Assignment Rubric A research essay that “Achieves Excellence” will be distinguished in the following criteria: The writer demonstrates an understanding of the academic for the assignment, including paying attention to the rhetorical norms of his or her specific academic audience. The writer advances a thesis based on research and critical analysis. The writer thesis statement is advanced throughout the essay based on evidence from the writer’s sources. The writer appropriately uses sources to advance his or her thesis statement. The writer appropriately uses summary, paraphrase, and/or direct quotation. The writer meets the Standards for Effective Composition (clarity, logic, accuracy, etc). The essay is 1700-2000 words. The writer adheres to MLA style for in-text citations. The writer demonstrates sound document design in MLA format and has an original title. The writer has a Works Cited page in MLA format.