Human Rights and Literature

Fall 2013 University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

ENG 132 Human Rights and Literature

Instructor: Nigel Hatton, Ph.D. MWF 2:30 – 3:20 pm
CLSSRM 129
CRN 31890

Office Hours: MW 1-2:30 pm, by appointment Office Location: COB 321
Telephone: (209) 228-4384
Email:
nhatton@ucmerced.edu

“... to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours,”—from the preamble, Charter of the United Nations

“The writings they place in the scale may only be imagined, but if the imagining is credible, if it persuades us to suspend our disbelief, it will be part of the redress that human dignity, human rights, human reason, human consciousness all desire and deserve.” —Seamus Heaney, 1995 Nobel Literature Laureate

“Conscious that all peoples are united by common bonds, their cultures pieced together in a shared heritage, and concerned that this delicate mosaic may be shattered at any time,” —from the preamble, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,” —from the preamble, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“And it is interesting, if troubling that human rights is still not naturally and automatically understood to include women. It’s as though there are humans and then there are women—a supplement to, if not separate from, real human beings.” —Toni Morrison, 1993 Nobel Literature Laureate

Course Description: A human rights revolution gained momentum at the midway point of the twentieth century, resulting in collections of global rights and protections that individuals could not previously appeal to in the face of abusive governments and regimes. This course traces the development of the social, legal and political discourses of global human rights, and the inter-related emergence of literary forms that embody, challenge and critically engage with human rights ideas. The course examines the foundations of human rights, its modern and contemporary formations, as well as key organizations, concepts, documents, treaties, and statutes that have

combined to cast human rights as a global lingua franca. Debates about human rights will emphasize the legal and political, as well as the artistic and imaginative.

Goals: Students who complete this course should develop advanced problem-solving skills and close reading strategies, and the ability to comparatively analyze, parse, contextualize and synthesize complex texts and ideas from across disciplines.

Objectives:
Recognize
and articulate foundational assumptions, narratives and critical debates about human rights in legal, political, social and humanist spheres. Identify and excavate human rights ideas, arguments and themes from both traditional knowledge production forms as well as from abstract written and visual texts and art forms. Develop an understanding and appreciation for the relationship between human rights

Fall 2013 University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

and the humanities in a global multicultural context cognizant of complexity marked by intersectionalities among race, class, gender and sexuality. Distinguish among primary, secondary and tertiary literature, and review and evaluate critical reception of authors and their respective texts. Read and Interpret texts using close reading strategies that mine historical, cultural and temporal context, and rely on careful methods of literary and rhetorical analysis. Identify and explain the significance of important documents such as the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and locate and explain the ways in which these documents are signified in the imaginative production of global writers and artists. Respond to interpretations of authors and texts with oral and written work that surpasses mere summarization and repetition of received ideas.

Required Texts:

Agosín, Marjorie. A Map of Hope: Women's Writings on Human Rights : An International Literary Anthology. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1999.

Amnesty International. Freedom: Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 1 US ed. New York: Broadway Paperbacks, 2009.

Barnett, Michael N. Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2011.

Chabon, Michael. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: A Novel. New York: Random House, 2000.

Coetzee, J. M. Disgrace. 1 American ed. New York: Vikings, 1999.

Dongala, Emmanuel Boundzéki, and Maria Louise Ascher. Johnny Mad Dog. 1 American ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

Stone, Sarah. The True Sources of the Nile: A Novel. 1st ed. New York: Doubleday, 2002.

Recommended:

Dawes, James. That the World may Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Flattley, Kerry, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, and Amnesty International. From the Republic of Conscience: An International Anthology of Poetry. Flemington, Vic., Australia; Fredonia, N.Y., USA: Aird Boks in association with Amnesty International; White Pine Press distributor, 1992.

Goldberg, Elizabeth Swanson, and Alexandra Schultheis Moore. Theoretical Perspectives on Human Rights and Literature. Vol. 2. New York: Routledge, 2012.

Love, Seán. From the Republic of Conscience: Stories Inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dublin Ireland; Chester Springs, Pa.: Liberties; Distributed in the United States by Dufour Editions, 2009.

Fall 2013 University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

Slaughter, Joseph R. Human Rights, Inc.: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law. 1st ed. New York: Fordham University Press, 2007.

Grading

Class participation (10 percent)
Close readings (20 percent)
Presentation (10 percent)
Five- to six-page midterm paper (15 percent)
Short story, poem, or novel chapter, and critical review (15 percent) Ten- to twelve-page final paper (20 percent)

Quizzes and final exam (10 percent)

Attendance

Attendance is mandatory. Your presence in class is especially significant to the learning environment for you and the other students in the course. It is impossible to duplicate seminar discussions, group work, and dialectal exchanges in the course of lectures. Given the importance of student participation, multiple absences will negatively affect your grade. After four absences, your course grade will be lowered half a letter grade for every absence. Arriving late to class or leaving early three times counts as an absence. After five absences, you may have to withdraw from the course.

Academic Integrity

Students who submit plagiarized work will be subject to consequences ranging from a grade of “F” on the assignment to suspension from the university. Please see the University’s Academic Honesty Policy available from the Office of Student Life.

Learning Environment

Any student who feels he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss his or her specific needs. Also contact Disability Services at (209) 228-7884 as soon as possible to become registered and thereby ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Presentations

Students will be asked to prepare concise and thoughtful presentations on one or more of the readings and to develop questions designed to facilitate discussion of course concepts and themes. As part of your presentation, submit an outline, notes or a short paper.

Close Reading Assignments

This course places a great emphasis on close reading or critical attention to visual, print and oral texts. Thus, we will rely heavily on constant returns to the text. Consider course readings in light of personal experience, beliefs and values; also, think about the historical and cultural context of the writing we examine. Because of their relationship to class discussions, readings are mandatory. Not completing reading assignments means you are unprepared for class. Every second week you are required to complete a close reading of one of the assigned texts.

Fall 2013 University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

Week One:

Friday, August 30, 2013: Course Introduction

Homework:

For Wednesday, September 4, 2013, please complete the following:

• Read Introduction and Chapter 1 (pp. 1-46) in Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism

• Note, underline and be prepared to discuss the appearance of the terms “history,” “narratives,” and “story” in the Introduction and Chapter 1. In your notes, prepare a definition of “humanitarianism” based on information provided by the author.

• Familiarize yourself with the Geneva Conventions, the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The texts of these treaties are available at www.treaties.un.org. In your notes, articulate your own interpretation of the narrative or story these documents create. The text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is also available in Freedom: Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (399-404) and A Map of Hope: Women's Writings on Human Rights : An International Literary Anthology (xxv-xxix).

• Read the two Forewords and Introduction (vii-xiv) in Freedom: Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Note, underline and be prepared to discuss the appearance of the terms, “story,” “storytelling,” and “empathy.”

• Read the short story, “Sola,” (pp. 310-14) in Freedom: Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What is the relationship between this story and Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

• Writing Assignment: Submit (bring a hard copy to class on September 4, 2013) a one-page, single-spaced typed discussion of your preliminary understanding of the relationship between human rights and literature. You may draw examples and inspiration from texts, but remember to develop an original thesis and response.

Looking ahead:

Homer’s The Odyssey
Sophocles’ Antigone
African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Seamus Heaney
Richard Rorty
Literature and the Law
Humanitarianism
Human Rights
International Humanitarian Law
International Human Rights Law
Redress
Reconciliation

Fall 2013 University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

Week Two

Monday, September 2, 2013 Labor Day Holiday

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism
“Sola,” (pp. 310-14) in Freedom: Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Friday, September 6, 2013

“Introduction” (pp. xiii – xxiii), “Conversation with a Stone,” (pp. 36-8), “War and Memory” (pp. 47-55), and “Deadline” (pp. 70-1) in A Map of Hope

“Amnesty” (pp. 315-23) in Freedom

* “Introduction: The Poetic Redress” (pp. 15-21) in From the Republic of Conscience

Week Three

Sunday, September 8, 2013 International Literacy Day

Monday, September 9, 2013
Chapter 2, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism “Busy Lines” (1-6) and “Homecoming” (pp. 190-4) in Freedom * “Introduction” (xi – xlv) in The Odyssey

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
“An Internet Baby” (324-9) and “ABC Antidote” (340-50) in Freedom

* “Book 1: Athena Visits Telemachus” (pp. 3-14) and “Book 2: The Debate in Ithaca” (pp. 15-26) in The Odyssey

Friday, September 13, 2013
“The Hour of Truth” (pp. 320-34) in A Map of Hope

* “Book 19: Eurycleia Recognizes Odysseus” (250-65) and “Book 20: Prelude to the Crisis” (266- 76) in The Odyssey

* “Human Rights in the English Department”
Close Reading No. 1 Due (submit electronically)

Fall 2013 University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

Sunday, September 15, 2013 International Day of Democracy

Week Four

Monday, September 16, 2013
Chapter 3, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism * Antigone
“Musée des Faux Arts” (261-3) in A Map of Hope

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Opening of the 67th Session at UN Headquarters in New York * Antigone
A Map of Hope

Friday, September 20, 2013 * Antigone

The True Source of the Nile

Freedom
Saturday, September 21, 2013

International Day of Peace

Week Five

Monday, Sept 23, 2013
Chapter 4, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism The True Source of the Nile
* from Inventing Human Rights

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
United Nations Opening of the general debate on high-level meeting on rule of law The True Source of the Nile
Ä Map of Hope
Freedom

Fall 2013 University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

Friday, September 27, 2013
The True Source of the Nile

A Map of Hope
Freedom
Close Reading No. 2 Due (Submit Electronically)

Week Six

Monday, September 30, 2013 Research Seminar

* “Human Rights as Violence and Enigma: Can Literature Really Be of Any Help with the Politics of Human Rights?” in Theoretical Perspectives on Human Rights and Literature

The True Source of the Nile Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The True Source of the Nile

A Map of Hope Friday, October 4, 2013

Johnny Mad Dog

Freedom

Week Seven

Monday, October 7, 2013
Chapter 5, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism Johnny Mad Dog

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 Johnny Mad Dog

Freedom
Friday, October 11, 2013

Johnny Mad Dog Freedom

Fall 2013 University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

Close Reading No. 3 Due (Submit Electronically)

Week Eight

Monday, October 14, 2013
Chapter 6, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism Johnny Mad Dog

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Johnny Mad Dog

Friday, October 18, 2013
Midterm Paper Due (Submit Electronically)

Week Nine

Monday, October 21, 2013
Chapter 7, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013 United Nations Founded

Friday, October 25, 2013 Freedom

A Map of Hope
* African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

* “Sad Stories in the International: Public Sphere: Richard Rorty on Culture and Human Rights,”

Close Reading No. 4 Due

Week Ten

Monday, October 28, 2013
Chapter 8, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism

“That Other World That Was the World” (pp. 290-98) and “A Window on Soweto” (pp. 110-15) in A Map of Hope

Fall 2013 University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

Guest: Professor Jonathan Jansen, 2013 Spendlove Prize Recipient Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Disgrace
Friday, November 1, 2013

Disgrace

Creative work (short story, poem, novel chapter) and critical analysis due (submit electronically

Week Eleven

Monday, November 4, 2013
Chapter 9, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Disgrace

Friday, November 8, 2013 Disgrace

Close Reading No. 5 Due

Week Twelve

Monday, November 11, 2013 Veteran’s Day Holiday

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Disgrace

Friday, November 15, 2013 Disgrace

No Class Meeting

Week Thirteen

Monday, November 18, 2013
Chapter 10, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism Freedom

Fall 2013

University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

* That the World May Know Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Freedom

* That the World May Know Friday, November 22, 2013

Freedom
* That the World May Know Close Reading No. 6 Due

Week Fourteen

Monday, November 25, 2013
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Research Session [No Class Meeting]

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 The Amazing Adventures

Friday, November 29, 2013 Thanksgiving Break

Sunday, December 1, 2013 World AIDS Day

Week Fifteen

Monday, December 2, 2013
Chapter 10 and Conclusion, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism The Amazing Adventures

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
International Day of Persons with Disabilities The Amazing Adventures

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fall 2013

University of California, Merced (ENG 132)

The Amazing Adventures Friday, December 6, 2013

The Amazing Adventures

Close Reading No. 7 Due

Week Sixteen

Monday, December 9, 2013
The Amazing Adventures

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Human Rights Day

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 The Amazing Adventures

Friday, December 13, 2013
Final Paper Due (Submit Electronically) The Amazing Adventures

Final Exam

8:30 – 11:30 am CLSSRM 272

ENG132 Final Paper

Final Paper

Length: 10-12 pages, MLA style, double spaced, appropriately titled, edited and spell-checked

Due:
Working Thesis and Selected Texts of Primary Analysis: 12/1/13 Final Paper: 12 pm, 12/13/13 (no late papers will be accepted) (both via UCMCrops dropbox)

What is the place and significance of fictional and imaginative literature in the development of ideas about human rights and humanitarianism? Do imaginative works contribute in positive and/or negative ways to these discourses and movements? How so? Formulate an argumentative thesis addressing this topic and these questions, and defend your thesis through the incorporation of materials and evidence from the source lists below. Your primary analysis will be a comparison of two novels, three or more short stories and/or poems, a novel and a treaty, or a treaty and two or more stories and/or poems. While these represent the mains texts that you are asked to analyze in your paper, you are obligated to draw upon material from every category on the source list. You have several options for incorporating required source materials that are not texts chosen for primary analysis: they may appear as epigraphs, secondary and tertiary references, examples, anecdotes, material for introductions and conclusions, footnotes, etc.

Source List

A. Select at least two of the following novels:

Coetzee, J. M. Disgrace.

Dongala, Emmanuel. Johnny Mad Dog.

Chabon, Michael. The Amazing Adventures of Adventures of Kavalier and Klay

B. Choose at least three stories, autobigraphies and/or poems from the following anthologies:

Agosín, Marjorie. A Map of Hope: Women's Writings on Human Rights : An International Literary Anthology.

Amnesty International. Freedom: Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

ENG132 Final Paper

C. Select at least two of the following treaties, covenants, conventions or declarations:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court The United Nations Charter
African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen The Declaration of Independence

1. Choose at least one of the following scholarly texts:

Barnett, Michael N. Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism.

Dawes, James. That the World may Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity.

Hunt, Lynn. Inventing human rights: a history.

2. Draw from the philosophical ideas (those we have encountered in the seminar) of at least one of the thinkers below:

Plato (poets), Aristotle (tragedy, plot, character), Hegel (lord-bondsman, dialecticism), Kierkegaard (expression of ideas through music), Levinas (self/other), Bakhtin (the novel), Head (the novel), Heaney (human rights & literature)

3. Incorporate some discussion from one or more of the following classical texts: Homer’s Odyssey, Sophocles’ Antigone, Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Poetics

4. Draw and cite from class discussions with at least one of the following writers: Sarah Stone, Emmanuel Dongala or Jonathan Jansen.

5. You may, but are not obligated to, draw upon personal experience, your creative writing assignment, and current events, media reports, to support your ideas.

Below find a basic structure for formulating an argumentative essay. Keep in mind that, for your purposes, evidence refers to textual evidence.

(Proem—from the Greek word proemium, meaning “before the song” or Exordium— from the Latin weaving term for “beginning a web”)--Draw your reader into the argument. Build common ground. Establish your tone and style. Establish your credentials. Clarify why the issue is important. Build ethos (ethical appeal, attempt to gain trust, admiration).

Inquisitive shows that the subject in question is “important, curious, or otherwise interesting.”

ENG132 Final Paper

Paradoxical dwells on characteristics of the subject that seem improbable but are nonetheless real. This form of introduction searches for the strange and curious perspectives on the subject.

Corrective shows that the subject has been “neglected, misunderstood, or misrepresented by others.” As Whately says, this immediately removes the danger that the subject will be thought trite or hackneyed.

Preparatory explains peculiarities in the way the subject will be handled, warns against misconceptions about the subject, or apologizes for some deficiency in the presentation.

Narrative leads to the subject by narrating a story or anecdote. Questions to consider after writing your argumentative essay:

1. Do the first four sentences attract my interest?
2. Is the subject clearly defined in the introduction?
3. Is the introduction too long?
4. Does the introduction seem to be aimed at a specific audience? What is that audience?
5. Do I want to know more, to keep reading? Why?

Statement of the Case (Fact)

(Narratio)— Narration. Background. Tell the story behind the argument. Give any necessary background information. Illuminate the situational context. Clarify the issue. Characterize and define the issue in terms that are favorable to your point of view. This section should be lucid, brief, plausible. Your tone should be neutral, calm, matter-of-fact, free of overt stylistic mannerisms and obvious bias. Readers will reward a writer’s understatement and attempt to be fair.

Questions to consider after writing the statement of fact:

1.

2. 3.

Does this section clearly explain the nature of the problem or the situation?

Is there anything not told that I need to know?
Does the problem or situation continue to interest me?

Proposition Statement

(Propositio)--State your central proposition. Present it carefully, much as you would the Thesis in a Thesis/Support Essay.

Perhaps set up expectations by forecasting important subpoints (Divisio)that will be considered.

Confirmation

ENG132 Final Paper

(Confirmatio)--Develop and support your own case, much in the manner of a traditional Thesis/Support Essay. Use examples, facts, and statistics to back up your claims. Avoid logical fallacies. Argue from authority, definition, analogy, cause/effect, value, and purpose. Base your appeal primarily on logos (rational appeal).

Once you have a clear vision of the confirmation's main points and supporting details, you can consider a strategy of disclosure. Which point should come first? Which next? Which last? One effective way of ordering the supporting points is to rank them in order of importance and then arrange them as follows:

1. Second most important point 2. Point of lesser importance
3. Point of lesser importance
4. Most important point

Such an arrangement offers two advantages. It places your strongest points in positions of emphasis at the beginning and end of your confirmation. Also, your strongest point coming last, tends to anchor your argument, almost like the anchor person in a tug of war. If you were to lead off with your best point and then run through the rest, you might give the impression of weakness. The reader might feel you were gradually running out of ideas, becoming more and more desperate. However, if your readers are familiar with the subject, they'll see that you have something in reserve, that you've been scoring points steadily and consistently without even going to your real strength. Coming in the last position, that major point will have great emphasis--like the knock-out punch in a boxing match or the ace of trump in a game of bridge.

Questions to ask after writing the confirmation:

  1. Is the argumentation convincing or believable?

  2. Has any obvious argument been left out?

  3. Has the opposing position been competently refuted?

Refutation

(Refutatio)—Anticipate, examine and refute opposition arguments. Expose faulty reasoning. The following questions will help you spot some frequent ways in which people violate the basic principles of clear thinking.

1. Does the evidence truly warrant the general conclusions that the opposition has drawn?
2. Has all the evidence been considered or only evidence that favors the opposition's position?

3. Has the opposition considered all the alternatives or oversimplified and reduced them to two or three?
5. Are conclusions ever drawn from questionable generalizations?
6. Are words always used clearly, accurately, and honestly?

ENG132 Final Paper

7. Does the argument depend on emotionally charged language?
8. Does the argument ever suggest that ideas or policies are good or bad simply because they are associated with certain individuals or groups?
9. Does the opposition ever argue by comparing one thing to another? If so, is the comparison fair and reasonable?
10. Does the opposition try to sweet-talk and flatter the reader?
11. Does the argument suggest that an idea or course of action is good just because everyone else believes or is doing it?

Here you might appeal to reason or emotion, rely on ethical or personal appeal, or wit. Try refuting an argument by either denying the truth of one of the premises on which the opposing argument is built; or, object to the inferences drawn by the opposition from premises that cannot be broken down. Always ask yourself, has the opposing position been competently refuted?

Digression

(Digressio)--If you choose, this is a good time to appear to stray briefly from the main issue into a touching or entertaining anecdote designed to appeal to ethos or pathos.

Conclusion

(Peroration)--Whatever you do, end strongly. Finish with conviction. After all, if you aren't convinced, why should your reader be? You might end with an amplification (ringing conclusion), a review of your main points, a reference to something in your introduction, or a plea for action. You might also invite and facilitate defections from the opposition.

Questions to consider:

  1. Has the case been summarized well?

  2. Do I feel well-disposed toward the writer? Why?

  3. Does the ending seem graceful?

Evaluation of Papers

An “A” paper demonstrates a superior, sustained, and consistent level of critical engagement with the issues that the writer addresses. This engagement can be seen in the following ways: The writer’s understanding of the text (s), experiences, or subject matter upon which the paper is based is plausible, logical, and thoughtful. The response is thorough, exploring the issues in some depth, advancing reasonable claims, and anticipating counterclaims when appropriate. The central idea, while not necessarily expressed in an explicit thesis, is clear, and perceptive. The paper demonstrates strong reasoning throughout, supported by persuasive evidence and relevant, fully developed examples. Similarly, the

ENG132 Final Paper

paper’s organization supports the development of the writer’s ideas, and demonstrates effectives use of cohesive devices. The word choice is varied and precise, sentence structure is varied, and only minor errors in grammar and usage are evident.

A “B” paper demonstrates competence and an acceptable level of critical engagement with the issues that the writer addresses. This engagement can be seen in the following ways: The writer’s understanding of the text (s), experiences, or subject matter upon which the paper is based is plausible and logical. The response is adequate, although its exploration of the issues may be lacking in some details. The central idea, while not necessarily expressed in an explicit thesis, is clear, and not already self-evident. The paper’s reasoning is sound, and is based on relevant evidence. The organization of the paper supports the development of the writer’s ideas. It generally demonstrates accurate and sufficient use of cohesive devices, although there may be occasional lapses. The word choice is varied and precise, and sentence structure is varied. While errors in grammar and usage may be present, they do not interfere with the reader’s understanding of the text.

A “C” paper meets the requirements of the assignment. The writer’s understanding of the text(s), experiences, or subject matter upon which the paper is based is generally plausible and logical. The response is adequate, although its exploration of issues may be lacking in some details. The central idea, while not necessarily expressed in an explicit thesis, is clear, although it may be weakly stated. The paper’s reasoning is usually sound and is supported by relevant evidence and examples. The writer’s plan of organization may be occasionally compromised by insufficient or inaccurate use of cohesive devices. The word choice is varied and usually precise, and sentence structure is varied. There may be errors in grammar and usage, but they do not interfere substantially with the reader’s understanding of the text. Neither do they detract significantly from the effectiveness of the paper.