Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Post summaries of your group work here

You should post roughly three paragraphs each:  one summarizing the feedback you received from your first peer, one summarizing the feedback you received from your second peer, and one summarizing your plan for revision.  Note that in some cases you might actually end up doing something different - you're welcome to change your plan, but please make sure you have one to change!


  1. I had Jonathan and Olivia read my second and third drafts which are the ones I wanted to possibly revise (misanthropy and mysticism) and tell me what they thought:

    Oliva thought my second rough draft could be expanded upon more, but thought my third rough draft was already pretty fleshed out. The second one was the more lacking of the two essays content-wise, and I would have a harder time developing a counter argument. She saw the second draft to be more focussed than the third. There is definite room for sources that Olivia saw in the second draft as opposed to the third draft. The second draft also seemed more organized to Olivia. She leaned towards the second draft more than the third, but saw revision potential in both.

    Jonathan was all for revising my second draft, the misanthropy essay. He saw this one as more organized and liked my reference to Nietzsche in this essay. He definitely liked the second essay as opposed to the third, which was less confusing to him. He also didn't think that the philosophers fit in the second one, and that sources would be hard to find for it as well. His recommendation was vociferously the second draft.

    I originally thought my second draft (the misanthropy essay) was the best and the most revisable, and it seems the pinion of my two readers agrees with that. The second essay has more room to grow and more slots to bring in sources. The hardest part is going to be developing an antithesis to my thesis that Abbey hates humanity because of humanity's ambiguity. Ambiguity can only be combated with the cut-and-dry, finite things being pointed out in the counterargument, and Abbey is not exactly good at having those moments in Desert Solitaire. I will definitely give nihilism and Nietzsche a whole paragraph or two and relate it to Abbey and humanity as ambiguity. I'm not sure if I should keep the inductive (thesis at the end) format right now, so i'll fiddle with that too. I really hate the 5 paragraph essay, so thats why I like inductive arguments. The counter argument could be built in once I find a decent one, which hopefully I do. Revising this paper will require a lot of new material as well as good organization of sources.

  2. I had Irene, Samantha, and Jayani review my work:

    Irene thought that my first and third essays showed the most potential. She recommended that for my third essay, I include more legitimacy in my portrayal of Abbey and his responses, which I think is definitely something that could be improved upon. She also thought my first essay could be great if I built on it more, and suggested that I include more textual support in my analysis.

    Samantha also thought that my first paper showed the most potential for revision. She recommended that I bring Darwin into the paper a bit more, and that by doing this I could include research revolving around his time period, etc. I appreciated this suggestion and definitely agree that Darwin could be utilized more.

    Jayani also thought that my first essay included a good comparison. She commented that I should bring in more Darwin as well, and suggested that I use shorter quotes. In doing this, she thought I would be able to emphasize my own points better.

    I agree that my first essay shows the most potential for expansion. Currently, I have a book in mind that reminds me of a modern (and at the same time very different) version of Abbey. I think I could utilize this well in expanding my paper and potentially getting into more detail with some of the techniques that Abbey uses throughout his writing to get his thoughts across. In doing this, I am considering either scrapping Darwin from the paper, or also expanding upon him and including some of the research that Samantha suggested. I think that would also be another great way to further the paper, especially with the discussions that we have now had on Darwin in class. Depending on which way I decide to go (or I may play with tying together both ideas and seeing how I could make that work) I may deviate from the original prompt a bit, although it was rather vague to begin with. For now, I'm going to work on finishing this other book and deciding which path I want to take as far as expansion and research goes.

  3. My work was reviewed by Matt and Ryan. To be honest, they mostly agreed on what they said, so it'd be easier to split these paragraphs by essays. Which I will now do.

    They were both somewhat ambivalent towards my first two prompts. They both agreed that if I were to do those, I should choose the Misanthropy one over Rocks, mostly because there would be more to write on. Also, they didn't really care for the first one, but as far as they were concerned, the second one way okay. Though there were probably more reasons for this ambivalence.

    That reason being the third essay, the creative writing one, that I showed to them first. Long story short, they were very enthusiastic about that one, and strongly recommended that I use that one for my revision. They mostly liked the characterization and prose, and suggested I expand the audience surrogate's character, and make the story from a one-sided lecture to an argument.

    They also liked how Abbey was drunk in the scene. They thought it was funny and fitting.

    As for what I will actually revise, it's a toss-up between the Misanthropy and the dialogue one. On one hand, I actually enjoy writing dialogue more, and I actually cut out quite a bit to keep it from being way too long. On the other hand, it's a much less straightforward matter to write about and to integrate research into. This is mostly because even it it's dialogue, the goal is to bring up an issue, and show Abbey's belief's in-depth and articulate why they're important. The problem is, to do so directly would make the dialogue unnatural and stilted. Plus, for it to be good, both sides would have to be in-character and reasonably interesting. The other vanilla prompt is much more straightforward to revise and expand. I'm probably going to go with the dialogue one anyway, though, because it'd feel like less of a chore. As for research, I'm thinking of either A) researching Abbey's life and integrating that into his argument, or B) research other philosophies on death, and pose that as a counter-argument.

  4. I had Joe and Olivia read my Anti-Kantian essay and my mysticism essay.

    Both seemed in favor of my Anti-Kantian essay, which they thought was much stronger. There is one very weak point in that essay which I could work on to extend my paper. In terms of bringing in new sources, I could draw more from Kant, or perhaps find some philosophical writings of Abbey's.
    I was in favor from the beginning of using my mysticism essay, because it seemed that it has more room to improve than my Kant essay. I also proposed drawing some ideas on philosophy and spirituality from the Kant paper, and use it to contribute to the mysticism paper, which Joe and Olivia both thought was a good idea. For the mysticism paper, I would probably go with a biography of Edward Abbey, and focus on the religiousness of his upbringing.

  5. I had Madison and Jessie read my creative piece of writing and my misanthropy essay.

    Both seemed to prefer my creative style writing with dialogue insinuating Abbey's continuous conflicts in the book. They both liked my style of writing and the way in which I approached the topic and delivered the conversation. While it is often more difficult to cite outside sources in a fiction piece based on completely original words, they suggested I could use a literarily criticism to develop the character's dialogue whom is having an argument with Abbey in my piece and add foot notes at the bottom.

    Before hearing from Madison and Jessie, I was leaning towards the creative piece. I enjoy the challenge of having to approach themes of Desert Solitaire clearly and obviously while using interesting dialogue and intriguing language without outright saying the words, “contrast,” or “misanthropy.” I think it allows me to voice my personal opinions on Abbey while using support of past events and frequent encounters of the book while making it enjoyable to read.

  6. I had Meaghan and Jessie read my misanthropy and mysticism essay.

    Both seemed to prefer my mysticism essay because they agreed it would be much easier to expand on the prompt. Jessie thought that I should incorporate information from Abbey's family history such as his upbringing of being a Baptist and his constant references to the Bible to help support my argument. Meaghan thought I could incorporate some material from my misanthropist essay as well as adding in more of Abbey's family background to my mysticism essay to expand on the prompt,.
    Following what both my classmates had to say, I decided to write my revision on the mysticism essay. I think they both made great points that I can add to my essay to support my argument even more. I will also be using some material that we have discussed in class and information from other sources in the library to help support my argument.

  7. In the writing of my third essay I began to notice a little hypocrisy in tones from my second essay to the third. One of my partners, Sam, really pointed this out to me because he noticed that my second essay was a very critical piece about Abbey (and misanthropy), whereas my third essay was not on the same level per say. The tones were kind of contradicting and Sam really pointed out that I should expand on my second essay but find a middle ground in the two tones because it seems like by the end of the book I had some more sympathy for Abbey’s character and while there is still a little bit of dislike not as much anymore.
    Mathew, my other partner, agreed with the last point but also felt that some of the evidence did not connect quite as well as I could have had it. While, I remember him liking my evidence, he also felt it to be choppy and not up to the potential that is has. I took this advice as simply, I need more evidence for my arguments.
    For the overall revision, of my second (misanthropy) essay I plan on taking action on both pieces of advice. As generic as that sounds, I mean it because I thought my support for my misanthropy essay quite good. But, in looking at your comments, Professor and Matthews, I understand the disconnection and I find that going to the library and finding a biography on Abbey will provide a great boost for my second paper. Like I said in my first paragraph, in writing my third paper, I had a hunch of conflicting tones in my essays so I plan to find an acceptable middle ground for the revision in which my writing does not seem like as much of a rant than an argument.

  8. I had Emma, Samantha and Jayani in my group.
    The general consensus was that I should revise my third paper on mysticism which I was planning on doing. Emma suggested that I focus on my idea that Abbey is a follower of his own religion and elaborate more on the definition og mysticism along with doing religious based research.
    Sam suggested that I focus more on my ideas in my last paragraph and provide more of an analysis on my ideas.
    Jayani also thought I should expand on my conclusion and analyze the significance of the Moon-Eyed house that I mentioned. She also thought that I should focus more on my connection between Abbey's mysticism and religion.
    Overall, I plan to provide more analysis of the readings along with discussing the idea of religion and mysticism as was recommended. I will also use the information I find in my research.

  9. The consensus amongst my group members, Emma, Irene, and Jayani, was that I should focus on revising my essay about Abbey's misanthropy.

    Emma had some good points about things that could enhance my essay. She suggested that it would be easy to add evidence from the end of the book and that Abbey's ultimate decision to return to civilization would be interesting to address. Also, she offered that some of the ideas from m third essay would fit in well in my revised essay.

    Irene agreed with Emma and said that it would be interesting for me to perhaps deviate from the prompt and focus both on Abbey's misanthropy and his mysticism. She wrote on my paper that I could add more about Abbey's view of civilization and culture.

    Jayani felt that there were several places in my essay that could be elaborated on. Focusing on more analysis would make m argument stronger and more credible.

    I am making it unanimous by agreeing with my group members to revise my essay on Abbey's misanthropy. To start I will go through the paper and take away some of the excess quotes that don't add much to the argument. This will then leave room for me to elaborate on examples from the text I have already used and apply them better to my. Finally, I will be adding new information based on what we read for last class. Abbey's return to society should prove to connect well to my essay. Overall, I will cut down on arbitrary material and add more relevant evidence and analysis.

  10. I had Jonathan and Joe for my partners.

    we all decided on my misanthropy essay. We thought the thesis statement was a little broad, and Jonathan said for a good counter argument it would need to more specific. We both thought my voice was a little to passive in my essay, Joe also thought the last paragraph needed to better organized.
    We thought about ways for me to expand only essay they both thought I should stick close to misanthropy, but we decided to include Abbey's two definitions of humanity and have that lead into discussions about consumer culture and culture theory, Joe and Jonathan thought this would be a good essay for secondary source too. They think it would be a good idea to look for papers that Talk about Abbey's theory on society or just Theory on society and culture in general.
    I do think I want to do this paper. It is the one I am most interested in especially after finishing the book. It gives me a lot of new ideas.I might even switch my argument to he's not a misanthropist. My pop culture class gives me a lot of social theory to draw on so I know what Kind of articles I should be looking for in the library database. I think it has the most potential for a complex debatable argument. I will have to do a lot of work on structure and organization so I think after I get my thesis down I'll make an outline for how I want my paper to progress though my argument.

  11. I had Meaghan and Madi in my group.

    Both Meaghan and Madi came to the conclusion that I should expand on my most recent essay. My other two essays had become very repetitive, making it hard to expand on. My last one, however, has a great deal of potential. I wrote about other pieces of literature Abbey incorporated into Desert Solitaire. They suggested I stray from the prompt slightly, talking more on the pieces of literature I selected.

    Listening to what my classmates had to say about the expansion of my final essay, I have to revise it. I agree with the points they made and I feel as though it has the most potential. I will research and read more of the books Abbey references in Desert Solitaire to expand my argument.

  12. I had Jon and Brooke in my group.

    They both agreed that my latest essay has the best material to expand on. They said it was the most focused and had the most room for expansion. Although my essays contained good points, they were all over the place, making it difficult to choose one direction to take.

    I definitely agree with their opinions and will revise the latest essay.

  13. I had Sam and Ryan review my writing.

    To be honest, with their help, it was a simple matter of deciding what to revise. I went in with the idea that I would revise either my week 1 or week 2 essay. For this past week, I chose the creative writing prompt, and while it was interesting to write, I believe I would really struggle incorporating research fluidly so that the piece would still seem like a story.

    So it was down to my essay about the roles the two rivers play in the story, or the essay about the reference to Spinoza. I was already slightly leaning towards the Spinoza essay, but was open to whatever feedback Ryan and Sam provided.

    Both of them were strongly in favor of a revision on the Spinoza essay. They believed it had the stronger and more clearly defined argument. On top of that, they both thought that there were easy ways in which to involve more research in the paper, specifically information on Spinoza. I agree with them and am going to use my week 1 essay as my revision. I don't know exactly what research I am going to use yet, but I believe at least some of it will be about Spinoza's beliefs and philosophy.

  14. Ruthie and Brooke were in my group.

    They decided that I should revise my first essay based on its material and the aim of its discussion. The two closest options were my first and second essays but my group chose the first prompt since it had the most room for expansion and clarification. With some very simple steps I can refocus the essay at times when it goes astray and prove my points with better detail.

    I think I should revise this essay as well, since it contains many topics that can be explained further, such as the Industrial Tourism from modernization and Abbey’s feelings about nature. These topics have been large, overarching themes throughout all three essays because they intrigue me the most, and I feel that I can clarify my thoughts about his ideas on such subjects.

  15. Ruthie and Jonathan were in my group.

    They both decided that I should revise my second essay since it had the strongest thesis. I tend to ramble and over analyze my ideas without actually further explaining them, as well as needing a clean focus throughout the piece.

    I agree with both of their opinions and will revise my essay accordingly. Also, I will try to further expand explain what the exact paradox is and how humor shows it.

  16. I had Emma, Irene and Samantha review my essay.
    All of them liked my second essay the best. They also liked my third essay, because it had new ideas. In my second essay there were a lot of points that needed to be built upon, and quotes needed to be used. In the third essay, I should use only one literary work and expand on that more. they thought that I should revise the second essay as it has lots of potential.
    I think that I'm going to use the comments about the third essay and revise that one because I liked the topic more than the second essay. I will try to be more concise about my points and place emphasis on the ideas give to me by the people in my group.

  17. In this meeting my partners, Stella and Matt really showed me what was truly wrong with my original misanthropy essay, it lacked clarity. Stella really pointed out in my opening paragraph that I used an example that wasn’t needed or even went with the flow. Also she didn’t really understand my third paragraph which I found while writing it to be important. Her overall point is that I wasn’t explicit enough with many of my points. I seemed to lack some explanation for many claims and examples. I found this to be very, very good feedback because when I write I like to leave something’s open with hope that the reader has previous knowledge and sometimes I’m not always right.
    Matt too found that I needed to be explicit in what I was trying to say. I was not necessarily writing in metaphor but not blatant enough for a general audience. On top of that he found that there were two, somewhat contradictory arguments in my opening paragraph and that I need to pick the one focusing on Abbey. Though I do disagree with him about my background paragraph on Abbey – where he thinks I should remove it, I find a lot of potential in it especially with evidence I most recently have found in a couple books. So on the other hand I am just going to expand on it and make it better. He also noted that my ending circled around to my opening and he thought that was a weakness of repetition. Against that point, that is my story, that is how I want to write my papers. If it didn’t impress him, I will try to make it even better.


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