let's peer-review our drafts!
* Non-content related, followed by Content-related, issues.
1- proper heading, top, left hand side, Times New Roman pt. 12 font
2- double spaced, indented paragraphs,
3- proper outline of first two paragraphs: two-point thesis composed of first argument-sentence followed by explanation. Second argument-sentence followed by explanation. Then a two-point counter the same as the thesis. Be clear and succinct. Less is more! These thesis and counter paragraphs don't need to be long. Call it, if you think the sentences hang aimlessly.
4- proper prefacing of each paragraph. the reader must understand "who owns the paragraph," (either "advocate" or "critic"). you should preface each paragraph with: either same-sex marriage advocates vs same-sex marriage critics or fast-food advocates vs fast-food critics, or government surveillance advocates vs government surveillance critics, etc. It doesn't matter if it sounds cacophonous.
4.5- internal coherence: check paragraphs 3, 5 for arguments 1& 2 of your thesis and paragraphs 4, 6 for arguments 1 and 2 of the counter. there must be a correspondence between these paragraphs. example, if you find anything in paragraph 5 that doesn't correspond your second argument in your thesis, the draft suffers from internal coherence. pay attention to thiis point.
5- look for argument vs. quote ratio (70% for argument, 30% for quote). here if the paragraph looks too good then it's not good. Write down C/P (copy and paste), "I need your voice." Very likely these paragraphs are copied-and-pasted. Just call it! or I'll call it!
6- Proper quote presentation. Each quote must be properly prefaced, what I call "dropping quotes" issues!
a) you must prepare the reader for each quote by providing context for each quotation. b) attribute each quotation to its source: tell the reader who is writing the quote and job description, c) avoid "he/she said" USE THESE SYNONYMS INSTEAD: she/he adds, remarks, replies, states, comments, points out, argues, suggests, proposes, declares, opines, etc. d) lead the quote with a colon, example:
Penn State University Professor Oakenshot denies Marx's claim that capitalism causes poverty when he declares: "Poverty predates capitalism by two thousand and odd years of civilization." or, John Beherman, professor of Biology at Berkeley University argues that____________" instead of just dropping the quote without introduction. (Oakenshot, 46).
7- proper bibliography MLA source presentation
a) Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).8- Check for "too-wordy." long sentences are a nono. sentences should be short and clear. if the sentences are long cut them in two.
b) No URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs titles, i.e., domain name, like CNN.com or Forbes.com as opposed to http://www.cnn.com or http://www.forbes.com.
9- Check mark for improper interjection of thesis into counter. Each side has a paragraph to expose its point. You are not to express your view inside the counter's paragraph.
10- Check mark for colloquialism:
"you" (one), "kinda" (kind of), "it is like," (similar to, such as), "okay" or "OK," "real" & "really" (very), "sorta" or "sort of" (rather, somewhat), "pretty" (very), "anyways"(anyway), "a lot," (several, many), "kids"(children), "cops" (policeman), "guys" (men)... etc.11- Check mark for "fillers": "basically," "absolutely", "definitely" "certainly," "for all intents and purposes," "due to the fact that" (use "because"), etc.
12- Check mark for redundant adjectives: "totally unique," "completely finished," "thoroughly complete," "productively useful," etc.