After re-reading my paper, what stood out the most to me was a problem stemming from my thesis: the Empire City Massacre was a in fact a hoax, not a piece of satire. Beginning with my thesis and going into the first paragraph, my primary focus was delineating between the two to better set up my argument. Similarly, I felt that I did not clearly define who Twain was targeting and how with each piece of evidence. It then became clear to me that there were also a few places where I needed to move evidence around that did not fit under my topic sentence. Therefore, I focused primarily on re-phrasing my topic sentences and my analysis to support the idea of why Twain’s article failed as a hoax instead of highlighting its “satirical roots.” Since we haven’t talked about revising our thesis yet, I decided that the next best place to start was my first topic sentence:
Before: “As canny as the title, Twain plays on conventions such as exclamation and diction to fool his audience, clearly being satirical.”
After: “As canny as the title, Twain plays on conventions such as exclamation and diction to fool his audience, clearly stated with a mocking tone.”
With this simple change, I not only clarified Twain’s article not being satirical, but I was also able to move another piece of evidence discussing his mocking tone to support how Twain was able to fool his audience. Later in the paragraph while unpacking my evidence, I incorporated more information about how Twain was specifically targeting his audience, and who “they” were in this case:
Appearing under the headline “the latest sensation” and using descriptors such as “dash[ing] out the brains of” and “scalp[ing],” Twain sensationalizes the issue from the very beginning. He continues to add that the main victim in the story was the insane man who killed himself, when clearly the unmerciful slaughter of his innocent wife and six children are much more tragic—a rhetorical move to make the audience, a bunch of terrified investors, ignore reality and buy into the gruesome details of one man’s poor investment.
**Note: italicized words are changes from original
I went and corrected some improper use of quotations. I had never really cited something that hadn’t come from a text, so I was unfamiliar with the rules of punctuation. When there is no parenthetical citation, the punctuation goes INSIDE the quotation marks!
Original:For example, when one plays the song ‘Revolution 9’ backwards, he/she can hear what appears to be John Lennon singing “Turn me on dead man, turn me on”.
Revised:For example, when one plays the song ‘Revolution 9’ backwards, he/she can hear what appears to be John Lennon singing “Turn me on dead man, turn me on.”
I sometimes get carried away in writing sentences and it may lead to long and overly comprehensive sentences. While they may not be considered run-ons, they are still overly complicated and long. Here, I say everything I said in the original sentence in about the same amount of space (I added some more detail to the revised); however, I broke it up into multiple sentences. The short sentences even make the point more like concrete statements rather than fluffy analysis.
Original: With the intent to stir not only the world of music, but also the world of pop culture whilst being the epicenter of outcry, cluesters suggested the death of McCartney through theorized connections in Beatles song lyrics, the medium
Revised: Cluesters suggested the death of McCartney through the medium of theorized connections in the Beatles’s lyrics. They became the epicenter of outcry, and enjoyed the fame that came with it. They not only stirred the world of music, but the entire world of pop culture.
For this first revision I decided to focus on my essay with a ‘zoomed out’ perspective. I believe it will be a more effective revision if I first spot out any major structural issues, continuing with the revision process by focusing on minor details towards the end.
One of the first changes I made was the organization of my paragraphs. I’ve decided to take a different approach this time around, something that was suggested in the comments from the first submission of this essay. I have switched the positioning of paragraphs 3 and 4, while also rearranging the presentation of information in paragraph 2. The essay now analyzes the bathtub hoax in the following order:
- Tone (Although this paragraph also touches on credibility again. I plan on finding a way to ensure that there is a distinct difference between paragraph 2 and 3, as I find it to be a tad repetitive.)
In the audience paragraph, I have also rearranged the order of my sentences, using the specific groups of people that Mencken successfully convinced as more of a “hook” as opposed to just supporting evidence. I find that this is something I can utilize in making my argument stronger – did he intentionally target intellectual groups, with the hope of proving that even some of the most intelligent people can still be fooled?
Moving forward, I plan on taking advantage of the new structure of my essay, tying all of these rhetorical techniques together. I also plan on incorporating more concrete evidence, pulling more quotes and examples from the primary source.
For my revisions, I primarily focused on grammar, sentences structure, and fluidity of my paper. As was previously pointed out in the comments for the paper, those three things needed to be addressed and revised. Looking back, I noticed a lot of shift between tenses that made my paper very confusing. In addition, I tried to extend my sentences and make my paper sound more sophisticated but it ended up making things more confusing and difficult to understand. Therefore, I went back and polished some confusing and vague sentences to be more precise and clear.
One big change was the rewording of my thesis from:
Released in the 1990s by Ray Santilli, the film does not fall short of establishing a grave tone in its portrayal of the autopsy, appealing to the overwhelming emotions that the public would generate, and the memorializing Santilli in mankind’s history books for the production of such an ingenious, world renowned hoax.
Released in the 1990s by Ray Santilli, the film successfully established a grave tone in its portrayal of the autopsy that appealed to the overwhelming emotions of the public through visuals and subtle details that memorialized Santilli in mankind’s history books for the production of such an ingenious, world renowned hoax.
They’re very similar but the rewrite seems more precise and to the point, rather than some general statement that doesn’t really foretell what the essay will be about.
A challenging aspect of analytical writing has always been organization. In this paper, I found it hard to separate each idea into clear-cut categorized paragraphs. I found that I repeated alike ideas in different paragraphs that could have been more logistically grouped together. For instance I moved the following sentence to the first paragraph: “rather than easing into the topic and explaining who the author is Cooke portrays Jimmy in such a way that the audience is swayed to sympathize with him. Described with a “cherubic expression on his small round face”(Cooke), Jimmy is portrayed as an innocent child with a far from childish addiction.” I reworked the idea to fit seamlessly into the end of the first paragraph so it reads as: “By sharing with the audience such detailed observations, it encourages the reader to imagine the scene from Jimmy’s point of view–a small child dwarfed in a large, comfortable chair, like any living room anywhere. However, as innocent as Jimmy appears with that ‘cherubic expression on his small round face’(Cooke), his addiction is far from childish.”
Something else that needed revision is the addition of context. Rather than introducing Cook and her background I jumped right into the analysis. In this kind of writing you cannot assume that the audience is knowledgeable on the topic. What I changed is I added basic facts that are critical to the clarity of my argument in the first paragraph. I mentioned how she worked for the Washington Post and how she received a Pulitzer Prize for this article. I want to add in other sources that comment on the event to add more depth to my argument. Also, in this paper, I did not delve deep enough into the specification of ‘audience.’ Though I mentioned it I never defined who exactly that audience would be. Adding more details about audience, who would read this, what class of people, what age etc. would make my thesis and argument more clear and directed.
Before I read through my first essay and started my revisions for Paper 1, I read through the comments on my essay and used that as a starting point. In some paragraphs, I strayed too far from the topic sentence when trying to bring in other points in Poe’s writing when I could’ve easily supported my topic sentence with more detailed analysis of the text. For example, my topic sentence was “Poe reassures the audience and attains ethos by alluding to the presence of other doctors and sounding professional.” The poorly placed sentence that I am alluding to is: “Another suspicious yet convenient detail of the hoax is how M. Valdemar conveniently does not have any ‘relatives in America who would be likely to interfere.’ ” I replaced the later sentence with “The use of medical jargon: ‘semi-osseous or cartilaginous state’, ‘aneurism of the aorta’, and ‘ossification’ all bolsters Poe narrator’s credibility as an expert mesmerist.” I also added more detail to what kind of audience Poe is writing for and edited the order of my choppy intro summary of Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.” I also made better transitions between my points by switching sentences around.
I have mostly focused on my paragraph about author/publication credibility. This paragraph was somewhat weak because I was mixing author credibility with New York Magazine‘s credibility. The author credibility was not really related to the ideas of credibility, because I really needed to address the person who was the subject of the articles credibility, and the fact that New York Magazine is a credible source. I decided to rephrase my topic sentence so that it omitted the idea of author. It went from “Author credibility is vital to making a story convincing, but evidence of Mohammed’s success is important to the article’s believability as well” to “The credibility of New York Magazine is vital to making a story convincing, but evidence of Mohammed’s success is important to the article’s believability as well.” I feel that this paragraph still needs some more improvements, and that topic sentence may change as a continue to look at that paragraph and the paper as a whole. I am beginning to add even more synthesis of quotations in this paragraph and others, and discuss how individual words are so important to believability. The more I examine this paper and the quotation choices I picked, I can see that they are definitely helpful quotations, but there is more to them than I discussed.
My main revisions were cutting my quotes, fixing grammar, and adding more analysis that flowed logically. Before my quote was:
“[Jason Russell]: Our goal is to change the conversation of our culture and get people to ask, “Who is Joseph Kony?” We have printed hundreds of thousands of posters, stickers, yard signs, and fliers that are right now, today, being put up in major cities all over the world. We have thousands of “Kony 2012″ bracelets that we want everyone to wear this year only. Each bracelet has a unique I.D. number. Input that number and you enter the mission to make Kony famous. You can geotag your posters and track your impact in real time. Everything you need is in a box called the Action Kit.”.
After revision I decided to just kept
“[Jason Russell]:We have thousands of “Kony 2012″ bracelets that we want everyone to wear this year only. Each bracelet has a unique I.D. number. Input that number and you enter the mission to make Kony famous. You can geotag your posters and track your impact in real time. Everything you need is in a box called the Action Kit.”
I still was able to focus on my main point of the paragraph which was giving the public a means to take action with this shorter quote, as well as delve deeper into the specific language. For example I talked about how the hoax was only meant to last for “this year only”, which shows it was just a fad and not necessarily the tragic injustice it was portrayed as.
I learned that in some of my paragraphs I needed to either cut some things out or transition them better in order to improve my argument. Just because something was true about the Kony 2012 video, didn’t mean I had to put it in my essay. Though timely, I think these revisions and future revisions will help to make this a much stronger paper.
Just by rereading my first paper this weekend, I can tell how much we have learned this semester about analysis since we first turned in those papers. I can clearly point out poorly worded statements and sentences that do not quite fit in certain places.
I decided to focus on making stronger topic sentences that better argued my point in the following paragraph:
Original: Elsie, the designer of the fairy cutouts, had artistic ability that was the key piece to pulling off their scheme of showing the world’s first photos of real fairies. By using cardboard, hatpins, and natural skills, Elsie was able to create the cutouts of fairies that befuddled the world. These photos could not be discredited, not only because of the skillful hiding spots of the hatpins that were used to hold the cutouts up (see photo 1 and 3), placed by Elsie and Frances, but also because of Elsie’s ability to make the faces of the fairies look like actual people in a three-dimensional form through the use of shading (see photo 4). The quality of photos in the early 20th century was not as refined as modern techniques. Blurred spots and pixelation were to be expected in even the greatest of photographs.
New: Elsie’s knowledge of photography and artistic ability mixed with limitations of photography in the 1920s are essential to the girls’ success in presenting the first photos of fairies to the world. Through skillful use of carboard and hatpins, Elsie was able to create small life-like images of fairies that would go on to mystify many generations of people. These photos could not be discredited, not only due to the skillful hiding spots of the hatpins that were used to hold the cutouts up (see photo 1 and 3), placed by Elsie and Frances, but also because of Elsie’s ability to make the faces of the fairies look like actual people in a three-dimensional form through the use of shading (see photo 4). Because of the quality of photos in the early 20th century, the picture did not come out as clear as any modern photo would have. Instead it was blemished with blurred spots and small indeterminable specs, which cannot be efficiently analyzed as anything other than that, despite theories that the specs are actually the hatpins sticking past the cutouts.
The new topic sentence better prepares the reader for what is going to be in this paragraph, along with a stronger analysis at the end about why photography was so limited in the early 20th century.