1. Does the paper open in a way that captures your attention? (Story, imagery, rhetorical question, interesting fact, etc.)
2. Is there a clear thesis statement (1-2 sentences) that directly tells you:
a) A claim [ie, topic]?
b) A stance on the claim [which side they are taking]?
c) A clear outline/reference to the reasons they will delineate in their essay?
II. Body Paragraphs & Conclusion
1. Are ideas clearly separated in a way that makes sense? (By “why,” “how,” or some other logical method?) This may still be in outline form.
2. Are the body paragraphs in an order that best supports the argument? Does it end on the strongest reason?
3. Does the conclusion summarize the main points and end with an appeal? (Revisiting a scenario, a call to action/solution, etc.) If conclusion is not yet present, does the argument lend itself to an obvious appeal?
1. As far as research is incorporated so far, are the sources used fairly, properly, and an amount that isn’t too overwhelming or lacking? (Look for areas that have too little or too much support, and if there are a sufficient amount of diverse sources)
2. Does the author offer their own thoughts a balanced amount alongside quoted or paraphrased material?
IV. Ethos, Logos, and Pathos
1. Is there a balance of logical, factual, and emotional appeal? Which of these areas can be improved upon?
2. Are there any “holes” in the argument? (Anything left unaddressed)
3. What elements would strengthen their argument? What elements can be taken out, if necessary?
Before you meet back with your partner, make note of:
A. Two things that are working the best in the argument so far
B. Two things that can be improved
C. Your personal reaction and investment in the topic after having seen their research/writing thus far.