Argumentative Synthesis

Argumentative Synthesis, Checklist #1

Argumentative Synthesis, Checklist #1

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The items in the following list are details that you, in the writing of the essay, need to make sure are present in your final draft of this essay prior to submission for a grade.  Students are strongly encouraged to review this list and revise their essay accordingly.

In addition, students are strongly urged to review the second checklist provided (this is the optional peer review sheet) posted for this particular essay and make sure those items have also been addressed in their essay prior to submission for a grade.

  • No more than one block quotation in an essay of this length—recall as discussed in Chapter 3 in Wilhoit that quotations shouldn’t be used to fill space or as a substitute for thinking—by using more than block quotation in an essay of this length this is how they would be perceived by a hostile audience.
  • As stated in our essay prompt, no wiki’s are allowed to be used as sources in this essay.
  • Make sure all of the required sources are present—see the Argumentative Synthesis prompt.
  • Make sure all in-text citations and citations on the Works Cited page are correct
  • No graphics should appear within the text of the essay itself
  • No headings are needed in this essay except the one provided for the audience paragraph
  • Make sure to include an audience paragraph
  • Make sure audience paragraph is specific—it shouldn’t be geared towards every living person on the planet
  • Make sure to include a rebuttal
  • Make sure rebuttal isn’t doing double duty as the conclusion—these are two separate sections of the essay and both need to be present
  • Rebuttal should contain qualifying language
  • No first person!
  • Thesis needs to be 1 sentence; it needs to clearly identify a stance; it needs to contain 3 distinct reasons that are parallel; it should be in the introduction
  • Thesis statement should be parallel
  • Remember that the order of your reasons given in your thesis is the order those should be addressed in the essay itself
  • Source material should be properly integrated using tags—it shouldn’t just be dropped in
  • All quotations need to be discussed in relation to thesis
  • Essay should be on one of the assigned topics
  • Essay should have a mix of direct and indirect quotations—shouldn’t be all of one or the other
  • Only place opposing side should make an appearance is in the rebuttal
  • Should not be addressing audience directly—they are simply acting as a guide
  • In order for a paragraph to be considered completely developed it should be at least 4 complete typed lines—anything shorter than that is not considered fully developed so be sure to check all paragraphs for this!
  • No slang!  No abbreviations!  Remember–this is academic discourse so we are using a more formal tone, so we should write “through” instead of “thru.”  We should spell out words such as “hours” and not use “hrs.”
  • Make sure to meet the page requirement!
  • Make sure to provide a Works Cited page and the citations are done properly.
  • Make sure essay is in correct MLA format
  • Make sure that you are using the evidence to support your ideas and not the other way around—we don’t want to turn this in to a history report and it shouldn’t just be a string of quotations.
  • Don’t fall in to the trap of thinking only one body paragraph per point!  As this essay is longer, you may very well have 2 or more paragraphs per point—we want to see this sort of development as it’s an indication of an advancement in one’s writing ability!
  • Keep the background information to a minimum—again, we don’t want to turn this into a history report as that is not its purpose.
  • Make sure you are using alternating format for your body paragraphs
  • In order for this to be true synthesis, we should see at bare minimum 2 sources per paragraph, excluding the introduction and conclusion.  Do keep in mind that this is bare minimum so, ideally, we should see more incorporated.


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