Engaging opening that introduces the paper’s topic, a problem, research question, purpose, and method for writing; the thesis is an easily identifiable, well-phrased argument that recognizes the intended message, as well as its purpose and audience. The thesis reflects sound critical, interpretive, and analytical thinking; title and author of work are appropriately identified.
Generally engaging opening; areas to be strengthened may include presentation of general topic, development of transition between general opening and specific thesis statement; thesis statement is phrased as an argument but may be strengthened through clarification of the main idea being offered and purpose. Recognizes the broad intended message but misses some nuances.
Each paragraph clearly connects to the thesis and offers identifiable, well-phrased ideas to be fully argued in each paragraph; concrete details are incorporated in the body paragraphs and describe the image and the different elements used; paragraphs are well-organized to create a coherent, carefully developed and supported argument; transitions between ideas are logical and each idea builds on the preceding.
Each paragraph generally connects to the thesis but one or more main ideas may need to be clarified; concrete details are generally well-chosen though some may be irrelevant or insufficient as evidence to effectively support the thesis and/or paragraph; recognizes the relationship between the image and its physical characteristics; paragraphs are generally well-organized, although some transitions may be awkward; focus and control of argument may need improvement because the point of a paragraph may not always be clear.
Recognizes all of the elements of style included in the image and thoroughly explains their effects on the image’s message; analyzes the image’s contextual influences and how they affect the message; demonstrates a thorough analysis of the image, as well as its techniques and message.
Recognizes most elements of style used in the image and attempts to explain their effects on the image’s message; attempts to identify the image’s contextual influences but provides an incomplete analysis of their effects; provides a good analysis of message and technique that is generally comprehensive.
Language & Style
Paper reflects an argumentative mode of writing appropriate for the topic; it is academic in tone; writer’s voice is evident, confident, and sophisticated; vocabulary and phrasing are academically appropriate, persuasive, and sophisticated without being pretentious.
Writing is generally academic in tone; writer’s voice may not be consistently persuasive but is discernible; writing demonstrates an awareness of the purpose to persuade; vocabulary in some places may be simplistic or ineffective.
Grammar & Mechanics
Paper includes sentence variety; effective syntax and grammar; demonstrates a mastery of writing conventions and serves the author’s purpose; consistent adherence to MLA guidelines; accurate Works Cited page; absence of grammar, syntax, and punctuation errors.
Paper’s sentences generally effective but may lack appropriate variety (some repeated opening words and structure); syntax and grammar may be awkward in places (but not distracting); a few grammar and mechanical errors (but not distracting); consistent adherence to MLA guidelines; accurate Works Cited page.