Does seek to judge the value of the work

Review (Evaluative) – does seek to judge the value of the work… (Formal Paper 3)


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Introduction. All good pieces of academic writing should have an introduction, and reviews are no exception. Open with a general description of the topic and/or problem addressed by the work in question. Think, if possible, of a hook to draw your readers in. (summary of the work in brief)


Summary of argument. Your review should, as concisely as possible, summarize the work’s argument. If there is an identifiable thesis statement, you may consider quoting it directly.


About the author(s). Some basic biographical information about the author(s) or editor(s) of the book you are reviewing is necessary. Who are they? What are they known for? What particular sorts of qualifications and expertise do they bring to the subject?  – Stephen King generally writes horror


Summary of contents. A reasonably thorough indication of the research methods used (if applicable) and of the range of substantive material covered in the book should be included. (longer works)


Strength. Identify one particular area in which you think the book/short story/play/film does well. This should, ideally, be its single greatest strength as a work.


Weakness. Identify one particular area in which you think the work could be improved. While this weakness might be related to something you actually believe to be incorrect, it is more likely to be something that the author omitted, or neglected to address in sufficient detail.


Conclusion. End your review with a concluding statement summarizing your opinion of the book/work/film or short story. You should also explicitly identify a range of audiences whom you think would appreciate reading or otherwise benefit from the work. (Who would like this work or/and who would benefit from reading/viewing/etc. the work?



Research Paper (Interpretive) – seeks to understand but does not judge its value…(4-6 works of primary literature) & (4-6 secondary sources)


Primary is the actual work being studied

Secondary source is commentary on the work (second-hand) – biographies, but also literary criticism (is just other’s interpretations of the work(s).


Works Cited page of 8 sources which is a mix of primary & secondary sources….


5-7 page paper




Who is the author
What are the pieces included in your examination
Where did the stories/poems take place (setting)
When did the stories take place (time period)
Why the author explored this topic (personal environmental influences or external such as war/depression)

Thesis…What did your author say about the topic through his/her works (theme) – interpretative thesis statement

Much of Orwell’s works consider the role minor officials play in the subjugation of the colonized to the detriment of their own humanity. Shooting an Elephant and A Hanging are examples…

Body Paragraphs should include:

  1. Topic sentence – referencing a work and element of that work that helps support your thesis statement
  2. Textual evidence (directly quote from the piece)
  3. Analysis of the evidence
  4. Outside secondary source (embedding that in your body paragraphs) – can be in contrast to what you are saying or validate what you are saying
  5. Transitional device that moves the reader to the next point
  • The research paper will be an expanded version of what you have already been doing, that is to closely read, examine the work for literary devices to help identify the meaning of the work, and to incorporate other interpretations from (authorities) in the form of literary criticism from the library.


  • What to avoid
    • Encyclopedias form online web sources
    • Criticism or cliff notes from online web sources
    • Evaluative language (no commenting on strengths or weaknesses of the work)


  • What might help
    • Research the time period the author lived in and place to help you glean a better understanding of work
  • Including historical information – do I cite that? Is the historical information common knowledge?
  • WWII – Nazi’s
  • 9/11
  • Slavery and segregation in the US
  • In-text citation (attribute the source you got it from)


Works Cited – list of your references

Make sure that work is mentioned in the body of your paper

Attributed the source in the paper….


Summary – Author’s name and title of the work…
Direct quote or paraphrase (last name & page #)


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