Monday, March 06, 2006

Critique Letter

Micki,

I think you have a very persuasive paper against eating disorders and the obsession that being thin is the only way to be. You make some very good points and have me convinced. However, I just think there may be a problem because this paper, at this stage, is supposed to be more of an inquiry, that is, defining and explaining the controversy. I think that the persuasive paper will come later. Also, since this is a controversy, there have to be two sides that are clearly defined. I feel that your controversy has a lot of information about women who eat poorly and those who think that women should eat naturally, but I am not positive about who opposes. I think it is society, with its idea that women should be rail thin. I think if you had a section early on in your paper that outlined the community this controversy takes place in and the two sides of the controversy, it would clearly define everything that you will be discussing.
What are the other sides to the issue? Are there any positives or defenses that those who support being thin have? I feel that you have no pro-thin defenses or points of views. This leads me again to point out that I think this draft is too persuasive, and while I agree that in this case simply pointing out the facts will tend to make your reader agree that eating disorders and thinness obsession are bad, you have some personal convictions that show in the paper. Perhaps you could include information on obesity and how America as a whole is morbidly overweight – that is one possibility for the other side of this controversy. Since we are supposed to “seek truth” in this paper, it seems better to include every possible relevant part of the issue.
I think you need to talk about what community this controversy is in. Explain your membership in that community, and give a history or some background of that community (you do mention Marilyn Monroe and Beyonce – possibly more examples like those will help).
The topic sentences in your paragraphs are usually decent, but you have to make sure that you don’t wander. Everything in your paragraphs should be relevant to the topic sentence – if something isn’t, it should be moved to another paragraph. Your second paragraph is fine; it stays on topic. However, there is not much variety in your paragraphs, because they all are about the cons of striving to be thin. When you start discussing the other side, you should have more variety.
You have a potent controversy and one that you should be able to write a very persuasive paper on in the future. Focus on introducing the community, outlining the controversy, and giving a neutral analysis or presentation of facts on that controversy.

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