Unit Two Paper

Paper Two: Written in Stone?

Research question due: Friday, March 17th

Source Reports due: Monday, March 20th and Wednesday, March 22nd

Peer Review: Monday, March 27th

Final Submission: Friday, March 31st

The Paper Two description for UNIV 112 states that you will “produce a piece of analytical writing that summarizes, analyzes, and synthesizes outside sources (minimum of 4 pages of 1000 words, maximum 6 pages/1500 words).”

For our section, we will be analyzing sources that make epideictic arguments (that is, according to Everything is an Argument, arguments that focus on the present and debate what values are most important to a community and why). Commemoration practices—eulogies, monuments, memorials, museums, cemeteries, marches, days of remembrance, etc.—are especially good epideictic arguments because they make claims about what events and people count as significant for a particular community.

In your analytical essay, you will locate and examine epideictic arguments in order to make a claim about how these sources define a community (even a community that does not agree). You have two options for how to write the essay.

Option A: Analyze a monument, memorial, or other commemoration practice (i.e a day of remembrance, a museum, a poem etc.). Then locate and analyze two opinion sources that celebrate or criticize your specific monument. What epideictic argument does each of the three sources make? What kind of community do the sources attempt to define—a local one? A national one? One based on shared loss or interest? What does “reading” these three sources together teach you about where this community agrees and disagrees about commemoration?

For this option, you will need to focus on assessing the reliability and bias of your two outside sources using the CRAAP method (although you should include a close reading of your particular commemoration practice). How does each source support its opinion and claims?

Option B: Analyze two monuments, memorials, or other commemoration practices (i.e. a day of remembrance, a museum, etc.) that commemorate the same event or person in different ways. What kind of community is involved in each monument or commemoration practice? What do these differences teach you about how the community disagrees and why? Incorporate at least a third, fact-based source that gives you additional information on how the commemoration practices came to be.

Example: What are the similarities and differences in how Suheir Hammad and Saturday Night Live responded to the terrorist attacks on September 11th? What do these responses teach us about how the attacks re-defined “American identity”?

For this option, your priority will be careful close reading and analysis of the commemoration practices themselves (although you will also need to assess the reliability of your sources). As we discussed in class, how will you move from observation to analysis to claim?

NOTE: Whether you choose option A or B, make sure you pick an event or person that will interest you throughout the rest of the semester; you will continue your work into Unit Three by proposing your own memorial or creative commemoration practice for the event or person!


When you finish this paper, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Develop a research question that you then answer through evaluation of sources
  2. Apply analytical skills in the context of a research paper
  3. Evaluate source reliability (using the CRAAP method)
  4. Consider multiple ethical points of view
  5. Use your observations and close reading skills to make a claim about a text’s main argument


As always, papers are due on Blackboard BEFORE class on the due date (March 31st in this case). Hard copies of your process material are due in class. I will deduct ten points for each day that your paper is late (i.e. not available to me on Blackboard). Once again, I no longer accept computer issues as an acceptable reason for an extension; please make sure that you are in the habit of backing up your work. This is the only paper in 112 that comes with an optional re-write; re-writes will be due by May 1st.


 The Unit 2 Analysis Paper is worth 15 points in your final grade. I will grade on a 150-point scale.

50 points for process

10 points for timely completion of research question and source notes (Note that I will grade the quality of these documents as an additional short assignment grade)

10 points for a full first draft on Peer Review day

10 points for active participation and feedback in peer review (note that I will not award these points to anyone who does not participate in a mutual peer review).

10 points for incorporating peer review and workshop feedback into the final draft (see submission guidelines)

10 points for submission of marked draft one, draft two, and peer review worksheet

100 points for Paper Two

Content (50 points)

  9-10 (A) 8 (B) 7 (C) 6 (D) 0-5 (F)
Research question and topic Student’s initial research question focuses on a complex commemorative practice and identifies research that will lead to a similarly complex argument about community formation Student chooses a research question that address both commemoration and community formation Student chooses a research question that allows him/her to explore the reasons for and arguments about a particular commemorative practice Student’s initial research question makes it difficult to generate sources or focuses on a simplistic commemorative practice. The paper might focus primarily on the student’s opinion Student’s work is not guided by a research topic (or is under 1000 words)
Quality of sources Student selects at least 3 quality sources (at least one through a library search) that substantially address his/her research question. It’s clear that the student has thought carefully about each source’s reliability, context, and relevance to the project and introduces each to the paper in a thoughtful way Student selects 3 quality sources (at least one through a library search) that are related to the research question. The student gestures to some knowledge about the source’s contexts Student selects 3 sources (at least one through a library source) that are related to the research question. 1 of the sources may relate only indirectly to the topic or the sources do not appear substantially in the paper Student selects 3 sources that are nominally related to the research question, although they do not contribute significantly to the paper. Student does not address context. Student offers less than 3 sources (or the paper is under 1000 words)
Identification of main claims Student successfully identifies and categorizes the main claim of each source AND synthesizes these claims to highlight an original, independent claim. Student successfully identifies the main claim of each source and suggests some ways that those claims compare and contrast Student only  correctly identifies the main claim of one or two sources OR does not identify the relationship among these claims. Student only  correctly identifies the main claim of one or two sources AND does not identify the relationship among these claims. Student does not identify the main claim of any source (or the paper is under 1000 words)
Analysis of primary text(s) Student smoothly moves from observation to analysis, identifying specific details to aid in close reading of a commemorative practice. The details are a combination of visual, textual, spatial, and audio elements Student uses detailed observation to develop analysis of the commemorative practice Student attempts analysis but may make some observations without analysis OR may notice only a limited range of details Student’s “analysis” is primarily observation or opinion Student does not analyze a specific commemorative practice (or the paper is under 1000 words)
Assessment of bias Student uses context clues, analysis of language and tone, and additional research about author and publication to emphasize why each source might hold the opinion he/she/they do Student uses some clear strategies to explain why each source holds the opinion it does Student identifies the author’s purpose in writing or constructing Student makes errors in assessing the producer’s bias, or attacks the bias rather than seeking to understand it Student does not assess any author’s bias (or the paper is under 1000 words)

Construction (50 points)

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


Student’s thesis reflects sustained and critical thought about the connection between commemoration and community formation AND synthesizes all three sources Student’s thesis synthesizes the three sources to advance an argument about a commemorative practice’s role in its community Student offers a basic thesis about a commemorative practice and its argument although the thesis may not incorporate all three sources Student offers a thesis that may be based solely on the student’s opinion or that is not accurate in its assessment of a commemorative practice There is no thesis
Evidence Student develops clear claims throughout the paper and uses a combination of analytical, research, and citation evidence to support these claims; student is judicious in the use of summary, paraphrasing, and quotation Student makes sure to support each claim with evidence, using a diverse mix of summary, paraphrasing, and quotation Student offers evidence for most claims and attempts to use summary, paraphrasing, and quotation effectively Student relies on opinion rather than evidence or uses too many block quotes (or not enough quotation!) Student does not quote or summarize from the sources (or the paper is under 1000 words)
Organization Student uses an organizational approach that allows him/her to develop advanced critical thinking and features strong transitions Student attempts paragraphs, an outline, and transitional phrases that develop her ideas—some minor errors Student relies on the “five paragraph model” without developing his/her own thinking or lacks clear transitions between paragraphs 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)
Mechanics and Formatting Student’s language is enjoyable to read with few to no errors; paper is double spaced with MLA heading information and a title 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
Citation 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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