Tuesday, March 07, 2006

peer review pt. 2

You discuss the conflict within the community thoroughly, and I feel I better understand the controversy, but perhaps more light could be shed on the community itself. While numbers are not a staple of understanding, I feel that some statistics in the beginning of your essay would not be misplaced. You say that more women are attending college these days in your first paragraph, but that’s a really open-ended statement. How much more? Since when? It’d be nice if you had a range, like the number of women enrolling in college in 1940 was [blank] compared to how many enrolled in 2000: [blank]. I think that maybe it would better serve to emphasize the controversy, or at least set the stage for it. I guess it’s considered common knowledge, but it would help to further the reader’s understanding of exactly how drastic a change it has been over one, two, or three decades.
I like how later in the paper you divide paragraphs so that each deals with a particular quote—it makes for easy reading, and it’s great because I’m not flooded with four or five names at once. Also, you introduce each of those paragraphs with the author and the article or work in question—very organized, very helpful. All in all, every topic sentence for each paragraph serves as a great guide to what that paragraph is about—awesome! There is a paragraph that begins at the bottom of page 4 and continues to page 5, that I think could use a source, but I guess that’s what that “[cite]” note is.
I think your use of sources is excellent and that you’ve organized them very effectively. (It also makes it easy to go back and find for the sake of a peer review.) Halcomb seems to be your major source, or at least a very important one, and you introduce her early on, which works well for going back to read later.
The essay is very exploratory, and I really got the feeling that you were turning this topic over in your head as you wrote it. I finished your paper with kind of a “you left me hanging” feeling. Did you pick a side by the end? Or was your final decision that each mother should decide for herself? I guess it’s an exploratory paper and all, but I felt like you were trying very hard to remain neutral in this, and—don’t get me wrong, that’s what Professor Malesh asked us to do—but I think there’s supposed to be a sense of picking a side by the end. What, hypothetically speaking, would you do as a working mother?

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