NROC Developmental English

Unit 4: Interpreting Bias

Writing Assignment and Rubric

Writing Assignment

Write a multi-paragraph essay that takes a side to Kara Woodridge’s blog article, “Social Media: Friend or Foe?” For this writing assignment, your response should be persuasive, thoughtful, and detailed, showing various points that support the same topic. Logical evidence that backs up your opinion should be used throughout.

Your essay should clearly explain your view on whether or not social media is a friend or foe and why you feel this way. The first paragraph will offer an interesting introduction of the social media topic and your take on it. The following three paragraphs need to include: main points that develop your assertions, evidence to support them, and analysis explaining how the evidence supports the main point. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that clearly states your point and details to support/prove this point. You should have transitions between paragraphs that show why each point appears in this order. At the end of your last paragraph, you should include a concluding remark that gives a final interesting thought on your topic. A grading rubric will help you develop your paper.


Your essay will be graded using five separate categories: Purpose, Thesis Statement, Supporting Ideas, Paragraph Development, and Grammar & Punctuation. Each of these five items will be rated as Proficient, Developing, or Needs Improvement.

Proficient means that you have met the standards of an effective response. Developing means you have partially met the standards of a response, but it needs some revision. Needs Improvement means you did not meet the standards of a response.

Multi-Paragraph Essay



Needs Improvement

Purpose (persuasive writing)

Clearly presents a well-supported, interesting claim on social media and includes fresh, thoughtful views on the issue.

Includes a claim about social media, but the position is not fully supported and/or represents a commonly accepted view of the issue.

Does not include a clear claim or provide sufficient support.

Thesis Statement

Clearly presents a thesis statement in an interesting way and shows how the essay will progress.

Vaguely identifies a functional but uninteresting thesis statement. The overall direction of the essay is present but inconsistent.

Does not include a thesis statement about social media and the direction of the essay is unclear.

Supporting Ideas (use of Major and Minor Details)

Uses solid examples to support the thesis statement and prove important points.

Partially uses examples as proof; lacks support for some important points.

Does not develop or provide examples to prove or illustrate the claim.

Paragraph Development (strength of introduction, conclusion and coherency)

Smoothly connects ideas between/within paragraphs in a purposeful manner; introduction and conclusion make interesting, effective statements about the topic.

Ideas between/within paragraphs are partially connected or moderately purposeful; introduction and conclusion are present but not effective.

Missing connection between ideas; purpose of content is unclear; incomplete introduction and conclusion.

Grammar & Punctuation

Essay contains appropriate uses of commas, parallel structure, and adjectives and adverbs.

Essay needs further editing and/or contains some comma, parallel structure, and adjective/adverb usage problems.

Displays little attention to editing or correct usage of commas, parallel structure, and adjectives/adverbs.

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