Jonathan Glance

Writer's Name:

Reader's Name:


Read the opening paragraph, and answer the following questions.

1) In one sentence, based on the information in the introduction, what aspect of American life is this writer planning to discuss?

2) Is it clear why the author might be a credible observer? Does the author provide any information about his or her background?

Now continue reading the entire essay, and then answer the following questions.

3) Does the essay continue to observe and discuss the same aspect or phenomena you perceived in the introduction? If not, where does it stray from its focus?

4) What sort of persona does the writer create? How is it created (tone, examples, word choice, logic, etc.), and how appropriate is it?

5) In this essay the author should be answering each of the following questions about the topic: “What is going on, and why? what does it mean, and what will it lead to?” Does the author cover each of these points? Which section is strongest, and which is weakest?

6) You, as a classmate, are the intended audience. Is there anything that doesn't seem appropriately addressed to you? What, and why not?

7) Does the draft as a whole hang together? Does it have a focused purpose throughout? Do you get the sense that the writer knows what's going on?

8) The essay should provide specific examples and concrete details to illustrate all claims, instead of just making unsupported generalizations. Do you detect a sense of vagueness or superficiality that makes you want to say “So what?” or “Specify!”? If so, put these words in parentheses where you think they will be helpful.

9) In parentheses, write “Say more,” “Expand,” “More details,” “Give Examples,” or something like this at all points in the draft where you as a reader need additional information in order to better understand the observations or interpretation.

10) Does the author do a fair job of stating and refuting the opposition? If you were a member of that opposition, would the refutation satisfy you? Why or why not?

11) Underline words that the author used or spelled improperly and phrases that seem awkward or hard to follow.

12) Consider the strong and weak points of this essay. If you had to write an end note reviewing this essay, what would you say? Remember that your mission is to help the author make this paper more interesting and persuasive to you, the reader.