KEY: MT-- major thesis; BT-- body thesis; CD-- concrete detail; CM-- commentary; CS-- concluding sentence; CHUNK-- CD, CM, CM
B-ish-- solid and well-done
Student sample BT & chunk (CD, CM, CM) based on Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (writing errors are retained):
People of the Victorian Era often ridicule others for actions they themselves are guilty of, displaying a low ethical standard. For instance, after Jack explains to Algeronon the reason he is called both Earnest and Jack, Algernon drifts off topic and states, "The amount of women who flirt with their husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad! It is simply washing one's clean linen in public," (7). Wilde is mocking how flirting with a husband is unacceptable which is uncouth to the idealism that love and affection should be present in a relationship between a man and his wife. The irony is that Algernon finds it worse for married couples to have a pleasant time than it is for a man and his mistress.
Although grammatical errors are often a factor in lowering a paper's score, several other factors differentiate this sample from the "A." One is that there is not the same depth of development of the student's ideas-- there are some insightful thoughts, but they are not explored to the extent of the "A." In the concrete detail, the lead-in does give the quote some context, but the information is not relevant to the quote. The wording "drifts off topic" sounds more like commentary and, ironically, makes the previous detail in the lead-in off topic in the CD. In the commentary, the awkward phrasing is compounded by inaccurate word choice-- the word "uncouth," a word typically taught in class, is not used appropriately, inhibiting the reader from fully understanding the student's point.
click here for the A
click here for the C
click here for the D