English 1C: Essay #2 Handout

AssignmentDue DatePoint Value
Outline and Annotated Bibliography  See Calendar  Five and Ten Points
Rough Draft Final DraftSee Calendar See CalendarTen Points One Hundred and Ten Points

Write a well-written essay respond to the following:

As anyone who has read The Letters of John and Abigail Adams can attest, John wanted Abigail to keep the letters in order to “exhibit to our posterity a kind of picture of the manners, opinions, and principles of these times of perplexity, danger, and distress” (10).  Most readers can infer that the letters portrayed Abigail as intelligent, brave, political savvy, endowed with fortitude as well as other attributes. However, students basing history on HBO’s series John Adams, which some hold in high regard for recreating the historical narrative of time period just prior to the American Revolution, episode “Independence” will find Abigail’s role not only minimized, but the series infers subtle undertones of women not being as capable as men.  In a well-written essay, students are to accomplish the following: examine how the letters portray Abigail and explicate her, most prominent qualities.  These paragraphs should only contain quotes from the letters. Also, students should have separate paragraphs that examine whether the film matches those three areas.  If these qualities are not present, explicate what the film implicitly comments about Abigail in place of the qualities in the letters. Remember that the thesis should reflect this distinction. Within the film paragraphs, students need to provide peer reviewed sources to provide ethos to the commentary involving the critique of gender issues within film. Students should use at least two but no more than four valid peer reviewed secondary sources from databases (e.g. JSTOR or Academic Search Premier). The other evidence to contrast the film should come from the letters.

The paper should abide to the most current MLA standards.  On average, most students who are successful on this assignment meet a minimum of seven pages -- not including the Works Cited page.

The essay will be graded in the following areas with the point value occurring in parentheses:

Focus: a clear thesis statement within a well-written introduction that threads through each paragraph and concluding paragraph (30).

Development: elaborates the response with well-chosen examples and persuasive reasoning (30). Coherence/Organization: conforms to an organizational pattern that facilitates reader understanding, using

organizational patterns to demonstrate the relatedness of ideas and to enhance the power of the argument (15).

Style: displays a sophisticated style that reflects aptly chosen words and rhetorically effective sentence variety


Conventions of Standard Written English and the most current edition of MLA Citation Format: exhibits mastery of the conventions and MLA citation format as well as other elements of MLA format (20).

So, the essay portion of the assignment is worth a grand total of one hundred and ten points.

Note:  If the mechanics, usage, grammar, and/or syntax of the essay make the content of the essay incomprehensible, then this rubric cannot apply, and the essay cannot receive a passing grade.

Also, if the essay does not respond to what the prompt is requesting, then this rubric cannot apply, and the essay cannot receive a passing grade.