Monthly Archives: April 2014

Review of Tori’s Work

I wish you did not say you didn’t like this piece. It makes me not want to read it! Just because you are relaying information does not mean you cant create a piece from your own mind!

I agree with you that social media makes people self-concious and competitive in the social world with others. I do not have a Facebook, but I used to. I also now have a LinkedIn, which is the “professional form of Facebook,” or so they say. I can tell after reading just the first few paragraphs that your prose style is medium – high, especially because you are talking about social media in which near everything is exaggerated- There are even filters for your pictures now, making everything that much more “fake.”

The fact that you are doing a study makes your writing more credible because it adds a “scientific” aspect to it. The fact that you went, interviewed, and recorded primary sources makes your information much more credible because it is actual personal accounts of how people feel towards social media. I do not think that race would matter much when dealing with social media, because when developing an online presence everyone is relatively on the same page. You use personal, first person stories too. This makes your study more credible because it is almost as if you also interviewed yourself. The style of writing / prose you are using is “medium” due to the fact that you are using adjectives and adverbs and other descriptive language.

Additionally, your voice comes across well in this writing even though it is very scientific / academic. It is important that you remained neutral during your interviews because the last thing you want form responses are bias. “Having large breasts, a large butt” is socially acceptable and attractive to a guy – I do not agree with this. One of the reasons why I deleted my social media account is because people make judgements of others, even before they actually get to know them / meet them in person. I find every girl attractive in her own way, not necessarily physically. Therefore, I think that social media skews the perceptions people have of others even before meeting them. I agree with you that social media websites, especially those that use pictures, portray the wrong image / model of how a girl should act and look like. (photoshop example)

Your 4th paragraph is extremely long, maybe try cutting it down to create better structure in your essay. It is almost drawn out to the point that upon looking at it the reader feels as if they don’t want to read it in fear of repetition / getting bored. Start a new paragraph at “Through this I was able to analyze…” I feel as though it will give more structure to your writing and space out your ideas a bit more. This is a relatively long piece of writing and since it is scientific / academic style writing it should be concise and to the point, with less run-on paragraphs. 

Your writing is credible because you use primary sources and logical reasoning. I like how you interviewed two different sexes because it shows you how each gender feels towards social media. However, I agree with you in your last paragraph that survey campus-wide would be very effective. There is a website called survey monkey that allows you to do this very easily and you can focus in on SU. Maybe for your final you should consider using survey monkey for more information / responses. Although I found glimpses of your voice in this writing I would like to see more of your voice. Perhaps you could do a sort of self-interview in which you can answer the questions you proposed to the other students. You are looking for “in depth answers,” however the most in depth answer you will find is a personal reflection on the topic. Maybe add a paragraph in which you answer each question and then take it a step further – do you think that this trend will continue, change, or completely end?

Since this is a study-type (academic) piece of writing, the more information in a concise structure is very important.

Overall, your prose is good for the style of writing you are going for and you use credible as well as logical information.

 

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Review of Ben’s Work

I do not know what it means to be a “city” kid because I have never been one, although I was born in Manhattan and raised there for a month. I like the preface you give right off the bat. It tells us exactly what you are going to talk about, making your writing more credible to me – especially if you follow the path throughout the paper. It really is interesting how where you are from carries specific connotations. It is sad however how people generalize aspects of class, intelligence and personality from these specific connotations.

Even after reading the first few paragraphs I can tell that your style of writing / prose is “middle.” I can deduce this because you use descriptive language, but are not exaggerating. I like how you are talking about the late 19th and 20th century, for the construction of I-81 had a huge effect on the population. When the demolition of the 15th ward occurred in the mid 20th century many people were ousted from their homes. The less able to afford were forced into low-class suburbs or projects such as the Pioneer Homes. Those who were more affluent were able to move / had the luxury to move to nicer areas (like the ones you are describing). “Syracuse’s elite began leaving the city to escape to the suburbs in search of new ways to proclaim their power and success” – Just like the 15th ward / I-81 project. Maybe add this information in the 4th / 5th paragraph. I think that this would be good evidence to support your claim that much of the wealthy and even general population fled Syracuse.

The way you write is very structured but flows well. This makes you credible as a righter (ethos) because it allows the reader to stay engaged while still getting hit with crucial information. It is surprising how well you integrate your voice in this piece as well. You use the first person “I” which is also good in getting your voice across, because it creates a connection between the audience and the author. The way you also use yourself as the example of an “identity marker of being a city kid” also helps get your voice across because it tells the reader you are speaking from personal experience. This makes your writing even more credible because it attracts the reader into learning more about your personal life / how being a city kid has had an impact on you.

In addition to ethos you use a logical discussion to get your point across, which is very effective in this kind of paper. I see a sense of pathos in your writing, which is hard to do. The way you describe how being a townie has affected you makes me feel for you. It clearly has had an impact and makes me think of what I have heard about townies in the past. It makes me sad to hear that townies get such a bad rep – especially when there are great ones, just like you. The fact that you use the first person and refer to personal experiences makes your pathos even stronger, for we can tie exactly what you are saying to your person.

“To the majority of Syracuse students, the identity marker of townie is characterized by more than just laziness and level of education.” Unfortunately this claim is true. I do know a few townies in my fraternity who are anything but lazy, but there are numerous stereotypes that come with being a townie, in any city for that matter. People are always talking down when referring to townies, especially when they come onto campus. However, the truth is that they may belong here even more than we do, since they are from here. 

Review of Danielle’s Work

I know what you were trying to say in the first sentence, but the way it is written makes it sound as though The Wizard of Oz is a drawing. What you meant to say was “is known as a feminist classic, drawing from…” The use of a comma here makes your reader understand that the movie is not a literal drawing. I like your introductory paragraph because the topic is very interesting, It sounds as though you are going to make the argument that in children’s movies misogynist themes are quite prevalent.

After reading the first paragraph I can tell that you will have a “medium” style of writing, rather than a low or high style. I can tell that you will use descriptive words to declare your point, but you will not exaggerate or go over the top. Also, on the other hand you are not writing straight facts and information without the use of adjectives / adverbs. I like how you found a middle ground here because I enjoy reading writing that pertains to the “middle” style we talked about in class.

You say that there are misogynist themes in children’s books / movies, but in the second paragraph you combat your thesis. You say that “all (women) are strong, smart and have great leadership qualities” – something that shows women are empowered rather than being disrespected. This makes your argument less credible because you are contradicting yourself. I see the comparison you are making between the new and old movie. But it is quite a jump to say that these misogynistic traits are extremely common in children’s movies when the original form of the movie sounds / seems like quite the opposite.

In your 3rd paragraph, which is quite short, you have four quotations nearly back to back. I am personally worried about this in my writing because I feel as though it takes away from one’s voice. Using too many quotations repeatedly takes the reader away from the writer’s voice and delves them into the quotation’s voice. I feel as though your voice is disappearing slightly in this paragraph because you are using so many ideas that are not completely your own. The canons of rhetoric are of use here, especially the canon of style. Style is the way in which you write or explain something in your writing. Your style is very academic, do not get me wrong, but I feel as though your style / voice is almost not your own in this paragraph especially.

Another two canons of rhetoric that this paragraph pertains to is arrangement and delivery. The quotes you have are good, but I believe it would be better to arrange them in a way that makes them less “cloudy” or less grouped together. The structure of your text is good, but within the paragraphs the structure could be improved to get your own voice across even more. Delivery “refers to the management of voice.” Cicero claims that delivery “has the sole and supreme power in oratory (and also written work)”. Your delivery is good, because you offer good ideas and structure, however the manner in which you are voicing your opinions makes your delivery almost too structured.

On the top of page 4 you create strong sense of ethos (credibility) by providing facts of both women and men and then comparing them to each other. Although I was not struck emotionally while reading this text, I am sure that if I was a feminist or maybe even just simply a woman I would feel some sort of emotional connection whether it be anger, shock, or joy. Therefore, I think that pathos is evident in your paper even though it did not necessarily have an effect on me. Logos is evident in your writing too because you clearly use logic to explain your reasoning. An example of using logic here is with facts and stating your basic argument while backing it up.

I did not know about the undertones in children’s writings / movies so this paper was quite interesting to me. I have never seen the new Wizard of Oz but after reading this paper I would like to go watch it and see if I can find these misogynist themes.

Review of Akili’s Work

Having “AIDS” written as a separate, one-word sentence is not a credible form of prose. You should include the word in the following sentence and say “Aids is a worldwide…” Your argument in the first paragraph is also unclear. Are you arguing that Aids is a taboo topic, which no one knows about? I would strengthen your thesis / argument by making it more opinionated because what you have here is something that I think everyone would agree with.

 

The rhetorical appeals we have talked about in class are evident here. You use ethos when you support your claim with a primary source. The quotes from Fisher help further your point, making your writing that much more credible and convincing for the audience. The use of pathos in this writing is also evident, for you are talking about a serious, emotional subject (AIDS). Anyone who is affected by or knows someone affected by AIDS would be very emotionally moved by this writing, because it speaks directly to them. Although I do not have the disease and don’t know anyone with it, it is still powerful because the topic is so meaningful in today’s world. The words “the gay plague” also struck me rhetorically. During the time AIDS was extremely evident and growing in the public sphere this would have a huge impact emotionally on people. It also fits the kairotic moment that AIDS is prevalent in. Although not everyone who has AIDS is technically “gay,” it was during this time that homosexuality was frowned upon, making the disease even more hated by the white, conservative Republicans you talk about.

 

The style of writing here is not high or low, but medium. The content is low because there is not much description, just facts and information, especially in the form of quotations. You are not exaggerating anything in your writing; you are giving straight-up information in an academic setting. However, that does not mean the writing is “low” or bad. On the contrary, you use enough style that “stirs the motions and engages the heart as well as the head of the audience” (H & K, page. 78). Although AIDS is not a topic that necessarily interests me, I was engaged emotionally and mentally as I was reading this piece. You use synecdoche in a sense because you “describe the patterns of thinking of our culture used to organize and understand the world” (H & K, pg. 93). When you say “The gay disease” it is almost a form of synecdoche because you are pulling the strings on a topic that is so prevalent at the time. In other words, it captures the cultural and social mind state of Americans during this time.

 

The definition you have for the public sphere is somewhat odd. “A body of private person’s assembled to discuss matters of public concern or common interest” (Fraser, p. 58). To me, this is not what the public sphere is. The public sphere is a collective group of public person’s who have the choice to join in assembly when discussing common interests. Private sphere is found within the PRIVATE household, whereas the public sphere is found in common, public areas. Fisher’s public sphere of white, wealthy republicans is actually a niche group, making it private and pertaining to the “private sphere”.  A “Republican Convention,” if anything, is a private sphere. To me, this is private because not only do you need an invitation to attend, but Democrats and other people pertaining to the common, public sphere would not attend in the first place. Therefore, it restricts the type of people who are participating in the discussion, furthering it from the public and making it more privatized. If it was a “government convention” in which any political party was invited, then it would pertain to the public sphere.

 

Your voice is good and quite present in your writing. This is a formal piece of writing and the diction that accompanies your voice is perfect for the setting. I like your style of prose because it is academic but not dry whatsoever.  In Holcomb and Killingsworth, they declare: “style depends upon a writer’s decision making”. The way in which you decided to organize and include quotations adds greatly to your personal style, while also making your prose much more persuasive and effective in getting your point across.