January 23, 2008 Archives
Your assignment is to read the term paper submissions of two classmates, and write an analysis (similar to what you did for Ex 4, where you evaluated an academic article). Ex 8 should be about 3 pages long.Remember that a peer critique is an act of frendship and solidarity. You can't boost your own grade by tearing down your classmate, and nobody is going to benefit if you flatter your classmate excessively. Constructive criticism notes both strengths and weaknesses, and the presentation of weaknesses should be phrased helpfully, without any gloating or pettiness. (I don't think this group will have that problem, but it's a standard reassurance that I offer.)
For each of your two chosen paper papers, respond to the following. (Note that these questions may also help you as you finalize your draft.)
1) What specific, non-obvious claim does this paper support? (That's another way of asking for the thesis... remember that "There are many interesting things to say about X" or a question like "Is X an instance of A?" or "People who kick puppies are bad" are not thesis statements that require academic argument.)
2) What opposing or alternative arguments does this paper address?
3) If this were your draft, what would you be the most proud of? (Be specific.)
4) If this were your draft, and you had more time to work on it, what do you feel would be the most beneficial change? (Again, be specific.)
5) Include me on the CC line in an e-mail in which you share your analysis with your classmate.