Deanza College Language Barri

You will read two of your peers’ essays and provide a response to each essay, basing your response on the questions listed below.

1. Examining the Essay. Please provide feedback on the following elements and make specific suggestions whenever possible. The questions below are based on the Rubric for Essay #1.


  • Does the writer describe events leading up to a specific incident that occurred at a specific time in the writer’s life?
  • Does the writer include a detailed scene in which (s)he has a moment of realization (turning point) and in which their perspective shifted (or they changed their ideas about the world)? What did you interpret to be the moment of realization? Where in the essay is this realization? Does it need to be developed more to be clear? How so?
  • Is there a balance of scene and summary (i.e., some of the essay is told through detailed scenes and some of it is told through summary)? If the essay appears to be told all in summary, make suggestions for where the writer might create scenes, such as key moments in the narrative and the incident that led to the realization. If there’s very little summary, make suggestions for places that might be told through summary, such as scenes that do not show key moments.
  • Does the essay include a reflection on how the realization affected the author then and how it affects their now? What more would you as a reader like to know to fully understand how the writer was affected?
  • Do you get a sense of what the writer was like before and after the significant incident? What information would you need to understand more fully what the writer was like before or after the incident (i.e., how the incident changed the writer’s perspective or ideas about the world)?

Narrative Technique

  • Is it clear who the characters are and where the narrative takes place? Does the writer provide enough background information (setting and context) for you as the reader to follow what’s happening?
  • Where is the writer’s narrative technique (use of concrete details, the five senses, dialogue) especially strong? Give at least one specific example and explain why this section effectively engages you as a reader.
  • Where might the writer provide more concrete details, sensory details, dialogue, or description of events to engage the reader? Give at least one specific example of where and how the writer could improve his/her narrative technique.


  • Can a claim be inferred from the writer’s narrative? Write down what you infer to be the writer’s claim.
  • Does the writer’s personal experience illustrate a larger social issue or suggest a point of view or lesson about human experience? What do you interpret this social issue or point of view to be?

2. Reader Response. Finish by praising what the writer did well! For example, what did you find most compelling about the essay? What touched you or moved you? What could you identify with?

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