English 102 Questions

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1. Is the title of the essay interesting, amusing, thought-provoking? Do the first few sentences – the “hook” – create excitement, exhilaration, intrigue?

2. Do three or four sentences make the transition from hook to main idea? Do these sentences lead slowly and smoothly into the argument being presented? Are important terms defined? Is the introduction clear, well-developed, and readable?

3. Is the thesis included at the end of the first paragraph, arguing for or against a specific point, solution to a problem, or situation? Does the thesis (or the previous sentences in the introduction) identify the audience for whom the essay is intended?

4. Read the first body paragraph of the essay. Is it a concession paragraph (does it explain the opposing point of view)? Does it give a general overview of the opposing viewpoint without sounding overly biased or judgmental?

5. Read the remaining body paragraphs of the essay. Does the topic sentence of each body paragraph support the thesis by reinforcing the argument? Is each paragraph focused on a single, clearly developed reason the author believes what he or she believes? Does each paragraph include a final concluding sentence that seems to wrap up the paragraph’s ideas?

6. Is the thesis supported by information, details, description, explanation, and/or examples from outside sources? Does each body paragraph (except the concession) include at least four quotations or paraphrases from outside source materials which provide convincing and authoritative evidence to support the argument?

7. Is every quotation, paraphrase and/or summary properly introduced, using the author’s name and credentials, and/or the title of the source? Is every quotation, paraphrase and/or summary properly cited using parentheses? Is there too much reliance on source material, and not enough original writing in the essay?

8. Carefully read the concluding paragraph. Is the thesis restated in the first or second sentence? Does the writer finish by referring back to “hook” material mentioned in the introduction? Does the writer give an overview of the argument’s importance or long-term repercussions? Does the writer discuss why this issue is important for us to understand and appreciate?

9. Overall, does the essay engage your interest, excite, and or involve you? Why or why not?

10. Does the paper seem complete, and include at least five body paragraphs?

11. Are there times when you didn’t know what was going on, or became confused? Are there parts where you would like to see less reliance on outside source material?

12. Is there a separate Works Cited? Does it follow the appropriate format? Are there at least seven approved sources listed? Are the sources properly cited within the paper?

13. What parts of the piece are particularly interesting or memorable?

14. Are there problems with word choice?

15. Are there problems with sentence fragments?

16. Are there problems with run-on sentences or comma splices?

17. Are there problems with verbs (subject-verb agreement or verb tense shifts)?

18. Are there problems with punctuation?

19. Are there problems with capitalization?

20. Are there problems with spelling?

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