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) ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL PAPER
Your paper will be evaluated both as a work of research and piece of composition. It will be graded according to the following criteria:
(1) The paper should open with an introduction which contains a concise statement of the thesis (argument) of the paper. Examples of thesis statements:
“Despite having gained formal political equality in western liberal democracies, women continue to face formidable systemic barriers to participation in national politics.”
“Current demands for the use of referenda as a means of ratifying laws should be resisted. Among other things, extensive use of referenda would make it virtually impossible to adopt necessary though unpopular laws.”
(2) After developing the argument through a connected series of points, close the paper with a conclusion which sums up the main points and relates them to the thesis of the paper.
Present your points clearly and logically. Write the paper as if it were directed to a general, reasonably well-educated audience. Accordingly, be sure to define key terms (such as “direct democracy” or “systemic discrimination”). As the paper should be written in your own words, direct quotations should be used sparingly and only to advance or clarify your argument.
Support your points with research and with rational, balanced arguments. As the essay topics deal with issues that are open to a range of plausible interpretations, be sure to acknowledge important viewpoints which run contrary to your own. Briefly evaluate them before moving on to your next point.