1. What does the author do particularly well? Be specific.
Overall, you were particularly good at being concise! The ideas and arguments were clearly stated and the case was made in a very organized way.
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.
Were there any specific challenges you faced in writing your first draft? Please e-mail me one for any suggestions I could offer!
3. Does the author clearly express his/her opinion of the topic in the thesis?
Absolutely. You are clearly of the opinion that this specific pollution is harmful in several ways.
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?
You definitely followed the assigned format. I did see your first of the three supportive reasons as being a little bit redundant. You’ve already stated in the thesis that ocean pollution is the bad guy, so perhaps it would be helpful to replace “ because litter is finding it’s way out into the ocean” with another argument about why that matters. Maybe that point is better as information that sets up your extended concerns about it.
5. How many words is the draft, not including References?
6. On a scale of 1 to 10, how interesting did you find this paper to read? Be brutally honest!
Maybe a 6. That isn’t because you didn’t do a good job, but the topic is sad and the paper didn’t turn it into a problem that could be overcome and then stir up passion to change it. Sometimes feeling powerless about a sad thing can cause disconnection, but when there is truly something to fight the fight response turns a set of facts into an interesting paper.
7.Where can the author more fully develop ideas, either by providing examples or explaining/clarifying concepts for the reader?
In line with my comments above, one thing I thought was really good was the point about cruise lines refusing to pay for responsible waste removal. That was a point you could get fired up about. When it comes to the laws of the world that allow waste to be dumped in the open sea, or flow into the ocean by way of rivers you could beef those points up with explanations about why that happens or who benefits, where are the campaigns to change those things? You did a great job talking about reforms to change use of plastic bags, maybe some expansion on that as well.
8. What kinds of objections might someone who disagrees with the author’s point of view raise?
I know I’ve seen advertising campaigns promoting the plastic industry, showing all the ways that plastics improve or save lives. Perhaps there could be an objection in that area, however I can’t think of a lot of people who would think kindly of polluting marine life. It could also be suggested that the ocean is so darn big that a little trash can’t hurt, so maybe pay some attention to some extended consequences of this pollution.
9. Has the author dealt with these objections? If not, suggest some good places to deal with them.
You have dealt with some of the consequences of littering and what happens when trash is in the ocean, so maybe expand on this being specificity harmful with plastics and Styrofoam? In discussing litter washing up on beaches, you could discuss why that’s bad.
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?
I thought that your paragraphing was very organized and corresponded to your introduction paragraph and thesis.
11. Are there easy transitions from one paragraph to the next, or does the author jump from topic to topic?
Maybe both? The transitions are again very organized, you could possibly improve on the flow of the paper by finding some creative ways to open up discussion on a new aspect of your topic.
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?
It caught my attention because I actually had no idea that this garbage patch existed or that any garbage patch existed. I think that in noting that your title refers to the biggest one, and that it’s closest to the United States you could comment on what that implies and that might be a hook in terms of environmentalism as a nation. Your use of phrases like “finds its way” and “makes its way”, are possibly a little bit overused. Could a few of those throughout the paper be modified?
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).
I liked your conclusion, because I think you’re right. I did have a “whoa” moment because you stated so very bluntly that as a society we are so lazy and it’s really screwed up a lot of things. While true, it’s a giant claim to make at the end of your paper without exploring any of the complexity to that giant claim. You could maybe bring in some of those really excellent and relevant pieces of information from your paper, like dumping from cruise ships or the insistence on disposable grocery bags and plug them into your conclusion as evidence of society’s destructive laziness.
14. Does the draft contain at least 10 sources (5 peer-reviewed/scholarly sources from EbscoHost or another database).
I only count nine total sources, but I believe there are five of these that come from the appropriate peer-reviewed sources however I’m not totally sure about that.
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?
In the text your use of references seems pretty balanced.
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?
Citation is my weakest area in terms of writing, but from my perspective you seem to cite every borrowed piece of information but maybe not correctly. I think you’re supposed to use page numbers if possible in APA. Also you titled what should be called “References” incorrectly as “Works Cited”.
17. Does the author have anything on the Reference list that is not used in the essay (she/he should not).
All of the references were accounted for in the text.
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 the paper is appropriately opinionated.
19. Are they any quotations that are longer than 2 lines?
Nope, they are short and well placed.
20.Are there any quotations that you think should instead be paraphrased? Remember that too many quotations lead to clunky and chunky essays.
See above! You did a great job paraphrasing.
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.
I could tell you are definitely fired up about your argument enough to have done your research, perhaps the authors you have depended on for this information also have some inspiring points that you could pull out.
Is there any other feedback you’d like to give your buddy?
I found your paper to be organized, informative and convincing. Make sure you get it fixed up with all of those painful citation rules, infuse a little more passion and good luck!