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Sample Language for a Writer’s Self-Assessment of the Writing Process and Product¹

Writing Your Notes and Drafts Writing Your Final Paper
Audience Is yourself as you take notes, outline, and learn about your topic and the assignment² Is a reader whom you show that you have control over the material and the elements of writing
Purpose Is to inform yourself about the material and assignment; to begin to persuade or inform a reader Is to inform your reader about your knowledge of the material or argue/persuade a point convincingly
Thesis Is a “working thesis” that will start generally and get more specific as you read, draft, and revise Is a statement or statements of your main point or argument and your method to support your point
Voice Is casual, tentative, speculative Is authoritative
Tone Is informal; may be written in your first language if you are multilingual Is formal; factual for informative papers; varies for the argument; is written in Standard English
Stance Is close to the writer as reader Is professional, distant from reader for informative; varies for argument
Organization Follows the order of the assignment question or directions Follows clear introduction’ body paragraphs have topic sentences and transitions; conclusion is clear
Development Follows the specific language of the assignment, e.g. compare, contrast, define, give examples Each paragraph develops with evidence and relates to the thesis and assignment
Style Is informal Sentences are clear; for information transactional; for argument sentence length and rhythm vary to create a clear effect
Diction Is informal Shows mastery of the language of the subject and formal writing
Editing All choices about paragraph organization and development and sentence construction relate to the assignment and to the audience, purpose, and “working thesis” Every element of organization, development, style, diction, editing and conventions relates to audience, purpose, thesis, and the assignment
Conventions Adequate enough to draft APA or other required format

¹ Jernquist, K. Developed in 1985. Revised in 1994, 2003, 2004, 2011; Used by permission.
² The concept of audience is from J. Britton, Language and Learning. England: Penguin Books, 1972.

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