This form details a self-review of a close-to-final draft of your museum exhibit assignment, which is due on Thursday, September 30. By highlighting the criteria we will use in grading the assignment, this self-review should help you evaluate and revise your essay before you turn it in.
Once you written a fairly complete draft of your essay, read it over and underline the answers to each of the first five questions as if you were evaluating an essay written by a total stranger. Finding the answers to these questions should reinforce your understanding of the basic components we will be looking for.
- How does the writer describe the official story of the promise of America conveyed by the exhibit as a whole? Underline the sentence that articulates this most clearly.
- What evidence from the exhibit does he/she use to substantiate his/her claim about the official story? Underline each piece of evidence.
- What narrative does the writer find to challenge the official narrative? Underline the sentence that articulates this most clearly.
- What evidence from the exhibit does he/she use to substantiate the challenging or counter-narrative? Underline each piece of evidence.
- What new idea or perspective does the writer bring into the discussion by incorporating the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass? Underline this perspective.
If you found all five of these, then you have the basic components of the assignment. In order to begin to evaluate the quality of your draft (and answer question #6), you need to imagine yourself in the position of a reader who is not inclined to see things the way you do. This would be a reader who needs you to fully demonstrate the validity of your ideas by incorporating and analyzing relevant evidence from the exhibit.
- Would the writer’s use of evidence from the exhibit convince you of the validity of his/her analysis whether or not you agreed with his/her claims? Locate the places in the paper where he/she demonstrates his/her points most successfully and least successfully. Suggest what kinds of evidence and analysis would strengthen the paper.
In addition to handing in the final version of your museum paper on Thursday, September 30, you will also need to hand in the draft version that you read for this self-review. The draft version should include the underlining you made, as well as your response to the sixth bullet point above.