Reader Response
English 102

Read the essay in question and fill in the text boxes below with your responses. Be sure to type in the exact E-mail address of the person to whom you wish to send your comments.

Which essay assignment is this?
Essay 1 Essay 2 Essay 3 Essay 4 Essay 5

Important information

Essay Writer's Name:
Essay Writer's E-mail address: (use lower-case letters without spaces)

What is the essay's title?
How appropriate is the title for the subject matter in the essay? Does it make you want to read the essay?

For what audience does the essay seem intended? Has the writer set up a good rationale for the essay? Has the writer narrowed the essay's topic sufficiently? How meaningful and insightful is this essay going to be to the intended audience?
What is the essay's chief claim? Is it stated explicitly, or is it implied? Is it clear and concise?
Summarize at least three ways the writer attempts to support this claim, and describe its effectiveness. What types of support does the writer use? How might each kind of support be improved?
What one point does the writer most need to develop further? How would you recommend the writer make it better?
Comment on the essay's introduction and conclusion. How well does the introduction set up the essay? Does it make you want to read further? How can the writer improve the introduction? How well does the conclusion end the essay? Does it avoid restating the obvious? Does it shed some concluding insight into the writer's thoughts on the subject?
Point out any places in the essay where the words or phrasing seemed lackluster, awkward, confusing, or otherwise ineffective. (Quote the offending phrases, and say why they are weak.)
Does the writer effectively introduce and incorporate sources? Are there any quotations in which the writer does not name the source and explain who the source is (i.e., why the source is being quoted)? Are there any quotations that are not introduced? Is it clear when the writer's use of sources begins?
Does the writer cite page numbers of where he or she found a source (in parentheses following the citation)? For example: Calvin has said, "Tigers can be friendly creatures" (26).
Describe the writer's voice in this essay. How would you characterize the writer's attitude as presented in the essay? Will the writer's attitude offend the intended audience? Has the writer avoided "slanting" his or her language? Does the writer use clichés? Might any of the words used in the essays needlessly offend a significant portion of readers?
After reading the essay, what single element in the essay most stands out in your memory? Why? Does it stand out because it helps or hurts the essay?
In which of the following areas is the essay particularly well done? (Check all that apply)
Excellent organization of material; ideas flow from sentence to sentence and from paragraph to paragraph smoothly and logically
Informative, vivid details; not a bunch of abstractions
Well-unified paragraphs
An excellent use of sources to back up the writer's ideas
Lively, vivid words and phrases
A logical, convincing argument
A good, narrow focus, with all pertinent points covered in the essay; did not oversimplify or needlessly convolute the issues

In which of the following areas does the essay need work? (Un-check all that do not apply.)

Sloppy, confusing, or hard to follow organization; sentences and paragraphs do not always flow logically or smoothly
Few vivid details; difficult to understand or to visualize the issues
Some paragraphs poorly unified; ideas do not seem to fit together
Sources are not used well; too much quoting, not enough summarizing or paraphrasing; paper seems like a series of quotes "strung together"
Dull or confusing language; words, phrases, and sentences sometimes don't make sense
Argument is not convincing; some relevant issues are not addressed in the essay; essay does not address opposition to the argument
Essay topic too broad; tries to cover too much

Write a brief personal note to the writer, summarizing your overall view of the essay and how well it works for the intended audience. Include any suggestions on how it could be improved.

What is your overall impression of this essay?
Excellent: the best essay I've ever read by another student
Pretty good: it kept my attention throughout
So-so: it wasn't really, really bad, but it wasn't very good either
Not too good: it needs a lot of revising
Very bad. The writer ought to start over on this one

What is your name?
What is your E-mail address?

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