Philosophy Essay Evaluation Sheet
Here are some concerns for argumentative essays. How well does your essay address them?
1. Introduction: do you have an introduction that explains the topic(s) you will address, or the question(s) you will answer?
2. Thesis: does your paper have a thesis, that is, a conclusion that you try to support?
3. Arguments: does your paper give an explicit argument or arguments in support of your conclusion?
a. Do you explicitly state your premises, and why they should be accepted?
b. Do you explicitly explain how your premises lead to your conclusions?
4. Do you respond to any objections or counterarguments? Do you respond to questions that readers might have about your arguments?
5. Does your paper have a conclusion that reviews what you discussed and what you argued for?
6. Organization: could your paper be outlined to show its structure? Is it well organized?
7. Paragraphs: does each paragraph focus on one, and only one, topic?
8. Writing: is your paper written in plain, ordinary English? Do you use ‘fancy’ words – words that people wouldn’t use in ordinary conversation – only if it is absolutely necessary?
9. Are there any grammatical and spelling errors?
10. Are your sentences short and clear? Did you look closely at each sentence to ensure it makes sense?
11. Did you proofread?
12. Did you get someone else to read your paper and give you helpful feedback for revision?
13. Did you revise your paper?
14. Would someone who is unfamiliar with the paper’s issues, the relevant readings, and your course be able to understand and learn from your paper?
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