Upon looking at the comments of my fellow tutors and the grades that they gave this paper, I found that I saw more potential in this paper and in the end I graded less harshly; I gave this essay a B/B+.
The introduction was disorganized, and did not flow well; there was no clear thesis and the writer jumped right into the essay with McCandless instead of with a more general statement. I wrote this criticism directly on the paper, and wrote what I thought he seemed to be saying; that although McCandless’ motivations were selfish and even naive in his abandonment of society in order to achieve self-fulfillment, his existing in a context affected, in the end, his environment and those around him. Then I proceeded to suggest how to organize the introduction by outlining the flow of ideas. This comment was constructive and clarifying but at the same time was not too specific and I did not try to insert my specific ideas or writing style on the student (often tutors and maybe professors have trouble thinking about how they would have written an essay, with specific sentence structure and style in mind, instead of working with the style and ideas o the student).
Also, throughout the essay I underlined things that I liked, and even pointed things out that he/she could use in the thesis. Also, I pointed out certain things that the writer assumed that the reader knew, and that should have been explained more. There was one section about Bernie Goetz that did not exactly fit into the argument fluidly and broke the cohesiveness of the essay. I expressed these problems in my notes and suggested that it even be moved to the beginning of the paragraph so that it would flow better and he/she could set up a nice contrast. My comments were constructive and specific enough that the writer would know what to do and know what I was looking for, but not to specific that it was catered to my writing style or my own ideas and not those of the author.
The conclusion was too general, and underdeveloped, and I stated that in my notes. Because the intro and the conclusion were not developed or organized very well, most would be inclined to give this paper a bad grade. However, I saw a lot of good work in the body of the essay, and his ideas were complicated and interesting, and I believe he used good support. Therefore, I gave this paper a decent grade, and commented appropriately.