In this sample paper I set out to draw attention to the simplicity of the thesis and the benefits of having a more text-specific/complicated thesis. I underlined all the topic sentences and all the areas where more explicit analysis was needed. I wanted to not only comment but offer suggestions in the places where I saw potential. On the first page I noticed a contradiction and a hole in the student’s argument so I offered questions to help clarify the contradiction. Hopefully my emphasize on the importance of a nuanced thesis will serve the student in the future when they are in need of a more complicated thesis. I also underlined a few transition sentences where it seemed as though the student had lost the main objective of their paragraph. I also noted that the first two topic sentences were a little too similar. However, my comments were not all negative, on the first page I pointed out the good use of quote and analysis. On the second page I saw a moment where the student could have explicitly discussed the implication of this analysis. I offered potential ways to more explicitly analyze the text. Also, I pointed out areas where they could ‘explain further.’ Also, vagueness in an Expos paper is a very telling sign of a lack of thought or connectivity. I pointed out sentences that seemed purposely vague in hopes that the student will realize vagueness will never enhance an argument; only serve as a hindrance to understanding. I pointed out a good topic sentence in hopes they will emulate more of this writing in future papers.
On the last page I pointed out a good use of quote and analysis that was directly related to the topic sentence of that paragraph. However, the conclusion of this paper was quite weak and broad so I pointed out the need for more complication. On the back of the paper is where I wrote my most detailed comments and also included my grade. My tutoring and personal writing philosophy stems from the need for a very complicated thesis. I believe if a thesis is thought about thoroughly the rest of the paper will be extremely easy to compile. As a result, even though this paper had a clear thesis it was not very complicated. In effect, the rest of the paper suffered. I offered potential questions that I would have asked this student in preparing a thesis. These questions could be used in the future to better understand how to handle a prompt. If you break it down it will seem a lot less overwhelming. I also emphasized the fact that topic sentences are mini thesis! Without a complicated thesis the rest of the paper will suffer. You need to remember the goal of each paragraph before you start writing it. I gave this student a C/C+. I found that through tutoring the most helpful comments for me are the ones that pose additional questions instead of merely criticisms. I tried to emulate this style of commenting in hopes that the questions will provoke thought and creativity instead of insecurity.