As you begin writing your paper, consider your audience: your instructor will be grading your paper based on four broad criteria: thesis, argument, evidence, and writing skills. Below are the questions your instructor will have in mind as he or she grades your paper. To the left are various workshops to help improve your paper on each of these criteria.
Your instructor will be evaluating your thesis on: How probing and analytical is it? How much does it advance beyond an obvious observation about the text? And does the student have an insight into the text beyond demonstrating having read it?
Your instructor will be evaluating your supporting arguments on: How well does the student defend his or her thesis? Is the paper organized in a manner which sustains the central claim of the paper? Does the paper develop its central thesis in a logical manner? Are the arguments advanced in support of the thesis compelling and non-contradictory?
Your instructor will be evaluating your evidence on: Is evidence used to support central points? Does the evidence reflect a comprehensive reading of the text? Are there obvious pieces of evidence left out?
Your instructor will want to be able to read a fluid paper, one where the student's writing doesn't get in the way of the argument. How well does the student articulate his or her ideas? Is the paper easy to read without distractions?