English 110: Solberg
TAKE-HOME PORTION: ESSAY #7: SELF-EVALUATION
DUE to Erika AND to TurnItIn at the beginning of the exam period
(Friday, May 9, 8:00 a.m.)
This essay is a take-home exam.
YOU SHOULD NOT RECEIVE ASSISTANCE FROM ANYONE WITH THIS ESSAY.
Description: Write an argumentative essay that gives an evaluation of your work this semester, using
specific examples from your writing. See Evaluation essay assignment sheet and GRCA Chapter 8 and
pp. 43 for more background.
Purpose: To show your awareness of concepts studied this semester, to revisit your work and think
about how it fits into your broader goals as a student, and to evaluate your own progress as an
Audience: Your professor.
Detailed description: The self-evaluation should be a 1000-1250 word essay that contains the following
1. INTRODUCTION (paragraph 1): Write a brief (about 150 words) introduction that tells your reader
what you are going to cover in the essay and gives some general context to your discussion. For
instance, the introduction would be a good place to explain what your overall goals were in taking the
class and how the concepts we studied relate to your broader goals (for example, will arguing help
you in your particular major or a particular field of work? How will better grammar give you more
confidence as a student? etc.) Be sure to include a central claim/ thesis that gives an overall
judgment (evaluation) of your work and progress this semester; this thesis should be an arguable
2. BODY I: Each of the following paragraphs should be 200-300 words long. Each paragraph will
look at one area we have covered this semester. Each paragraph should
A. State your judgment on how well you progressed in that area this semester. For example,
you might say, “My argument skills began weak and ended strong,” or “My writing process
got stronger in the middle of the semester but became weak against the end.” Your
have clear connections to your thesis
use value words like "stronger," better," "equal," and “weaker”
be arguable assertions.
B. Define the 1-3 main criteria that you consider to be most important in that area and that
therefore need to be considered when determining how well one has done in that area. (For
instance, does doing well in grammar mean not having any major errors? Does it mean
writing a variety of sentences? Does it mean using complex and appropriate vocabulary?
etc.) Be sure to EXPLAIN why these criteria are most important to you. These criteria
will be arguable assertions because other people may have different ideas about what is
important in the different areas. [If you forget what criteria are, see Terms to Know,
Evaluation essay assignment sheet, and GRCA Chapter 8 and pp. 43]
C. Support your judgment in each paragraph by
i. Providing evidence.
Use specific and clear EXAMPLES from your own essays, from your writing
process, and/or from my comments.
DIRECT QUOTATIONS are always a good idea.
Make sure these examples are relevant for the judgment you are supporting
AND for the criteria you have established. For instance, if you say your grammar
has gotten better AND that good grammar means having as few major errors as
possible, you should then give evidence that you had fewer major errors on your
essays at the end of the semester than at the beginning.
Make sure your evidence is sufficient. For instance, if you are arguing that your
argumentative skills have stayed the same, and your main criteria are that thesis
statements must be clear and that reasons must be effective, your evidence
should include multiple examples of your thesis statements, not just one, AND
multiple examples of your reasons from various essays.
Of course, also make sure your evidence is credible and consistent.
** Remember that the bulk of any argument should be made up of evidence.**
ii. AND explaining HOW that evidence proves your point. For instance, if
your judgment is that your writing process has gotten weaker,
your main criterion is how much time you put into each draft,
and your evidence is that on the causal essay you averaged two hours per
draft while on the sourced essay you only averaged one hour,
then explain that the lesser amount of time shows that by not giving yourself as
much time, you were rushing your ideas and not revising all sections. After all, that
evidence could also support an assertion that your writing process has gotten better if
you explained that the lesser amount of time shows you are working more efficiently.
In other words, the explanation shows how the evidence supports your point; you do
not just want your evidence to stand alone.
D. Explain specifically HOW you can improve in the areas you consider to be most important,
especially the ones in which you are still weak (for example, read more, use a writing tutor,
work on strengthening topic sentences, read a text more than once, etc.).
3. BODY II: Each body paragraph (essay paragraphs 2, 3, and 4) should cover a different area that we
have focused on this semester.
A. Paragraph 2 area: Grammar (not just major errors and spelling/apostrophe/typographical
errors but also modifiers, appropriate vocabulary, varied sentence structure, etc.).
B. Paragraph 3 area: Writing Process: Writing process includes things like invention, drafting,
editing, getting feedback, critiquing your own work, time management, revision, and
C. Paragraph 4 area: Arguing: This area should include the components of argument (thesis,
reasons, evidence, logos, pathos, ethos, rebuttal, etc.) as well as organization, clearly cuing
your reader, developing your points, introducing and concluding your argument, documenting
sources, etc. Remember that the overall goal of arguing is to persuade your reader. This
paragraph should be your LONGEST.
4. CONCLUSION: Write a brief (about 150 words) conclusion that recaps your main points and gives
me a sense of what direction you will be going in as you continue your academic studies and writing.
Again, give me a sense of how your skills fit into the big picture of you as a student.
Points to consider:
This assignment is worth 30% of your final exam grade, which is worth 17% of your overall course
grade. It is part of your final because it is a culmination of your work this semester AND because you
should find it worthwhile. Therefore, take the assignment seriously AND try to make it a useful
exercise rather than just a requirement you have to meet -- try to think carefully about where you
have been, where you are, and where you want to be as a writer.
The self-evaluation should NOT be a gee-you're-such-a great-teacher or a man-you're-such-a-
horrible-teacher essay. Instead, give an honest assessment of YOUR work backed up by evidence
and analysis. The focus should be on YOU and YOUR work.
You do NOT need to cite sources in the self-evaluation.
See sample outline for more guidance on what you need to include in this essay
Turnitin.com: Each student is required to submit his/her self-evaluation to turnitin.com by the start of the
Formatting: Follow standard formatting guidelines EXCEPT
Do not include an audience in your ID Info and do not include a title; instead, write "Dear Professor
Solberg:" as you would in a letter
At the end of the essay, use a closing (such as “sincerely”) and sign your name.
Don’t forget to include a signed honesty statement. Here is a sample first page of the self-evaluation:
Ms. Erika Solberg
December 14, 2004
Dear Professor Solberg:
During this semester, I ……
Here is a sample last page of the self-evaluation:
and thus I expect to be a well-respected pathologist with strong grammar skills.
The writing in this essay is my own work. If I have used outside sources, I have
acknowledged them correctly.
You will receive a holistic grade based on how well you met each requirement of the essay.
Grammar and spelling WILL be taken into account, but you will not lose a set amount of points for
grammar and spelling errors.
Penalties will be assessed for late work.
You will get a quiz grade for essay formatting.
DON'T HESITATE TO TALK TO ME IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.
**Remember, you may NOT get assistance from a writing tutor, me, or anyone else with this