Critique on Masculine or Feminine: You Be The Judge

Answer the following questions as thoroughly as possible:
Write the thesis statement in the space provided. Is it a clear idea, or would it be better for the writer to express his thesis/claim in another way?
“As an adult gay female, I have seen and can understand the narrator’s feelings of confusion with gender identity, as discussed in the story by Lewis Nordon, “The All-Girl Football Team” This would appear to be the thesis statement, yet there was not an even balance between the writer’s experience, and the story she read.

Explain how well the introductory paragraph introduces the text and its author, establishes a thesis statement based on the story and the writer’s personal definition of masculinity/femininity, and establishes an organizational pattern for the essay. What suggestions can you make to improve the intro paragraph? What further information does the writer need to provide about the topic of the essay in the intro paragraph?
The writer introduces herself in a compelling way, since she is a gay female, and is speaking about gender identity issues. Her concluding statement,. “Ultimately, I feel the narrator learned that there are masculine and feminine traits in each individual and it’s ok to express the traits of each gender whether you are male or female.” –seems to be missing the antecedent, as the story she read was mentioned in the firs two paragraphs, and then not mentioned again until the end.
I feel the thesis statement would have been more accurate had it been primarily about her experience with the two men who performed in drag, or if her essay had included an equal amount about the story she cited. Her descriptive text is engaging and does address the issues at hand, however the introductory paragraph hinted at content that did not appear.
Where could the writer add more examples from the story and his/her personal experience to support the thesis statement?
I would suggest including information about religious views, and weaving the story content in with her own experience; while including content from the story, in order to parallel some of her own experience with that of the story’s author.
Does the writer include the required number of quotes (3)? Where could the writer include more direct quotes from the story?
The writer included the correct number of quotes, but could have added a few more in the personal account areas. Overall, the essay was organized well, aside from the hints on the thesis statement that were not addressed. I felt the writer could have made this essay better by writing her thesis statement after she wrote the essay itself. I think she had an idea of what her content would be, but in doing the writing, it veered into some other areas not covered in her thesis.
How is the essay organized (clearly, logically, confusingly?). Suggest an alternative way to organize the essay.
The essay was well-written, clear, and informative. I believe the essay writer’s thesis was illustrated sufficiently. The only suggestion I would make is to incorporate the references to the Lewis Nordon story, “The All-Girl Football Team” in the middle portions of her essay, so that the thesis will remain clear.
Read the last paragraph of the essay very carefully. Explain how well it draws a conclusion about the topic of the essay. Make at least one suggestion for how the writer could improve the conclusion.
The last paragraph summarizes and reaches a logical conclusion very well. The only suggestion I would offer is to incorporate in the conclusion what the essay writer learned, since she spent some time including personal experience within the subject matter.
Part 2: Following the directions below, write your comments on the essay itself:
Identify the strongest paragraph in the essay, explaining why it is the strongest. ·
Identify the weakest paragraph in the essay, explaining in why it is the weakest.
The strongest paragraph in the essay was the last one, where she encapsulated the ideas of the entire essay; it’s concise, thorough and on target. I wouldn’t qualify any of her paragraphs as “weaker,” as they are all important to the essay’s theme and development.
Check all the quotes in the essay. Are they properly introduced/incorporated and cited according to the rules established on the “MLA Quoting Made Easy” handout?
The essay writer did not include parenthetical page numbers after her quotes, as described in MLA conventions.
In the space below, write at least a five-sentence paragraph that explains your overall reaction to the essay. What are the essay’s biggest strengths? Of what would you like to see more? What do you think are the writer’s biggest concerns? What questions remained unanswered? What does the writer need to work on the most?
The essay flowed well and covered the important points of her thesis statement, while also accomplishing a feeling of accessibility by the essay writer’s inclusion of her own experiences with those who experiment with gender roles. The strength, then, would be the essay writer’s ability to personalize the information and also consider the meaning of her previous experience in relations to the subject matter, although I would have liked to see more quotes from the Nordon story.
The writer’s biggest concerns seemed to be a desire to portray gender issues in a fair context, without overly-romanticizing the conclusion. Other than that, I have no other suggestions for improvement, as this writer did a very good job.

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