Advocacy Project & Peer Editing

1. AP

Below you will find attached two documents. The first document is an essay written by a student who was not in my class, but I found his sample to be quite instructive. The second document is my PPT presentation highlighting all the positive aspects in the student’s essay. I would encourage you to take advantage of the PPT since it highlights the main criteria for my grading.

Below you will find the checklist to use in composing your Advocacy Project (it is the same checklist for editing). For the draft, your aim should be to present an argument and some meaningful evaluation of current advocacy approach(es), the policies and practices that have resulted from the approach(es), and the effects of those policies on the problem as well as other advocacy efforts. Your work does not need to be polished, but it needs to be clear.

Analysis, Evidence, and Sources

  1. WHAT IS THE THESIS? Is it an argument that critically engages with advocacy (e.g., offering a general statement about what has not worked [at all or has been limited in its scope] and why followed by an account of the author’s own position and why it will work better?). The thesis should be roughly three sentences but can constitute an entire paragraph.
  1. Does the draft begin with an effective and comprehensive account of a legitimate advocacy effort? Can you explain why it works?
  1. Does the description of advocacy develop into a critical and informed evaluation of what worked, what didn’t and why? Is this evaluation comprehensive or does it feel flimsy? What might the author add to this evaluation to make it stronger?
  1. Characterize the writer’s own position within the analysis of current efforts. Does the writer emphasize one mode of advocacy over another (grass-roots efforts? Litigation based efforts? Legislation or other forms of government intervention?) and make a convincing case for why one form of advocacy should (currently) take precedence over others?

5. What does the writer’s evaluation of advocacy look like? (focus on comprehensiveness? Feasibility? Cost-Benefit? Comparison? Opposition? A combination?). Is the evaluation, in other words, situated clearly within a critical contextual framework?

6. Does the writer effectively anticipate and respond to any opposition/obstacles to his or her solution? Does the writer treat the opposition fairly or does the opposition serve as a “straw man”? How persuaded are you by the writer’s analysis of oppositional claims? What suggestions do you have for improving the writer’s refutation and/or treatment of the opposition?

7. Based on the evidence in the draft, do you think that the writer offers convincing evidence for why their solution is the best solution? Why or why not?

Source usage:

1. On what type of ‘experts’ does the writer’s position most rely? Do you think the writer needs better variety in the perspectives he offers? Why or why not? Can you think of any other ‘voices’ that are missing, that is, from this composition?

2. In the body of the composition, does the writer use sources for different purposes: to define terms, to theorize, to establish facts, to illustrate arguments/positions, to incorporate key concepts? Could the writer improve the variety of approaches with which he uses source material?

3. Are the relevant quotations effectively contextualized to account for any information that would help situate the quotation more clearly? What suggestions do you have for improving source integration?

4. Look at the works cited page: does it contain roughly ten new sources from peer-reviewed journals, think tanks, government sources, original legal documents and/or books? What about the popular sources? Does the works cited page suggest over-reliance on popular sources? How credible and timely are the popular sources? Are all the sources correctly cited in MLA format? What suggestions do you have about additional or better types of sources the writer needs to make a solid argument?

Organization, Language, Style (Prioritize the Category Above)

  1. Look at the thesis. Does this composition develop from its thesis? Do the early paragraphs begin by contextualizing the advocacy position in terms of current and/or past advocacy approaches? Does each paragraph develop a single point of focus that reflects the claim of its topic sentence? Within paragraphs, is it always clear why Sentence B follows Sentence A? Are there many overly long, jumbled paragraphs or overly short, underdeveloped paragraphs? What suggestions do you have for improving thesis-paragraph development or paragraph to paragraph development?
  2. Does the writer use transitional devices between paragraphs? Do you ever “get lost” when reading the paper? Is it always clear why Paragraph D follows Paragraph C? What suggestions do you have for clarifying the relationship between paragraphs and/or the development of an idea over more than one paragraph?
  3. Evaluate the writer’s use of multi-modal argumentation: Does the draft include effective pieces of graphic evidence? Is there a variety of different kinds of graphics (illustrations, photographs, graphs, etc.). All multi-modal elements should add something substantial to the argument. Are there any that don’t seem to be doing much work for the argument? Should they be deleted/replaced, or could the writer fix the problem by talking about the image more directly in the text? Do the graphics all include a caption that cites where it came from? Specify which graphics need captions or better captions (See AGWR section on multi-modality) What is the most rhetorically effective graphic that the writer uses, and why do you say so?
  4. How clear and effective are the writer’s sentences? Where do you see instances of passive voice that should be changed to active voice? Do you notice any patterns of error (frequent misused commas, semicolons, strange or inaccurate word choices, confusing sentence structure, etc.)? What suggestions do you have for improving sentence structure and word choice: reducing wordiness, placing most important information near the beginning of the sentence, increasing clarity, etc.

2. Peer Editing

I will upload my peer’s paper later. You need to give me both marginal and write-up)

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