THESIS • What seems to be your colleague’s thesis? State it. Is it at the end of an introduction leading up to it? • Does your colleague clearly establish a debate, issue or worthy question in the introduction? What is it? • Does your colleague name experts on this question and describe their contributions to the debate/issue/question? • Is your colleague’s thesis carried though the whole paper, with key words and concepts repeated in topic sentences, transitions, introductions, and conclusions? ARGUMENT • Is it easy to distinguish the writer’s claims from the material s/he provides to support it? Are quotes, summaries or paraphrases of sources provided, and are they sufficient that a reader would not need to consult the sources mentioned unless they chose to? • What evidence/reasons/examples does the writer give in the paper that helped persuade you of his/her thesis? • Can you supply any additional evidence/examples/reasons that would help strengthen your colleague’s argument? PARAGRAPHS Examine the body paragraphs one at a time, and answer these questions for each paragraph: • Does the paragraph contain a point that supports the thesis? • Is that point at or very near the beginning of the paragraph? • Is the whole paragraph focused on developing just that one point? (It should be) • Is the evidence and reasoning in the paragraph a.) relevant, b.) cited both in-text and at the end if an outside source is used, and c.) fully explained? TASKS FOR REVISING AND EDITING • Are all summaries, quotes, and paraphrases of ideas taken from other authors followed up by page citations containing the relevant page number? If not, specifically point out problem areas. • Is it clear at all times which claims belong to the writer and which to an outside source? If not, point to specific areas. • Does the order of the body paragraphs seem logical to you, with each claim leading to the next? (A test: if the body paragraphs can be reordered without it making much difference, the line of the writer’s argument is not clear.) If not, explain where transitions may be needed. • Is it clear whether the writer is using APA References Style or MLA Works Cited style for their reference list? Which? Can you tell by looking at the entry’s format what type of source it is? (E.g. article in a journal, chapter in a book, movie, newspaper article) • Does your colleague make any specific types of mechanical/grammatical errors more than once? If so, choose the type of error that is most frequent and provide two examples.
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