Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Wonderful World of Whaling from a Social Constructionist

If I were to respond from a Social Constructionism point of view to the student that "wrote" the essay on whaling , I would say something like the following: 

Joe Shmoe,
I received your essay today, and there are a few issues that I wanted to address. I think that you have taken an interesting approach to this assignment, and I would like to help you improve the rhetorical value of your essay. 
First of all, it seems to me that this essay makes an attempt to give readers two perspectives on whaling:
1. It can be easily overdone and thus harmful.
2. When a tradition in a culture, whaling can become necessary. 
Although I can find these ideas in your essay, separating these viewpoints into different paragraphs will help your audience to locate them much more efficiently. 
Speaking of audience, knowing who your readers are will also improve your essay. For example, your essay begins, "Did you know..." but who is you? This paper presents multiple perspectives on whaling, but it is unclear exactly who you are targeting. Is this essay meant for someone against whaling, or is it pointed at someone that has no opinion yet? If it is directed towards one side more than the other, what is the purpose of this essay? In other words, by the end of your essay, if I ask myself, "Why should I care" or "Why is this important," then I should be able to look back at your essay and discover the answer. 
I hope you will pass these comments on to your partner as she uses your essay to prepare a second draft of the collaborative paper. Good luck!!
-Ms. Teacher

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