On Tuesday we examined character/theme essays that were not so strong and were lacking. For example, one author only had a one sentence introduction before his thesis, which resulted in an abrupt transition. Lacking smooth transitions can really detriment your chain of reasoning in essays. Also, several students had a thesis that needed to be more concise; they used vague and redundant words in addition to the fact that the authors personally did not show interest for their own essays which made it harder to attract an audience. We discussed how a weak thesis limits the writer's ability to present a well constructed essay. Many grammar mistakes were present in the essays we examined. The students could of avoided and corrected awkward sentences by simply having someone else read it aloud to them. The topic sentences and commentary made in the essay needed not only to be specific, but they needed to support the thesis rather than being vague or irrelevant. Another common problem was that the evidence did not support the commentary, making it hard to see where their argument was coming from. Students could have raised their grades by having meaningful and clarified commentary with strong transitions because it bolsters their points. In the end, we concluded that students should avoid using vague or broad words that lack a definite point and they should also avoid repetition of words and phrases by using varying diction and connecting sentence structure. Specify, clarify, and fortify your essays.
-Notes by Hugh Tidwell