Your essay should include the following format and items to be considered complete.  You may choose any topic from the textbook that you would like to learn more about.  Your topic should be narrow enough to be able to write the paper without being overwhelmed and broad enough to gather enough information for the paper requirements. 

Broad topic:  sleep

Subtopic:  shift work

Paper Topic:  Does shift work create health problems for individuals.

Locate 3-5 academic articles related to your topic.  All articles should be a minimum of 3 pages in length.  Your articles should be current and no older than 2008.  Your articles should come from peer-reviewed journals that you can get from the Library database.  Articles from newspapers, popular magazines, book reviews, or websites are not acceptable for this paper. All of your articles should not come from the same publication.


  • Must contain an attention grabber for the reader or at least make the essay sound interesting, may begin with a quote about the particular topic
  • Ensure that the intro moves from the general to the specific in regards to the topic
  • Provides the reader with a “road map” of the essay in a logical order
  • At the end there should be what is called a thesis statement, arguably the most important component of the intro
  • The thesis statement states the aim of the paper and may give insight into the author’s examples and evidence


  • Includes the evidence and support of the paper in addition to the author’s ideas
  • Paragraphs must include a topic sentence which relates the discussion back to the thesis statement
  • Logical ordering of ideas: 3 types of order
  • Chronological order—order of time, good for narratives
  • Spatial order-good for descriptions of locations; top to bottom, e.g.
  • Emphatic order-least important to most important; most common for college writing
  • Ensure that transition sentences are present to create a good flow to the essay
  • Include substantial examples and evidence to support your argument and remember to cite, cite, cite!
  • Make sure each example is relevant to your particular topic


  • This section should wrap all of your arguments and points
  • Should restate the main arguments in a simplified manner
  • Ensure that the reader is left with something to think about, particularly if it is an argumentative essay

Grading Rubric:  Total value:  200 points

IntroductionThe introduction includes a clear thesis statement, provides a clear direction for the paper, and grabs the reader’s attention.The thesis statement is not clear but the reader can infer the paper topic.  There is direction for the paper, and the introductions moves smoothly into the body of the paper.There is no clear thesis statement.
Body  Includes evidence and support of the author’s thesis statement.  Each paragraph includes an easy to read topic sentence and transitions are smooth.  The paper is logical and easy to read while staying on topic.  All ideas presented are supported with sources that meet the source requirements.Some evidence and support of the author’s thesis statement.  Most paragraphs include topic sentences and smooth transitions.  There are some areas of the paper that are not logical and do not flow.  Most ideas are supported with sources.There is no clear direction in the paper.  Paragraphs are not clearly defined and transitions are not smooth.  There is no support of the ideas presented by the author.
Conclusion  The conclusion provides a clear summary of the paper.  The conclusion gives the reader something to think about after reading the paper.  The conclusion provides ideas for the future of the topic.There is a conclusion but it is incomplete.There is no conclusion.
    Source Documentation    There are 3-5 acceptable peer-reviewed sources.  Sources are cited in the writing and referenced in a bibliography or works cited page.There are 1-3 acceptable peer-reviewed sources.  Sources are cited in the writing and referenced in a bibliography or works cited page.There are no sources provided.

Updated April, 2019

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