Letter

Dear Jiale (Carl),

I thought that the main argument of your paper was that after writing her essay, Amy Tan discovered that language barriers due to being raised in a different culture aren’t solely limiting, but rather these language barriers can be quite informative as well. I thought that you including a lot of quotes as evidence, which you then attempted to analyze. You had great quotes that offered a lot of room for analysis, but a problem might be that your essay is a little too cluttered with quotes, and not enough sufficient analysis for each quote. Other points of concern could also potentially be the organization and direction of the paper.

The paragraph that I noticed a lot of brief statements in, with seemingly not enough analysis was paragraph number 6. For example you state, “Tan later mentioned why so many Asian Americans pursue majors in STEM fields” but you don’t analyze why this is important, or how it relates to your major theme of culture connected to language. I feel as if this is an example of a time where you might understand what you are trying to say, but not all of your readers might. It’s easy for us to write on subjects that we know a lot about, but sometimes we forget that the people reading our papers might not be as familiar with the subject at hand. I think it is important to remember to include enough detail in order to sufficiently educate your reader about the subject and also remain concise at the same time. I myself don’t know what a STEM field is, and because of that I wasn’t sure why it was important to your essay. Maybe it would help if you described that and wrote about why that is important.

On the other hand, in paragraph 3 your paper overflows with analysis, which is great. Your previous knowledge of the Chinese culture really helps you a lot as you analyze the importance of the Tsung-ming Island and putong. You write, “The locations not only provides the birthplace of these people, but also reveals their background socioeconomically,” which demonstrates your ability to take evidence and truly be able to understand how to deeper analyze it in order to connect to the writer on a deeper level. How does knowing their background socioeconomically enhance Tan’s argument for you? This could lead into a whole other paragraph to be expanded upon, where you could analyze the diction and why it is important for Tan to write the way she does knowing where her background comes from.

I also mentioned that the organization and the direction of your paper may need to be looked at again. Sometimes I felt as if you had paragraphs that were repeating a similar idea, even though the paragraphs were disconnected. For example paragraphs 3, 5, and 7 all address this idea of culture. Although your thesis statement implies that you will be talking about Tan and how her writing has been solely influenced by different cultures, sometimes it seems as if you focus on her mother’s feelings and emotions, rather than how they actually connect to Tan. I feel as if you have a lot of good evidence and analysis though of how growing up in two kind of different cultures can be beneficial. Maybe this means that you should go back and look at your thesis statement?

Overall, I thought that theme of your essay was very interesting. As I mentioned before I was thoroughly impressed by your analysis in paragraph three of the quotes from Tan’s mother. You use previous knowledge and are able to adequately apply it to your essay. I also think that the examples you use are very good, for example you talk about ineffective communication in paragraph two, and use the perfect example of how the hospital treated Tan’s mother and Tan differently about the dilemma of the cat scan. There are only a few things to work on, good job!

Sincerely,

Kate Vogel

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This is a place for me to keep all of my work from my Writing 100 class that I took with Professor Jennifer Metsker.

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