Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Mother's Critique

I chose to share my personal essay with the smartest person I know: my mom.  She was traveling internationally and so it was surprisingly difficult to get a hold of her until today.  But as we read over my essay together, I was reminded of how cool she is.  She is an English major and her favorite pastime is reading novels.  Therefore, I imagined that she could give fairly helpful feedback.  I was correct.

Most of the feedback I received was literary.  She analyzed a lot of aspects of my paper, like tense, transitions, and wording.  She helped to recognize a lot of areas where I was too vague, for example, by saying, “we sat,” instead of explaining who was sitting.  “Do not overestimate your audience and assume that they can always follow what you are thinking.” As she pointed this out, I realized that it is something that I do a lot in my writing.  

At one point during our conversation, I even felt slightly frustrated because there were so many things that were apparent to her that I needed to improve.

However, she also was very happy to see me writing about my brother. “You’re a good writer, I like what you’ve done.  I’m quite impressed actually.”  She told me this when I finished reading it to her.  She suggested that I also show it to my brother because he was the subject of my personal essay.  It makes me wonder what his reaction to it will be.  But I believe that I will wait until the final draft before showing it to him.

All in all, this sharing experience opened my eyes to a more clear style of writing, and helped me to bond with my mother.  We remained talking for over an hour after she finished giving me feedback on my essay. 

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