Writer: Write two questions or concerns to which you'd like your partner to respond on the back of this sheet.
Reader : Read through the writer's essay first without making any comments. Then read through the questions on the workshop sheet below. Address these questions when you re-read the essay, providing a thoughtful and detailed response.
1. Has the writer clearly identified the article and author in the letter (remember, this will be a very brief summary—one to two sentences)? Has the writer provided the context of the article (publication, date, etc.) according to the conventions used by The New York Times ? If not, what needs to be done to convey the context to the audience?
2. To what main idea or key point(s) is the writer responding? List the idea(s) on the back of this or a separate sheet of paper. Is the focus narrow enough? Why or why not?
3. Write down the writer's claim/position on the article. Then look back at the letter and circle where the position is stated. Explain to the writer how effective the placement of the position is in the letter. If the writer doesn't include a clear position, point this out.
4. Label where the writer uses REASONS and EVIDENCE to support their claim/position. Point out where the writer needs to clarify or develop more reasons and/or evidence to make the claim/position valid.
5. How effectively are the ideas/key points from the text illustrated in the letter? Note places in the letter where the writer should use more quotes, textual evidence, and author tags (e.g. “Gordon argues that…” or “According to Frank…”).
6. How appropriate and effective are the writer's choices for the audience? To what extent can you see the audience's needs and expectations being considered? Their values? What needs to be tailored more to be most effective for the audience?
7. How effectively does the letter support the writer's position within its limitations (i.e. < 200 words, audience knowledge)? Offer suggestions about how this might be improved.
8. Respond to questions or concerns the writer has for you.