1. Any academic paper should have a THESIS behind it…a PURPOSE behind its discussion of the topic.  Whether it is directly stated, or strongly implied, does this paper you are reviewing seem to have a thesis?  What is its thesis, if it does?  If it does not have a clear thesis, what might the reader make into the paper’s thesis?  Remember, a thesis is something arguable, NOT A STATEMENT OF FACT OR COMMON KNOWLEDGE.  For example, a thesis cannot be “Smartphones and social media take up a lot of our time and attention and can be a distraction.”  That is a factual statement!  A thesis is something that can be debated and contested and argued.

2. I am BIG on papers being very detailed and specific.  That is why you did that descriptive details assignment a couple weeks back.  Does the draft you are reading seem to have enough specific, concrete detail in it so that you the reader can “see” the places, people, and situations clearly enough?  If so, what details most impressed you?  If not, where would you like to be told more specific detail?

3. This essay should use quotes from the source readings in a significant, meaningful way, and incorporate those quotes smoothly.  Comment on the paper’s use of material from the readings.  Is the use adequate? Would you like more material from the readings to make things more “official” feeling?  Does the paper rely TOO much on quotes?  Are quotes smoothly incorporated into the text?

4. What is your sense of the paper’s grammatical correctness and flow?  Does this author need more attention on grammatical issues?  Or does it flow clearly and smoothly?

5. What is the best, strongest, most impressive aspect of this paper, and why do you feel that way?

6. DO NOT WIMP OUT ON THIS QUESTION, EVERYONE!!!  If you were to give this author one single piece of advice to improve this paper, what would it be?  (DO NOT PUT SOMETHING LIKE “IT’S GREAT AS IS.”!)

7. Ask the author of this paper any two questions.  These can be anything having to do with the paper itself, the experiences discussed within it, etc.  Just give two questions that the paper inspired.

m Essay 1 Draft The rapid advancement in technology throughout this modern age unceasingly broadens the scope for entertainment. From the latest portable gaming consoles that display breathtaking landscapes and fantasy worlds to a vast selection of movies available in a touch of a button, technology has made entertainment accessible everywhere making it almost impossible for one to feel boredom. Quoting President Barack Obama, “the whole library of congress can be accessed from the device inside your pocket”. Although present day technology smothers us with a variety of uses for both work and play, it has somewhat disconnected people from human inter-action or has it really? Compared to my last attempt to disconnect myself from all my gadgets, I find myself lucky the second time around as I was given a Lego starter kit by my dad just the other day. He has always been ranting about how cool it was back in the day to open a fresh box of Legos and begin working on it. He added that we would never visit Lego land unless I try firsthand how it feels to put together one box. It was a surreal experience for an 18 year-old like me to put together a handful of intricately crafted plastic pieces for the first time. I saw this as a great opportunity for me to let go of my electronic gadgets and concentrate on my building skills. The first few minutes seemed confusing for me as I never encountered so many pieces of Lego parts jammed into a plastic bag. Anyway, after opening the box, I began separating most of the pieces according to color, size and mixed them all up again trying to find the pieces I needed. It was challenging but fun thing to be doing. I was glued to the instruction brochure for almost two hours and I never bothered to check my phone for anything. I was to paying too much attention to the detailed manual. I was happy to be able to disconnect myself from my phone and laptop for a good three hours. I got to communicate with my dad during all stages of construction just to check and see if I was doing alright. What seemed like an easy task proved to be a myriad of challenging tasks involving securing the tiniest of pieces just to put together a certain section of the toy. I was surprised how I was able to drown out my surroundings and concentrate on the project. I felt no urge to look at my phone for the entire time I was putting together the toy. Compared to my first experience, I had more control the second time around as I was in a more controlled environment which did not require me to search my current location or call for an Uber. Keeping away from gadgets while walking the streets of New York for the first time does require you to use your gadgets to locate local tourist spots. This was not the case when I was at home. I had the entire living room floor to scatter all my Lego pieces. With no TV, internet or checking for phone messages, I was able to complete the task in record time. Family evenings together has evolved since the internet began selling their services to housel holds several years back. Gone are the days when autocratic parents told us what to do after dinner as each member of our family now has their own niche to dive into. Scrabble, twister, or some other board game was the standard then for every family. Now American living rooms are not only swamped with huge flat TV screens but more and more people prefer to watch content on their phones or tablets. This dawn of personal entertainment has bridged the gap among family members who nowadays congregate in the living room only to be paying attention to different content. This raises many questions. One of which is whether this brings the family much close or more apart. Certain studies suggest that having the entire family sitting in one room all wired to the internet on each of their own devises has a good advantage. There is a more democratic atmosphere among parents and children since all of them are allowed to view content which they actually enjoy reading or watching. This focus on one’s interest according to one study encourages interaction from among a group inside the room. This occurs when one family member sees something he or she likes and shares it with the other members of the family. For example, mom sees an interesting dress which the daughter comments on or dad finds this funny clip which he shares with his wife or son brings the whole wired experience to a new level of interaction. This theory runs opposite to the traditional pattern of behavior which suggests that continuous use of devises during family gatherings tend to establish walls of communication among themselves. In my opinion, human interaction within a tech savvy family home presents more advantages than disadvantages. The sharing of information between family members on almost any topic under the sun has proven useful among the modern family. Weather reports, climate change and other weather occurrences are easily circulated within the household by mom or dad just in time for their children to pack an umbrella or put on a heavy coat in anticipation of snow or heavy winds. I can say for a fact that Brad Kahn’s theory of being close to each other but on different realities is a true occurrence in our house. My dad while accompanying my mom who watches Philippine telenovelas watches sports at the same time on his iPad. They would have breakfast or eat lunch out with their phones in hand looking at Facebook or checking Instagram feeds from friends and family. While nearly 60% of American families with children own more than two computers and also subscribe to wireless internet service, this does not erase social interaction within the family. In fact, it is the diversity of interests that keep them together as a coherent unit since each family member tends to leave their screen to look at the other’s interesting find. For example, dad sees a funny video and shares it with mom and the kids. Mom and kids leave their screens to look at dad’s screen to watch the video. Here, there is constant sharing among members of the same family as far as content is concerned. Mom, in one instance may have chanced upon a nice Italian restaurant which she likes to bring the family to eat one day. Endless interaction occurs in a family that share each other’s internet content. Hence, there is no isolation among members of the family who are constantly on their devises using the internet. Work Cited Williams, Alex. “Quality Time, Redefined.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 01 May 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.
p Making a Divorce Culture Rough Draft The impact a divorce can give varies depending on the level of love and trust one has before the separation, and it may concern more than the main two partners. Those involved with such a heartbreaking event can change from this and become better as a person. Still, such an event is difficult to grasp since it leaves a scar, but not all divorces are bad. A relative of mine has experienced such crisis and did not harbor a huge wound. My relative named Michael, at the age of 28, became married to Katy who was at the time 20. The reason for this marriage was the unexpected pregnancy of Katy which put a lot of stress on the both of them as well as their respective family. Since this was more of a marriage for the child, you could say it was an obligation to family. Their time together didn’t last very long, however, since their relationship was apparently not deep enough. There was trust issues and their separate views made them argue most of the time but kept it low during the pregnancy months. Some of these trust issues reside with an error on Katy’s side since she wanted freedom while Michael wanted to help out and improve the condition of the new family. Michael gave up most of his freedom for his goal but Katy was free since she was being respected as she was pregnant. The family of my relative also didn’t like Katy because of her attitude towards them which brings in the factor of family intervention for marriage and divorce. Family intervention plays a very big part in marriage and divorce because they either support or go against you. They provide the most for both sides of the argument which decides the tide of the divorce. When they couldn’t take it much longer, they decided to divorce. The divorce was mostly caused by the inexperienced wife with only 20 years in her life When the child was born. After four months of being a mother, she decided she needed more time to explore more of the world and how to deal with tough situations, in this case the job of a mother. She also had to cope with the new routine of waking up at any time for the child and going to the gym to get back in shape after being pregnant. To cope with this situation, she usually goes out at night and comes home very late. The suspicions Michael and his parents had on this situation was that she was going out to clubs due to her stench of alcohol every time she comes home late. The stench of alcohol and her irresponsibility was a dangerous situation for the baby at four months old at the time. Michael’s parents did not like this, and neither did he, influencing the push towards a divorce. They didn’t take this matter into their hands by talking nicely and going through a smooth talk, but instead yelled throughout the argument. As Whitehead states, “…divorce now became an event closely linked to the pursuit of individual satisfactions, opportunities, and growth” ( ). The divorce in Michael’s situation is an event close to their satisfaction because it was due to their interests. Katy wanted to be free and Michael was getting tired of all the farce. The opportunity given here is a better life for the both of them as they seem to no longer be attached to each other, and the child would also not need to experience the divorce first hand if they went their separate ways now. With the detachment to each other, they would be able to develop their mutual understandings. They can also grow from the experience of having married and divorced once, giving them the experience of how to deal with these situations when it comes up again. The divorce was a necessary step to improving both of their lives as well as the family’s. Divorcing was crucial to the health and future of the baby too since they are not happy together. Whitehead says “Influential voices in the society, including child-welfare professionals, claimed that the happiness of individual parents, rather than an intact marriage, was the key determinant of a children’s family well-being. If divorce could make one or both parents happier, then it was likely to improve the well-being of children as well.” The irresponsibility of Katy I talked about earlier was the attention she gave to her child. More than half of a week she would leave the baby in the care of Michael’s parents and have her fun either shopping or lazing around. She also showed little concern for her kid during the process of the divorce. When it was time to go to court to see who would get take the custody of the child, she didn’t show up, giving the guardianship to Michael. Whitehead says “The dissolution of marriage offered the chance to make oneself over from the inside out, to refurbish and express the inner self, and to acquire certain valuable psychological assets and competencies, such as initiative, assertiveness, and a stronger and better self-image”( ). This seems to be true since the divorce changed both Katy’s and Michael’s life, but especially their child’s life. Katy became more responsible and is married to another person. She feels no regret about divorcing with Michael while he also remarried and has three kids now. Examples that helped improve and develop them would be the time Katy had to find another partner which gave her the experience she needed to know how society works. She also knows how to love properly now and got a good job. Michael learned that rushing to an end by way of family intervention may not have been a good idea. The current family he has is much more stable and relatively easy to communicate to. The child is affected the most because he had to live without a mother for five years. Having the motherly love he so longed for changed him for the better, as well as the love of two younger sister. He has to take care of them but doesn’t hate it because he now knows what a real family is like. Divorce is a common thing in today’s time but the effect it has on the ones in question is the same. What causes divorce is the instability of trust and incomplete love. The amount of love that is not there promotes the necessity for a divorce because it means the relationship is not deep enough and would cause a lot of problems. Divorce changes the life of all those who are affected, no matter how small. These changes can include behavior and trust in others. The overall effect can be for the better or worse, and in my relative’s case it was for the better. Although it may be a tough time for those involved, it doesn’t always necessarily provide a negative outcome. Having a positive outlook makes it easier to cope with the situation.