Comparative Analysis Draft Workshop

Work with your partner to write comments on the drafts that were assigned to you, following the instructions below. Only one of you needs to type but you should both discuss the draft.

Start by reading the article all the way through once. As you read, put yourself in the mindset of the target audience, which includes students who need to complete a particular task for which this tool would be appropriate. Read as though you yourself are trying to decide which tool to use and consider whether or not the article gives you the kind of information you need in enough detail.

When you’re ready to post comments, open a new window, navigate to the article, and click on the "Discuss" link near the bottom of the page. That way you'll have the article open in one window and the Discuss page in another, so you can move back and forth between them. (Note: On a Mac you can move between open windows with the keyboard shortcut command ~)

The Discuss links opens to a page that functions like a discussion forum. In the title of a new message, put: Comments by usernames (use your Wikidot usernames instead of your real names). In the body of the message, include the number for the step below along with your response.

(1) Take a close look at the introduction. The intro should span several paragraphs and should include explanations of:

  • the type of tool the writers focus on
  • how that type of tool is useful to college students
  • how the writers limited their choice of which tools
  • what test process the writers used to test each tool
  • a brief overview of the criteria used as a basis for comparison

If any element is missing or could use further development, let the writers know.

(2) Take a close look at how the body of the article is organized. It should be divided into three main sections (based on tool OR criteria). Each section should be written out in paragraph rather than list format and should include at least one paragraph of discussion for each criteria.

If the body of the article doesn’t follow this structure or could benefit from more reader-friendly formatting, let the writer know. Also give the writers feedback on the use of screen shots.

(3) Take a close look at the information presented under each criteria. The information should be presented in paragraph format (one or more paragraphs) and should focus on explaining how the tool measured up to the criteria when the writers tested it out using their test process.

Do the writers include enough information to help readers understand how the tool worked in the test process and how it fares under the test criteria? Leave the writers feedback on areas within each criteria section that could be more clear or detailed. Refer to the criteria section by name before each set of comments like this:

Flickr/Ease of use: This paragraph might…
Flickr/Portability: This paragraph has…

(4) Take a close look at the conclusion, which should leave readers with final observations and recommendations about which tool to use for what purpose. Leave the writers comments on whether the conclusion fulfills its purpose or could use more clarity or detail.

(5) Look at the article in the role of editor rather than target audience and comment on any editing issues you notice. The most common editing issues include incomplete sentences, run-on sentences, missing or unnecessary commas, problems with plurals and possessives, and imprecise word choice. (If you don’t notice any editing issues or unsure about them, you may skip this step.)

(6) Consider the rhetorical features of the article. How do the authors establish ethos? How do they appeal to pathos and logos? What might they do to strengthen their appeals to ethos, pathos, and/or logos?

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