Dr. Rodrigue/Advanced Writing, Fall 2012/Biography Peer Review

1. Genre regularities, as you know, function as guides to help writers compose. Identify at least two common characteristics of the genre of biography in your peers’ work. If these characteristics do not exist, tell the author.
1) Informative 2) Story-telling

2. As we discussed in class, many biography writers construct generic identities (the hero, the villain, the martyr) or tell stories with common themes (the coming of age story, the tragedy, the unexpected romance) or simply report the life events of a person. In an effort to avoid approaching the writing of a biography as a “fill-in-the-blank” endeavor, writer’s need to have a distinct purpose(s) geared to a particular audience. What is the writer’s purpose(s) in writing this biography? What goals do you think the writer is trying to achieve? What arguments is he/she trying to make? Describe them below. If you can’t determine a purpose(s), tell the author.
I believe the purpose here, the point/argument being made is that Tesla is far too overlooked. Not many know about him yet they should because of how brilliant he was and how many “new” technologies we enjoy today started with him.

3. In what ways do you see the writer taking his/her audience into consideration when trying to achieve his/her purpose? (For those who are composing Powerpoint presentations, the audience is the class. For those who are composing in any other medium, the audience description, as you know, is on a word document on the assignment page).
I think the way this is written is done so in a manner that is easily accessible to any variety of reader while also maintaining a level of intelligence so as to not insult. It’s also kept quite interesting in tone and the way the story is told.

4. Identify at least three rhetorical strategies the writer uses. Describe the extent to which these rhetorical strategies are effective in helping the writer achieve his/her purpose(s) to the intended audience.
1) Hints at/foreshadows Tesla’s immense intelligence right off the bat. 2) Shows his struggles (keeps him human). 3) Shows one of his inventions that many of us are familiar with but probably are unaware that it was him.

5. Describe the extent to which your peer’s chosen modes (alphabet, audio, visual) and medium(s) (video, photographs, pictures, alphabetic writing, etc) function rhetorically. Do you think the incorporation of other modes and mediums could help the writer strengthen the biography and further achieve his/her goals? If so, make a suggestion of how and where the writer might incorporate other modes and mediums.
I think for this particular person, not much more than the narrative and pictures can be done. That being said, I think the way it’s been written so far works really well to keep the reader engaged in the topic. Perhaps, though, it’d add a cool little extra touch if you could find a clip of some sort that shows the coil – his most famous invention – in operation.

6. Identify two strengths of the paper, and explain why you think these are strengths.
One strength is definitely having the memory and picture of his work. It lets us in his mind a little and gives a strong example for the fact that he IS overlooked and shouldn’t be. A second strength would be how you set the stage for the beginning.

7. Identify two parts that need to strengthened, and make a suggestion as to how the writer might do so.

8. Make some general suggestions that may help your peer strengthen the draft (perhaps you think they need to conduct more research, incorporate a particular point of view, cut something out, etc).

Spend the last 10 minutes of class talking with your peer about your responses and anything else that will help him/her strengthen his paper.

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