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. 


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