Essay Three

UNIV 111 Paper Three: Arguing for an Audience

The Basics

The Unit Thee guidelines state that a UNIV 111 student will produce “a piece of writing that incorporates a claim and multiple outside texts.” In this class, that piece is a pitch to an audience of your choosing about a class text of your choosing. You should write a letter to audience in which you convince him/her/them to engage with your text with a specific outcome in mind (i.e. making some sort of policy change, circulating the text to a wider audience, contributing to a specific movement or protest, etc.) The text itself can be a part of your larger outcome, or it can be reflective of why your outcome is important.

In persuading your audience, you should identify the ideas and values that they most care about and the concerns they may have about performing the outcome you suggest. Use your tone, your assessment of the text’s significance, and evidence from wider outside research to persuade them to act anyway.

A note on research: We will cover research in greater detail for next semester; for now, your only task is to locate basic sources that give you more information about 1) your audience’s values and beliefs or 2) the larger social or political issue your text discusses. Outside sources MAY BE things that we have already read or discussed in class this semester. An effective paper will draw from at least 3 outside sources (You do NOT have to use these sources equally; you may choose to write a paragraph about one and to reference another in a single sentence.)

Your paper should be 4-6 pages (or 1000-1500 words). It should feature an additional works cited or reference page not included in the word count, a catchy title, and proper MLA or APA formatting throughout the paper.

Paper Three is due on Blackboard Friday, December 9th before class; I will deduct 10 points per day for late submission, beginning immediately after the deadline (so if you are in 11:00, an 11:05 submission on the same day can only receive 90 points; an 11:05 submission the following day can only receive 80 points).

Regarding Computer Issues: I know that computers are finicky creatures who crash and go on the fritz when we all least expect them to. Part of becoming a responsible scholar, however, is making sure you have your work backed up (I email drafts to myself and other people use Googledocs or an external hard drive). Please start making use of those strategies, or find another one that works best for you. Beginning with this assignment, I will not grant extensions for papers delayed by computer issues. 

Your first draft is due on Friday, December 2nd for peer review; as always, participation in peer review is absolutely mandatory.


My primary goals for you with this paper are the following:

  1. To consider audience and purpose in your writing
  2. To offer reasons and evidence in support of a claim
  3. To formulate a clear and persuasive argument
  4. To explore basic research strategies
  5. To demonstrate continued progress with citation

Paper Three Rubric


  A (9-10) B (8) C (7) D (6) F (0-5)
Chosen Outcome

(10 points)

Student identifies a specific, actionable, and challenging outcome for his/her audience to pursue. Student identifies a specific and actionable outcome that may be obvious or close to what the audience already does. Student gestures toward an outcome that is related to the text but is still vague or un-actionable. Student gestures toward an outcome that is vague and unrelated to the text. Student does not identify an outcome.
Text and Context

(10 points)

Student uses outside research and careful reading to place text thoroughly in its larger temporal and social context. Student explains the importance of the text’s context, but may ignore a significant contextual element Student offers a case for the text’s significance without offering outside sources or including more than one essential element Student claims the text is important but only offers clichéd or superficial reasons Student offers no context for the text

(or the paper is under 1000 words)

Audience analysis

(10 points)

Student demonstrates extensive knowledge of audience and adapts his/her argument specifically for this audience Student uses knowledge of audience’s beliefs and/or concerns to tailor his/her evidence, tone, and appeals Student demonstrates knowledge of audience’s beliefs and/or concerns Student’s audience is too vague for clear appeals Student does not address a discernible audience

(or the paper is under 1000 words)

Argumentative Strategies

(10 points)

Student demonstrates a versatile and creative arsenal of strategies (including emotional appeals, use of research, tone, textual evidence, and counterarguments) Student effectively argues for his/her text Student attempts several argumentative strategies but may lack strong evidence or tone Student attempts to argue but may rely on generic claims Student does not offer an argument

(or the paper is under 1000 words)

Quality of Research  

(10 points)

Student is strategic about selecting evidence from both the primary source and outside research, using 2-3 strong outside sources Student selects 2-3 effective outside sources Student offers evidence from the primary source and 1-2 strong outside sources (not all claims effectively support the larger argument Student references the primary text and at least one outside source, but may not quote or select evidence strategically Student has no evidence for main claim (or the paper is under 1000 words)



  A (9-10) B (8) C (7) D (6) F (0-5)

Main Claim

(10 points)

Student’s main claim demonstrates advanced critical thinking about audience and the goals of reading Student makes a clear argument for why a particular audience should encounter his/her text Student connects audience to text superficially OR the audience is too broad or vague Student’s audience AND the reason for the connection are broad and vague Student fails to mention both an audience and text


(10 points)

Student uses an organizational approach that allows him/her to develop advanced critical thinking Student attempts paragraphs and an outline that develop her ideas—some minor errors Student relies on the “five paragraph model” without developing his/her own thinking Student’s paragraphs do not focus on a single idea or transition suddenly Student does not divide the paper into paragraphs

(or the paper is under 1000 words)

Incorporation of Evidence

(10 points)

Student “sandwiches” quotes in order to display sophisticated analysis of language and argument Student effectively “sandwiches” quotes Student may incorporate quotes without much analysis Student provides quotes, but they are not effectively integrated into the paper Student does not offer any textual evidence

(or the paper is 1000 words)

Mechanics and Formatting

(10 points)

Student’s language is enjoyable to read with few to no errors; paper is double spaced with a title and references page Student formats effectively with limited grammatical errors (or demonstrates a specific area for improvement) Student demonstrates 1 formatting error and/or some grammatical errors Student demonstrates 2-3 major formatting errors OR multiple grammatical errors Student has multiple grammatical errors; there are no page numbers, title, or double spacing
Basic Citation Skills

(10 points)

Student in-text and reference citations are virtually flawless (1-2 minor errors). Student effectively cites in the text and in a reference page with only minor errors. Student attempts to cite in a consistent format but may demonstrate multiple errors Student attempts to cite but demonstrates no awareness of MLA or APA formatting Student does not cite; plagiarism suspected







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