Is the essay the proper length? 500 words or more?

Module seven is a 150 point module in which students are required to write a 500 word essay that demonstrates mastery of one of this course’s Student Learning Outcomes (SLO). Specifically, I am focused on SLO #3, which reads:

Applying the specific knowledge of key events and themes in United States history from 1865-present, students will demonstrate their understanding of the course material using evidence-based (two or more sources) writing.

One example for an SLO #3 essay is:

Theme: Racism in U.S. History

Sources: Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow (New York: New Press, 2012) and James Loewen, Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006).

Essay Body and Argument: The essay would introduce examples of racism that we studied in our class. It would balance, weigh, and consider the experiences known to Native Americans, Asians, Mexicans, Japanese, African Americans, and many other marginalized communities. The author would analyze and discuss this topic, via academic and/or primary sources, in both historical and contemporary contexts. A good argument would point out instances of overlaps and divergences in the experiences.

Grading cues that I will evaluate:

1. Is the essay the proper length? 500 words or more?

2. Does the students utilize required number/types of sources?

3. Does essay state a clear theme, developed by historical evidence?

4. Is the argument clearly written?

5. Is the argument original?

6. Did student locate/use outside sources…those not used as part of our class?

7. Did the student utilize some academic form of citation?

I am happy to look over “draft” copies of your work. Please email them to me if you would like.