write an explanatory synthesis about a past event considered very important to understand within the history of your field

Using the framework of your major discipline, write an explanatory synthesis about a past event considered very important to understand within the history of your field (perhaps its founding, perhaps its application on an important occasion, perhaps in helping to solve a problem 
that concerns all of us). Your audience would be an academic journal’s future anniversary issue 
which collects several different articles about that event. You will be required to use at least 4 sources for your piece. The editorial staff of the journal recommends you consult Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum Ch. 4 for potential ways to
structure the article, especially p. 101’s “Guidelines For Writing Syntheses” and p. 115116’s 
“Organize a Synthesis by Idea, Not by Source.”

Word count: 1,500 words Number of sources required: four Citation Style: MLA 2016 (two-letter grade penalty for making no attempt to use this, 1 ½ penalty for not making a serious attempt)

Grading Rubric: Explanatory Synthesis

ENG 301 

A=       Has clear and arguable thesis that will appeal to the audience and draw it in with the promise of discovering new information or a new way to look at familiar information.

            Takes on the exact task the assignment sheet asks for, an essay that responds to either Option 1 or Option 2 and includes the elements of an Explanatory Synthesis.

Includes attention-catching introduction, a body comprised 1) of explanatory material written engagingly and insightfully in an order that makes sense to readers; and 2) of a synthesis section which identifies and summarizes intriguing patterns that emerge from a survey of the information provided in the explanatory material, and a conclusion that assesses the value of the material presented and makes a gesture toward the future.

            Facts and commentary used in the body of the essay are from credible sources, are accurate, relevant to the topic, and timely (that is updated to the present).

            The required number of sources (4) is provided, has clear relations to topic sentences and are well set up with introductory material, accurate punctuation, attributive tags, non-repetitive interpretation and citations (in text and on the Works Cited page).

The writing is precise and efficient, and the style is appropriate to the audience and subject matter and lacks usage and grammatical mistakes that distract readers from the meaning and hurt the writer’s credibility.

Makes wise choices of facts and commentary to provide a full exploration of the subject within the space allowed, does not leave out important material or bring in unnecessary material.

B= Has clear, arguable thesis that will appeal to the audience and for the most part draw it in with the promise of new information or a new way to look at familiar information.

Takes on nearly the exact task the assignment sheet or textbook option asks for, perhaps making one mistake about what the audience will expect or be able to take in.

Includes potentially attention-catching introduction (with a slight tweak needed), a body comprised 1) of explanatory material written engagingly in an order that makes sense to readers; and 2) of a synthesis section which identifies and summarizes intriguing patterns that emerge from a survey of the information provided in the explanatory material, and a conclusion that assesses the value of the material presented and makes a gesture toward the future.

Facts and commentary used in the body are mostly from credible sources, are accurate,

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relevant to the topic and timely (updated to the present).

The required number of sources (4) is provided, mostly having clear relations to topic sentences and mostly well set up with introductory material, mostly accurate punctuation, attributive tags, interpretation and citations (in text and on the Works Cited page).

The writing is rarely other than precise and efficient and the style is mostly appropriate to the audience and subject matter, may perhaps have 3 usage or grammatical mistakes per page, but these only cause slight distractions for readers and slight hurt to writer’s credibility.

Makes wise choices of facts the reader needs prior to making a certain decision but may include one paragraph that goes slightly off course or lack one paragraph on an important matter the audience may want to know about.

C= Thesis may not be as clear or as arguable as the highest standard but still reflects an attempt to draw the interest of the audience the assignment sheet specifies.

Gets some minor part of the assignment task incorrect but still contributes an essay that has convincing factual material helpful to the understanding of a particular subject or event.

Includes a competently-written introduction, a body comprised 1) of explanatory material written engagingly in an order that makes sense to some readers; and 2) of a synthesis section which makes a clear attempt to identify and summarize patterns that emerge from a survey of the information provided in the explanatory material, and a conclusion that assesses the value of the material presented and makes a gesture toward the future.

Facts and commentary used in the body paragraphs are mostly convincing about the paragraphs’ topic sentences being truthful but may lack the use of one or two standards for judging a good source.

The use of quotations is sometimes not as sure-footed as the highest standard, with possible leaving out of names of authors, using quotations that are too long or not always relevant to the topic sentences of the paragraphs they are in, integrating quotations awkwardly. But at the least, the essay does provide the information necessary to make clear the difference between material generated by the writer and material generated by the source.

Makes adequate choices of facts the reader needs prior to making a certain decision, but may include up to two paragraphs that go off course or may leave out one or two paragraphs on important matters the reader needs to know about.

D/F= Thesis may not be clear or arguable, may be unlikely to draw the interest of the audience because of its being about a topic already too often written about.

Assignment instructions are misinterpreted (you write a report on airports rather than an essay on what air passengers need to know in 2016 before booking a flight). F papers

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ignore assignment instructions altogether, often providing an essay seemingly written for a different course.

Explanatory synthesis structure is incomplete, changed to another essay structure or missing altogether.

Facts used in the body paragraphs are mostly not facts at all but generalities offering no specifics, not based on sources that may have at least one of the following qualities: credible, accurate, relevant, timely (current).

Inattention to ways to best work sources into one’s own prose. Citations are either slapdash or nonexistent.

Choices of facts or commentary are either too obvious, irrelevant or miss key facts that will trip the reader up if he or she attempts to use the information in the essay.

 

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