recall the Toulmin model.
Does the essay, when necessary, qualify its claims and/or rebut anticipated objections?
Is the introductory paragraph effective in quickly outlining the paper’s topic and the context of that topic? Does it attempt to interest the reader?
Does the concluding paragraph answer the question: “so what?” That is, does it signal the end of the paper effectively by explaining what is at stake in its argument? Does it avoid mechanically restating points already articulated in the body paragraph? Does it avoid concluding with “In conclusion…?”
Does the essay signal the author’s proper understanding of his/her rhetorical situation, that is, its genre, audience, tone, and purpose?
Does the paper utilize subordination, co-ordination , and punctuation to create controlled and consciously crafted sentences?
Is the essay titled imaginatively?
Is the essay formatted properly (typed, 12 point font, double-spaced, single- spaced header at the top left of the first page, no larger than one inch margins, no line breaks between paragraphs, etc.)?
Does the essay make effective use of time markers and transition words to guide the reader through its argument?
Is the paper free of grammar errors and typos?
Does the paper avoid excessive use of “to be” verbs, and vague nouns such as “things” or “stuff?”
Does the paper use first and second person pronouns sparingly?
Is the paper written with an efficient style, avoiding wordiness
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