Incorporate at least seven scholarly sources, which must be properly cited in the body of your paper and on the Works-Cited page. Prepare this assignment according to the MLA guidelines found in the MLA Style Guide.

Evaluate the Essay


After a second, closer reading of the draft, evaluate the essay using the Literary Research Paper rubric. Determine the level of achievement appropriate for each assignment criteria. (Level of achievement ranges from Unsatisfactory to Excellent and are found at the top of the rubric. Assignment criteria are found in the left column of the rubric.)


Content Knowledge and Comprehension


  • What level of achievement did the author score for this criterion?


Good (4): Subject knowledge is strong. Content is comprehensive and accurate. Paper demonstrates command over materials, however ability to fully extend topic and expand the novel experience is not fully exhibited.


  • What evidence do you have for this score?

While there is one instance in the paper where a quote is used, the reader would benefit from seeing more directly quoted material from both the book and academic resources that the essay writer has located. Evidence is what makes or breaks and analytical piece. Be sure to fully explain the importance of the material that you are quoting.

In paragraph 5, for example, there is a direct quote of dialogue between two different characters that is meant to indicate the main character’s feelings on his home country at the time but little explanation is given to highlight why he feels this way or how it is relatable to modern day readers or even if Stephen’s thoughts are the same as some of his countrymen at the time.


Thesis Development and Purpose


  • What level of achievement did the author score for this criterion?


Satisfactory (3): Thesis and/or main claim are apparent and appropriate to purpose.


  • What evidence from the paper do you have for this score?


Thesis: “The story a portrait of “The Artist as a Young Man” can be critiqued by understanding the context of political unrest of 1890s, theological struggles and struggle for independence.”

While the thesis clearly states that the paper will be focusing on how the novel can be interpreted and critiqued by understanding the society of the country and the era in which it is set, the purpose of the paper is to research how New Historicism can also be used to interpret the novel; unfortunately, this thesis statement does not mention New Historicism. This, however, can be easily rectified even if only to make this point clearer to the reader.



Argument Logic and Construction


  • What level of achievement did the author score for this criterion?


Satisfactory (3): Argument is orderly, but may have a few inconsistencies. The argument presents minimal justification of claims. Argument logically, but not thoroughly, supports the purpose. Sources used are credible. Introduction and conclusion bracket the thesis.


  • What evidence from the paper do you have for this score?


The paper opens with a brief history of New Historicism as a form of literary critique as well as what was used for this purpose before the introduction of New Historicism. Throughout the paper, the author argues that to fully understand the novel, one must understand the religious, political, and social climate of the era in which the novel is set.
Paragraph 5 contains a direct quote from the novel – an excellent and authoritative reference – but does not fully explain its importance in depth and some vague statements are made which are then also not explained.

Paragraph 6 appears to be a continuation of the argument from the previous paragraph, continuing with the same thread but not fully explaining the ideas; no authoritative sources are used after the initial one. Beyond this, the paragraph closes by mention the “Act of Union” which apparently took place nearly 100 years before the events of the novel take place and the essay does not explain the relevance of mentioning this act in the slightest.

Paragraph 7 contains a great number of generalizations without any kind of evidence, as does Paragraph 8, though paragraph 8 closes with a citation that is nearly entirely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Paragraph 9 is nearly identical in this sense.

Mechanics of Writing

  • What level of achievement did the author score for this criterion?


Satisfactory (3): Some mechanical errors or typos are present, but are not overly distracting to the reader. Correct sentence structure and audience-appropriate language are used.


  • What evidence from the paper do you have for this score?


Paragraph 1: “The story a portrait of “The Artist as a Young Man” can be critiqued…” – improper way to format the title of a novel, also does not include entire title. “The story, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, can be critiqued…” is appropriate.

Paragraph 2: Missing “the” in first sentence.

Missing “the” in third sentence.

Always use full name when introducing for the first time (Stephen Greenblatt instead of just Greenblatt) – including credentials also aides in argument.

“The author’s times and circumstances, along with the environment and prejudice of the critic, have an influence.” (missing commas highlighted).

Paragraph 3: “Even though he struggles to find peace in patriotism, morality and faith, he finds tranquillity only in art.” (confusing, spelling error) – remember to always read aloud to yourself to ensure grammatical conventions.

Paragraph 4: “ “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” is a semi-autobiographical novel in which Stephan Dedalus, the protagonist, is a fictional alter ego for Joyce.” (missing commas highlighted – italicize titles).
“The story has Dublin’s history, culture and society because the setting of the story is in Dublin.” (This is very redundant and interrupts the flow of the paragraph)

Paragraph 5: Specify that Stephen is the one making the return comment in the first sentence, and place the citation after the very end of the quote.

“The Ireland of that time, did in fact paralyze the artist in the protagonist.” (This is very confusing).

“He doesn’t flee the place at first because there are something that he really likes about the place. But ultimately he has to sacrifice everything in his life to be an artist.” (should be “there are some things”, do not start sentences with “but”, do not use contractions (doesn’t, isn’t) in formal writing).
Paragraph 6: J

Paragraph 7: “There is no denying the fact that the kind of questions we ask and the analysis that we do in the present times is also having an influence of our own culture and environment.” (“we” and “our” are not appropriate in academic writing, avoid using first person perspective)

Paragraph 8: “For instance, if a critic has felt purposeless and aimless in life in the present day, he will be able to relate better to the condition Stephen.” (possibly an incomplete sentence?)
Also, mind the correct use of “critic” and “critique”.

Paragraph 9: J

Paragraph 10: “…because everyone has these feelings in the current times.” (avoid using absolutes or generalizations that cannot be statistically backed up).

Paragraph 11:  “It is safe to conclude that by looking at literature and history as a part of the cultural exchange, one can critique a portrait of the artist as a young man in a unique manner.” (italicize titles)
“The context of political unrest of 1890s…” (missing “the” – “The context of political unrest in the 1890’s…”)



Paper Format


  • What level of achievement did the author score for this criterion?


Excellent (5): All format elements are correct.



  • What evidence from the paper do you have for this score?

Appropriate font and size, appropriate margins and line spacing. Missing is header and page numbers, but this is only a rough draft.




Research Citations

  • What level of achievement did the author score for this criterion?

Less than Satisfactory (2): Works Cited page is present. Paper uses fewer than seven scholarly sources. Citations are inconsistently used.


  • What evidence from the paper do you have for this score?

Four references are listed – one in-text citation is used for a direct quote from the novel itself. The other three are used in passing when mentioning the name of a critic, an irrelevant act of legislation, and the words “Christmas dinner” – no explanation is given for any of the last three quotes/citations. Definitely make sure that the citations you give have substantive material behind them and lend to your argument.


Three positive things about this rough draft are:

1)      The structure for the essay is excellent – the traditional introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion format has been expanded and has the potential to continue this expansion without issue.

2)      The sources mentioned and listed on the references page have the potential to add great weight to your argument.

3)      Sentence structure is varied and keeps the reader engaged – there are not too many long sentences or too many short sentences. The syntax is appropriate for an academic paper.


Three things that could be improved are:

1)      Better explaining of the citations used in the paper would greatly strengthen your arguments and lend them a stronger sense of authority; use direct quotes from these sources as well.

2)      A larger number of quotes directly from the book would also give the reader a better idea of the style of the book as well as the direct ways in which Stephen was impacted by the societal, religious, and political climate of the time – providing personal insight from Stephen will allow the reader to see how modern readers can relate to him regardless of the time difference.

3)  Make sure to read the paper aloud to yourself to ensure that it does not sound redundant, and to ensure that the syntax used is grammatically correct to the ear. This can also help you better understand where commas need to be placed. 


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