4 Above Standards



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The Great Gatsby Essay Rubric

CATEGORY

4 - Above Standards

3 - Meets Standards

2 - Approaching Standards

1 - Below Standards

Score

Attention Grabber

The introductory paragraph has a strong hook or attention grabber that is appropriate for the audience. This could be a strong statement, a relevant quotation, statistic, or question addressed to the reader.

The introductory paragraph has a hook or attention grabber, but it is weak, rambling or inappropriate for the audience.

The author has an interesting introductory paragraph but the connection to the topic is not clear.

The introductory paragraph is not interesting AND is not relevant to the topic.

 

Focus or Thesis Statement (points x 3)

The thesis statement clearly names the topic of the essay. It is a strong statement that can be proven true.

The thesis statement names the topic of the essay.

The thesis statement outlines some or all of the main points to be discussed but does not name the topic.

The thesis statement does not name the topic.

 

Evidence and Examples (points x 3)

All of the evidence and examples are specific, relevant and explanations are given that show how each piece of evidence supports the author's position. Three or more quotations are used.

Most of the evidence and examples are specific, relevant and explanations are given that show how each piece of evidence supports the author's position. Two quotations are used.

At least one of the pieces of evidence and examples is relevant and has an explanation that shows how that piece of evidence supports the author's position. One quotation is used.

Evidence and examples are NOT relevant AND/OR are not explained.

 

Closing paragraph

The conclusion is strong and leaves the reader solidly understanding the writer's position. Effective restatement of the thesis statement is included in the closing paragraph.

The conclusion is recognizable. The author's position is not clearly restated within the closing paragraph.

The author's position is not clearly restated within the closing paragraph.

There is no conclusion - the paper just ends.

 

Transitions

A variety of thoughtful transitions are used. They clearly show how ideas are connected

Transitions show how ideas are connected, but there is little variety

Some transitions work well, but some connections between ideas are fuzzy.

The transitions between ideas are unclear OR nonexistent.

 

Grammar & Spelling

Author makes no errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Author makes 1-2 errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Author makes 3-4 errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Author makes more than 4 errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

 

Total Points_____/40

The Great Gatsby Essay

Essay Requirements:

  • The essay needs to include an introductory paragraph, two body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  • In your essay you must be ANALYZING something. Simply retelling the story will not suffice.

  • TWO quotations MUST be included in each body paragraph.

  • A works cited must be included at the end of the essay. If you only use the novel, then that is the only source that will be listed.

  • ANY ATTEMPT AT PLAGIARISM WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC FAILING GRADE!

Possible Prompts:

  1. Is The Great Gatsby a true depiction of the American Dream? OR How is The Great Gatsby a true depiction of today’s American Dream?

  2. Who is the most important minor character in the novel? Myrtle? George Wilson? Meyer Wolfsheim? Owl Eyes? Jordan Baker? Why did Fitzgerald include them, and in what ways are they important to the story?

  3. Is Nick Carraway the most appropriate narrator for this novel? Evaluate the role of Nick as the narrator.  What is it about Nick that makes him OR does not make him an appropriate narrator for this particular story? 

  4. What is the most crucial example of symbolism within the novel? Colors? The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleberg? The green light?  How does symbolism contribute to the meaning of the work as a whole?

  5. Who is the most careless character? Tom? Daisy? Myrtle? Gatsby? Jordan? How is carelessness pivotal in the character’s life? Is carelessness related to childishness?

  6. Who is responsible for Gatsby’s death? Tom? Daisy? Myrtle? Gatsby himself? Give reasons why or why not.

What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.

  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.

  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.

  • makes a claim that others might dispute.

  • is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

Formulating the Thesis Statement

1. Look at the prompt. It’s in the form of a question:



Prompt: How is The Great Gatsby a true depiction of today’s American Dream?

2. Answer the question. This is your thesis. Do not forget the BECAUSE statement!



Thesis: The Great Gatsby is a true depiction of the American Dream that is alive in 2014 because….


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