Writing Fellows Priorities


The paper fits the assignment. The student understands the paper’s genre, adjusts for the audience, and uses the correct format. Our priority is not just to teach them what the assignment is, but to help them understand how to make rhetorical decisions (i.e. how to make critical decisions about evidence, structure, or tone by understanding audience and purpose).

Thesis/Claim/Statement of Intent

The paper contains a thesis or topic statement. The scope is the right size for the paper. The ideas are significant and worth writing about. The paper focuses on the thesis.

Supporting Evidence

Paragraphs include sufficient evidence to support a point, and the evidence is appropriate, accurate, and relevant for the discipline, audience, topic, and scope. Evidence includes references to primary and secondary sources, as well as original research. All supporting evidence is properly introduced and cited with the appropriate citation style (MLA, APA, TurabianAIP, etc.). Direct quotations are always in quotes. Authors contextualize quotes appropriately and offer comments and analysis as appropriate.

Global Organization

The paper includes a descriptive title, an introduction, a conclusion that is appropriate for the assignment / audience / genre, and a logical progression of ideas. The ideas are connected and all tie back into the thesis. The conclusion includes why this paper is significant.

Paragraph Organization

Each paragraph has one exclusive main point that follows the “old to new” principle of cohesion and coherence. That “point” may be stated in the beginning or at the end of the paragraph.

Style and Correctness

The author writes in academic English with the appropriate level of formality. Sentences are clear, efficient, cohesive, varied, and elegant. The paper’s usage of passive or active voice is appropriate for the audience / genre / assignment. The author uses correct spelling, punctuation, mechanics, and grammar.