English 102

Extra Credit Assignment: Policy Recommendation

Due Date

This assignment will be due on Wednesday, June 8.

Assignment Instructions

As you know, the final research paper may not have a prescriptive thesis. However, people often want to propose a solution to the problem they are writing about, which basically means making a prescriptive claim. This extra credit assignment gives you the opportunity to make that prescriptive claim, separate from your research paper.

In this assignment, you will write a policy recommendation in which you argue for a particular solution or approach to the problem described in your research paper. This recommendation will:

Scoring Criteria

This assignment will be worth 5% of the total grade. It will be graded using 4 criteria, each scored from 0-4. The grade for the assignment will be the average of all 4 scores.

These are the criteria I will use to score the letter:

  1. Thesis: What is the recommendation? What change in policy or new approach are you arguing for? Is the thesis clearly expressed? Do all parts of the letter help to support the thesis, or does it go off track or introduce irrelevant material?
  2. Evidence: What does your research show about the problem? What facts, data or examples do you have to support this recommendation? Is the evidence sufficient, relevant, representative? Is it summarized effectively?
  3. Reasoning: Why does your evidence support the recommendation? What assumptions are you making about the evidence? Explaining why your evidence supports the recommendation, and identifying some key assumptions in your argument, are two good ways to show the reader your reasoning.
  4. Language: Uses language appropriately. This includes the following:
    • The style is objective, formal, concise, precise and varied.
    • The mechanics (punctuation, spelling and grammar) are correct.
    • Quotes are relevant and accurate, illustrate important points, and are integrated smoothly into the essay.
    • All paraphrases use your own words, and are integrated smoothly into the essay.
    Because this is being sent to a real person, I will place more emphasis on language than I do on other assignments. It should be letter-perfect, without grammar errors, spelling errors or punctuation errors, and the style should be appropriate to the audience.

Length and Format

The recommendation should be between 500 and 1,000 words.