Students, please read this note before clicking on the link below.
This paper is the real deal, written by an undergraduate in one of my English classes during the 2008-09 academic year.
It has been anonymized, and the author has given me permission to use it as a sample. I retain the copyright privileges
to his/her work.
Is it the best paper I've ever received from a student? Is it perfect? No on both counts, but it is in almost every respect
an exemplary, solid "A" paper that can serve as a practical model for most students. This particular student was very
bright--that much is perfectly clear--but, more important than this, he/she was well-organized, put a lot of thought into
phrasing and accurate syntax and grammar, followed instructions, and developed a sound thesis, which is well supported
with close reading. I firmly believe that most students can do the same, if only they take the time and put in the sweat.
This paper is a good model not because it displays effortless genius, but because it displays hard work and plenty of
You'll notice my comments in the right margin. I haven't commented on every good and bad thing about the essay, only
those aspects of it that might help to clarify for you why it earned the grade it did. You do not need to have read The Sun
Also Rises to appreciate this sample, and the paper will not be of less use to you because (as they case may be) your
assignment is compare/contrast and this one is based on a single work. As my comments indicate, this is a rhetorical model:
consider the author's organization, his/her style, and the kind of thesis and analysis he/she uses. That's the point of this sample.