Critique of classmate’s writing assignment 2
I critiqued Selena Liu’s article “Alone Time.” Here is some of my feedback:
I like how everything came together in the closing lines. Selena told the story of a 20-year marriage in only 340 words. I also like the visual she gave of being in the kitchen–I could smell the chicken and picture a cozy scene with her husband. Although the hook opening needed more context, I thought the first sentence of the fifth paragraph was a good transition. After reading that, the first few paragraphs made sense.
The first paragraph/hook opening was confusing to me. Additional context/scene-setting details would help here. Why is Selena opening the door? Why is she holding her laptop? And at the end, who was the annoying person from work? Is that what caused her to shut down in the opening? If Selena was 30 in the opening, how old is she now? Has her communication with her husband changed since that time?
I thought Selena’s story was sweet and very relatable. She described her perspective and her husband’s perspective in a way that readers can easily understand. As someone who loves to talk and wants to fix everyone’s problems, this gave me some empathy–sometimes people just need space!
I also want to commend Selena for taking this course to improve her English writing skills, as she said in her intro to the class. At my old job, I worked with people from all over the world (Venezuela, Russia, India, China) and it was hard to communicate highly technical material. Not because of a vocabulary barrier, but because writing conventions are so different in each language. I really respect Selena’s efforts and enjoyed reading her piece.
Critique of classmate’s final assignment
Emma Tovar, Going on the grid with Bill Wiltsch
The hook did a great job of setting up the rest of the story. A short anecdote that set the scene, got me interested, and gave just enough information to get the story started.
I did have a few lingering questions after the hook. Why was Bill in St. Louis? Is that where he lives, or is his home Long Island? Was the power off all weekend for all of Long Island? Did it take the full three weeks for power to get restored? What caused the undersea cables to fail?
The hook and story are still good without this information; those are just questions I had after reading.
I like how you started with an anecdote, then gave some background info, then picked up again where the hook left off.
Overall, the article is well-written and organized. Excellent flow. It reads like a story of his life but not in a boring way. The details are vivid and the quotes add a personal touch. I felt like I’d had a conversation with Bill. Fun title too.
The only improvement I would suggest is telling us who Bill is! Is he someone famous that everyone should know, or a friend/relative of the author?
The main takeaway was that Bill is a cool guy who worked hard–this profile reminds me of a Steve Jobs-type inventor. I also learned about the electrical grid: I’d never thought about undersea cables going to Long Island, or the necessity of an infrastructure rebuild during/after the Iraq War.