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Strong essay - the question at hand It should not be...

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Prof Wendy Hunter Department of Government General Criteria for a Strong Essay I. Broad Characteristics: 1. Clear and compelling thesis 2. Good organization overall (there should be a logical flow to the paragraphs) 3. Unifying theme and integrating framework 4. Clear introduction and conclusion that dovetails with the rest of the essay II. Extent to Which the Question is Addressed A strong essay must confront the question and all of its parts in a direct and explicit manner. The essay should not ramble on in the hope that after a while the reader can pull the ideas together. The burden is on the author to articulate his/her argument clearly at the outset and to use the rest of the essay to convince the reader of its worth. III. Theoretical/Conceptual Understanding: A strong essay needs to show a solid grasp of theoretical or conceptual issues raised by
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Unformatted text preview: the question at hand. It should not be written on merely a descriptive level. The author needs to be able to stand back and interpret the historical material on which he/she draws. IV. Empirical Understanding: The author should integrate key empirical evidence with the major themes and issues raised in the course. At the same time, a listing of concrete facts should not take the place of explanation. There should be no egregious mistakes in the specific facts that the author presents. V. Polish: A strong essay is polished. It does not look like the product of a frantic last minute effort. It should not contain typos, missing words or sentences. Verb tenses and grammar should be intact. In other words, your essay should be highly readable....
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