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Opus 40: A Resource for Grading Academic Writing
Opus 40 contains a downloadable archive of Michael’s comments from forty-plus years of grading student papers, as well as explanations of the comments, teaching and grading tips, and more. It makes accessible in one place all of the comments that are in the Advanced Academic Writing books so that instructors can use them when grading.
This book compiling all of Michael Clay Thompson’s research paper comments supplements his three-volume Advanced Academic Writing series and also acts as a unique standalone resource for grading student academic papers. The book is a sine qua non for grading academic papers, a resource as useful to seasoned teachers as to instructors coping with student writing problems for the first time.
For the past forty-plus years, Michael has graded student papers and has written detailed comments on them. He soon tired of writing the same comments for the same mistakes year after year and began to put his comments into an archive that he could draw upon as he needed. Eventually that archive became extensive and comprehensive.
Opus 40 contains the archive of his comments, his approach to teaching students how to write formal papers, his approach to grading student papers, and his reflections on and explanations of the comments he has written about format, structure, grammar, punctuation, style, and more. The book makes accessible in one place all of the comments that are in the Advanced Academic Writing books so that instructors can use them when grading.
The archive of comments is available in a downloadable document, giving instructors an easy way to copy, paste, and personalize the comments in a professional report to return to the students with their papers, which Michael believes is a sign of respect for the integrity of their effort.
Note: This is a third edition of this book. It has two significant changes from the previous edition. First, it contains several comments that Michael has rewritten as a result of his online teaching. Second, it reflects the current MLA guidelines, with the publication of the newest edition of the MLA Handbook. As a result of these changes, we strongly recommend discontinuing use of the previous editions in favor of this new, updated edition.