1. What does the author do particularly well? Be specific.
Overall I enjoyed your research paper. I have only been through a small part of the Appalachian’s before and after reading your paper I feel like I should have paid more attention while driving through them because they may not look the same way they did when I was there.
2. Ask the author for one particular concern that s/he had about the draft. Examine that area and see if you can offer the author helpful suggestions.
Was there one particular area that you felt you had more issues with then others?
3. Does the author clearly express his/her opinion of the topic in the thesis? Yes she does.
4. Does the thesis follow the format we’ve been using (ALTHOUGH clause, argumentative claim, BECAUSE clause with 3 reasons of support). Is thesis bolded or underlined and in last sentence of intro paragraph? Yes the thesis follows the format we’ve been using but is italicized instead of being bold or underlined.
5. How many words is the draft, not including References? 1850
6. On a scale of 1 to 10, how interesting did you find this paper to read? Be brutally honest! I found it to be about a 7. I started to get lost in all the abbreviations.
7. Where can the author more fully develop ideas, either by providing examples or explaining/clarifying concepts for the reader? Make sure that all abbreviations are explained whether in a quote or not. Also make sure if you quote to put quotation marks at the end and if it is not a quote don’t have it read like a quote. For example, in the third paragraph from the bottom where it starts out “The big misconception”, that whole paragraph reads like it should be a quote but there are no quotation marks around it.
8. What kinds of objections might someone who disagrees with the author’s point of view raise? They may argue that the findings on the medical issues that are brought up have no medical evidence that it was caused from the effects of mining. The sources that are used point out that the symptoms the people are having are only believed to be caused by these toxins.
9. Has the author dealt with these objections? If not, suggest some good places to deal with them. There needs to be more medical background on these findings. Reports that show they are the cause not just believed to be the cause.
10. Is the relationship between each paragraph and the thesis clear? If not, what suggestions do you have for the author to improve the connection? It was a little confusing at first but I am glad after reading all the way through that she started it the way she did. She explained the process and the terms she used throughout her paper. I thought the way she transitioned from one point to the next flowed very well.
11. Are there easy transitions from one paragraph to the next, or does the author jump from topic to topic? There are only a few things that you might want to take another look at and reread it to make sure it sounds that you meant for it to. First is when you mention the animals, and flora just right before your thesis. I would use either animals and plants or flora and fauna, not one from each group. It sounds mixed up. Also in the fourth paragraph from the top, “One of many concerns”, that first sentence just isn’t making sense to me. Maybe reread it and make sure it sounds right to you. And in the seventh paragraph from the top in the second sentence where you have “Appalachia’s water systems”, it isn’t reading well to me there either.
12. Does the opening of the essay capture the reader’s attention? How so? If not, what suggestions can you make that might strengthen the opening? Does the essay have an informative yet interesting title? Yes it does. I really like how she compares the Appalachian’s to the Rockies. Since I grew up near the Rockies it gives me a basis for comparison.
13. Does the concluding paragraph serve to bring the discussion to an end that logically follows from the thesis and its direction? If your buddy’s conclusion just restates the thesis, call him/her on that, and help them come up with a better conclusion. Maybe give them tips from the Hacker handbook (section C). The conclusion brings it all together nicely.
14. Does the draft contain at least 10 sources (5 peer-reviewed/scholarly sources from EbscoHost or another database). I only counted 8.
15. Does the author rely heavily on just 1 or 2 sources, or does the author equally use all of the sources to support the paper’s thesis? Yes. There are two sources that I counted more than twice, Holzman and Karem, Kalinski, and Hancher.
16. Does the author use in-text citations after every quotation, statistic, paraphrase, idea and opinion borrowed from research? Are the in-text citations done in correct APA formatting? Yes there are in-text citations, not sure if they are done properly. There is one that I am not sure if it is supposed to be a quote or not, third paragraph from the bottom, so I am unsure if this is cited correctly.
17. Does the author have anything on the Reference list that is not used in the essay (she/he should not). I did not see a citation for Lindberg, T., Bernhardt, E. S., Bier, R., Helton, A. M., Merola, R., Vengosh, A., & Di Giulio, R. T. (2011). Cumulative impacts of mountaintop mining on an Appalachian watershed. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 108(52), 20929-20934. doi:10.1073/pnas.1112381108; iLoveMountains.org, I just see it mentioned along with mountainjustice.org as other websites to check out for more information on this topic.
18. Does the author have more quotations/statistics/paraphrases/etc in his/her paper than personal opinion? Essay should read as an argument, not as a report. I believe there are more quotes then what there should be.
19. Are they any quotations that are longer than 2 lines? Yes, there are a few.
20. Are there any quotations that you think should instead be paraphrased? Remember that too many quotations lead to clunky and chunky essays. Yes. A few areas where there are quotes, I believe she could have paraphrased them. The paragraph I am referring to is the fifth one from the bottom, “In retrospectively”, there are a lot of quotes in this one paragraph. This is where I got lost and it was hard to follow. Also there were so many abbreviations I couldn’t remember what they all stood for.
21. Any quotations should be commented upon. They are there to support the author’s argument, not to make it. Does the author comment after every one? If not, help the author decide what the underlying reason behind putting the quote in the paper was. No. Most of the quotes are at the end of the sentence with no comment to follow.
Is there any other feedback you’d like to give your buddy?
I really did enjoy your paper. Just the few areas that I mentioned above were the only things I felt could be done differently. Other than that, good job!