Literary Analysis Essay Rubric

Spencer – Period 3 – Amer Lit 11 CP

Literary Analysis Essay Rubric

Due Date: Friday, November 10th

Grade: 100 points

Your goal is to write a paper that makes a specific argument focusing on one of the following literary elements in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby:


This is the grade sheet that will be used to grade the essay. Use this as a guide after writing the essay to ensure you’ve accomplished all the needed components.

Content:-Emphasis on the student’s interpretation, not the book’s plot or another’s ideas-High quality ideas and nuanced commentary—arguments are not obvious-Formal and professional tone maintained-Does not use slang or casual language-Does not use “I think” statements-Does not use personal pronouns (you, me, I, we)-Uses strong contextual evidence to prove main point but does NOT summarize story-Strong word choice and vocabulary/30 pt
Organization:-Intro contains strong attention-getter/hook-States author and title of the novel-States thesis statement containing the argument regarding one literary element-States main points that will prove thesis-Contains a paragraph’s main point in a topic sentence-Contains transitions between new ideas (Additionally, furthermore, also, for example, subsequently, likewise, etc…)-Body paragraphs use main points to successfully prove thesis statement while tying back to the thesis.-Conclusion restates thesis statement-Conclusion reminds reader of main points-Provides logical conclusion statement/25 pt
Documentation:Use at least 5 quotes from primary and secondary sources to prove thesis: at least two from secondary sources and at least three quotes from the novel-Cite quotes correctly (page number in parenthesis or referenced in the sentence)-Works Cited page included on a separate page/25 pt
Length Requirements:-9 to 12 paragraphs (3 points per paragraph)-Written in Times New Roman, double-spaced, 12 point font/10 pt
Mechanics:-No proofreading errors in spelling or spacing-Does not use fragments and run-ons-Correctly punctuates-Consistent verb tense (Present tense unless a specific transition is used to past/future)/10 pt
Total/100 pt


(Also available on itslearning)

I. Introduction

A. Attention getter or “hook” (fact, quote, question, provocative statement):

B. Necessary Information: (give context, state title, author, summarize story as it relates to topic)

C. Thesis statement: (what you will prove; needs to be arguable and provable )

***Remember, the best thesis statements answer a “Why?” question (like, why did the author make this choice?)

II. Main Idea 1 (2-3 paragraphs)

A. Topic sentence or main idea:

B. Quotation from the book (with page #)

C. Analysis (3-5 sentences explaining importance of quote—relate back to thesis)

III. Main Idea 2 (2-3 paragraphs)

A. Topic sentence or main idea:

B. Quotation from the book or outside source (with page #)

C. Analysis (3-5 sentences explaining importance of quote—relate back to thesis)

IV. Main Idea 3 (2-3 paragraphs)

A. Topic sentence or main idea:

B. Quotation from the book or outside source (with page #)

C. Analysis (3-5 sentences explaining importance of quote—relate back to thesis)

V. Counterpoints (Anticipate criticism or provide a response to different interpretations)

A. Summary of another critic’s argument:

B. Quotation from outside source (with page #)

C. Rebuttal (3-5 sentences explaining why you agree or disagree with the critic)

VI. Conclusion

A. Restate thesis in a new way

B. Summarize main points in detail

C. Closing thoughtful remark (the “clincher”—leave the reader with something heavy to ponder or digest)

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