Comments and Responses

Final Paper: Comparative Research Paper

 Comments:

  1. Restructure your introduction/first few paragraphs. Your introduction should contain an outline of your entire paper. The first few paragraphs are out of place and should not even be in the paper, but some parts of them definitely belong in the introduction/thesis of your paper. (Workshop)
  2. In order for your thesis to make sense, you must define your definition of humanity. Otherwise it is too vague to grasp a key point.

Responses:

I took these comments seriously and reconstructed my introduction paragraph as well as my thesis. By having an extensive and complete introduction it set a good guideline for my paper.

Personal Commentary:

I found that writing a comparative research paper was useful in preparing me for the future college writing experience. It gave me a sense of how much work I will need to put into my writing and research. This process was also useful to see how important it is to be interested in your topic. Thankfully I had a topic which I enjoyed. Even though at times it was difficult to write, the topic itself was not dull. It was also useful having an extended amount of time to write such an extensive paper. I would have started going to the writing center earlier in the semester just to gain that extra edge from having another set of eyes. I will continue to outline my ideas as well as relate to contexts in which I am familiar with. The only problem I ran into during the final process was having the motivation to get started. I had solid week where I told myself I would get started and at the end of the week the top of the page contained just my name. My problem is that writing is not a fun activity for me and that’s a struggle I will have to find a way to overcome.

Stage Two: Integration Paper

Comments:

  1. Your thesis does not reflect the arguments you are making in your paper. With your current thesis, you are arguing how first amendment rights create a strong voice for the people. Within your paper you are arguing how rebellion against government occurs when there is unfair power. Too much comparing, not enough analysis. (Workshop)
  2. The problem with this paper is that the integration occurs too late in the paper. 1984 does not appear in the paper until page six when it should be mentioned in the introduction. (Post-return)

Responses:

In my original draft I realized I had major flaws and completely redesigned my topic for this paper. When integrating 1984 into my paper I decided to place it following the historical background information of communist USSR. Based on my reviewing of the paper guideline it seemed to be no problem to have my format as such.

Personal Commentary:

I found that having a base from Stage One made Stage Two much easier than starting fresh. After saying that I did start fresh for my Stage Two paper because my Stage One paper was nothing spectacular. I found that having a general knowledge of the information from wikipedia helped my research grow because of the branches it gave me. Also, it was helpful having already read 1984 in high school as well as again in class this semester. Now knowing the mistakes I made in my paper I would integrate 1984 earlier and more often with Soviet Russia. I will continue to compare and contrast historical information and fictional contexts in order to argue a thesis. Something I did not like about the Stage Two process was the in-class workshop mainly because after reading about a topic I had no knowledge of, I felt I was little help to others and they were little help to me, at least contextually.

Stage One

Comments:

  1. Create a more thoroughly thought out thesis. The paper lacks a strong thesis and is not evident in the introduction paragraph. Due to the lacking thesis, your conclusion is neither very strong, nor helping your argument. (Workshop)
  2. Some parts of the paper are counter argumentative. The points being made are not strong enough arguments in order to back up your point on the difference between USSR  and USA cultures. (Workshop)

Responses:

I agree with the above comments mainly due to the fact that they are correct. My thesis was not very strong and that impacted the strength of my arguments throughout the paper. Due to the comments I was able to change my ideas of culture in Stage One, to government control in Stage Two.

Personal Commentary:

I found that starting the writing process with a short paper helped me get into the flow of college writing. Being my first writing class in college, I did not know what to expect. I have always felt I am not a strong writer, but a decent arguer, so in high school I was able to argue my points very basically and get through class easily. Starting with an analysis of our topic set up a good basis for our future work because all of our information was basically found. I would have chosen a different topic for Stage One if given the chance because I realized my topic was very vague as well as not a strong argument for the dystopian theme. I will keep making outlines and continuing strong research prior to writing the remainder of my paper. The one problem I had with Stage One was that my idea was not strong. If a meeting was held, (possibly mandatory) in order to confirm it was a good topic would have been helpful.

3 Things I learned by commenting on other’s work

  1. Sometimes small details make a difference- I picked up on a single sentence that to me was very wordy and confusing. After telling the author, they realized that they could break that sentence up and managed a whole new idea off of that one sentence.
  2. People misread their own work- This is relevant to me as well. After reading a paper over and over again through the reviewing and editing stages, typos and funny wording just seem to flow within your own mind. In one paper I commented on I came across a few sentences that just sounded funny and when the person explained what they were trying to say it made a lot more sense. Having a new set of eyes read your paper can be extremely helpful, just to catch small problems.
  3. Grammar is a universal challenge- As someone who openly admits to being awful at grammar, I found it interesting how other people miss punctuation marks that I find obvious. Then there are times when I forget a comma and have no clue.
** By having a second pair of eyes to review over a paper is beyond helpful in terms of catching small problems that the original author takes for granted as correct.

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