Shannon D

Monday, March 06, 2006

Peer Review for Krista

Reviewer: Shannon Davis
Writer: Krista Speicher
Topic: Home Schooling vs. Public


To begin, I enjoyed reading your article. I thought that there were some definite strong points, especially with some of the quotes that you chose, as well as some areas that could use some work. I’m going to use the guidelines to shape this letter while also just giving you as much feedback as I can.

I thought the purpose was pretty clear for the most part. You wanted to inform the reader about the pros and con’s of home schooling.

The controversy of home schooling is very clear in your essay. You begin with the importance of an education, whether it is from a public school or not. That worked out well because you started off unbias by doing this. The second and third pages were your strongest, and where I was most interested in your writing. Looking at the demographics of what types of people were home-schooled was helpful. I didn’t look at these facts as research, but more of you explaining the unknown to me. You did well pulling in the gray area’s about midway through on your second page, where you actually state that there are gray area’s. The 5th page gave me the most problems because I found myself bored reading the court cases, and I didn’t really see where they fit in with the stronger arguments you had before (all the quotes on pages 2 and 3).

You have a very thorough understanding of the controversy. As I was reading your piece I began to get the feeling that you were completely for home schooling and against public schools. My reasons for thinking this are found on page 4. I had loved your bold quotes before, but the closing sentence to that paragraph came off a bit strong and far-fetched. One suggestion might be to go back through your paper and pay really close attention to your tone. (I don’t want that to sound mean so I’m sorry I definitely did it with my paper)!

The community and the controversy are well balanced throughout the paper. I liked the way you showed rural vs. urban. I would loved to have seen quotes from someone who was home-schooled, as well as interview with a public school teacher on the issues your raising. I feel like if you did that I might have a better understanding of how people in the community (like a public school teacher) would feel about an argument on education.

As I mentioned before pages 2 and 3 are your strongest. On page 2 you might want to consider breaking that down into two paragraphs. Your topic sentence on the beginning of page 3 could be stronger, but I enjoyed the topic sentence for the last paragraph on that page. On page 4, second paragraph, I thought it was a strong start, with not much information following it. I was set up to think I might her from some of those parents or public school teachers, so this could be a spot where you consider and interview or quotes from those mentioned above. I really didn’t like the last paragraph before your conclusion, because I felt it didn’t fit at all. The rest of your paper flowed and really got deep into the controversy, but this is where I most thought it resembled a research paper. One because it stopped being a great argument, and went to law, which can be a bit boring. About half way through that paragraph is when I started coming back to life and I again was interested in your argument. I don’t know how to fix this part, maybe it was just me, but I marked where and when the confusion started.

Quotes…loved them for the most part. To begin, I have no idea how the quote that comes before your paper relates to home schooling. I get the quote, no doubt about it, just doesn’t really “mesh” with the rest of the paper. Page 2, loved the paraphrasing and the sources thought they worked well with the flow of the paper. Your first quote on page 3 wasn’t as strong as the others before, but you compensated with the one following at the end of the paragraph. Ok the one page 4 really got me, only because it threw me for a loop. “A spellbinding…”, I would love to know more about Kirkpatrick, just because it’s such a bold statistic.

I felt that your tone led you to be in favor of home schooling more than public schools, merely by the quotes that you chose and a couple of statements (which I had mentioned before). I don’t think that you pushed me, the reader, to take the side of home schooling, but that’s where I feel your opinion lies.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading your essay. I can’t wait to see the final, and I hope that my suggestions help to make it stronger.

You can view her paper by clicking on her link guys........


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