Does the paper present a foregone conclusion – is it intellectually rigorous enough?

Argument – Is there a thesis? Is it original/sophisticated?    Clear, nuanced – not just ‘yes or ‘no    Fairly clear, has a thesis    No thesis or unclear
Logic – is there a well-developed argument?    Excellent, >3 relevant supporting reasons    Some leaps/gaps in logic    Repeated leaps in logic
Organization – Is the organization clear and logical?    Well-organized    Some digressions but clear    Poorly organized
Visual analysis – Does the visual evidence support the argument?    Critical and thorough demonstration of close looking    Some relevant visual analysis    Insufficient attention to object
Textual evidence – How thorough was the research? Does the evidence support the argument?    Relevant quotes from primary materials, demonstrate knowledge, critical reading of key secondary sources    Some relevant citations of primary and secondary sources    Insufficient textual evidence
Mechanics and clarity – Are spelling, grammar and punctuation correct? Are ideas expressed clearly and elegantly?    No errors, clear and elegant word choice, sentence structure     Minor errors, clear expression ideas    Repeated errors and unclear expression ideas
Acknowledges counter-arguments    Acknowledges and responds to potential objections    Doesnt do this    Doesnt do this
Five questions to ask yourself:
1.    Does the paper have a thesis – a clearly defined argument/point or problem that it presents? Is this thesis clearly defined and specific?
2.    Does the paper make sufficient use of visual evidence?
3.    Are there gaps in the argument? Is the paper well-structured? Are there enough signposts and transition sentences to help the reader know what to expect?
4.    Do you hear the authors voice and opinions? (Note: this does NOT mean you give your opinion about quality OR use the first person. I dont care whether you think the painting is beautiful or a masterpiece, show me you can analyze the painting!)
5.    Does the paper present a foregone conclusion – is it intellectually rigorous enough? Stating something is a “masterpiece” is NOT a thesis.
Use a 12-point font, double-spaced with margins of at least 1 inch. As long as you are consistent, I dont mind what style of citation you use. Just make sure you give me the authors name, title and date of work and the page number you are referencing. Remember it is better to rephrase a secondary source and footnote it, integrating it into your own prose then the present a ‘collage of direct quotes. This assignment is about your analysis so footnotes should reflect research done on context but let your own analysis drive the paper. All works cited should also be listed at the end of your paper in alphabetical order. You should include images of any work discussed – labeled with the artist, title, medium and year.
Sample footnote / works cited.
Simon Schama, The Embarassment of Riches, London: Fontana, 1993: 223.
Schama, Simon. The Embarassment of Riches. London: Fontana, 1993.
Sample illustration label:
Peter Paul Rubens, Descent from the Cross, oil on canvas, 1610/11.