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Talk:Mary Somerville

From Women in European History

Peer Review by Sandra Park

Thesis 1.) The argument is easily identified in the introduction. The thesis claims that Somerville's scientific writings made an impact on everyday life for people in the 19th century. Her contributions to society was possible through her personal perseverance in 19th century society. I thought the thesis was very focused and strong.

2.) The last sentence makes the thesis pass the 'so what' test because it says how Somerville's achievements took place in a society that discouraged women from advancing in education and academia.

3.) The thesis is interesting and makes you want to learn more about Kingsley's biography.

Organization 4.) The organization was clear because it follows the chronology of Kingsley's live and how she tackled each problem facing her step by step. The only I thing I would suggest is adding HTML for headings and subheadings which you probably will do anyways.

5.) Like I said above, the chronological approach was effective in creating a very organized structure for your paper. I think including a specific "Conclusion" at the end with a summary of your argument would be a good closure to the paper.

6.) The essay only elaborates on what was mentioned in the thesis.

Citations and Evidence 7.) Footnotes are still needed [which aren't "due" until Monday]

8.) The supporting quotes were great but I couldn't tell if they came from primary or secondary sources because the footnotes weren't entered yet.

Grammar and Style 9.) I couldn't really detect any errors.

10.) I thought facts on how society thought back then was incorporated well with the flow of the chronological structure. But in the beginning, you mention that Somerville had no close relatives to encourage her in her education like other prominent women but later on you mention her uncle. Maybe rewording the first part to "immediate relatives" or "parents" can prevent a possible contradiction.

11.) All of the topic sentences were relevant and indicators of what the paragraph was about. Maybe further tying the topic sentences back to the thesis will make them stronger.

Content 12.) I'm not sure because there aren't footnotes.

13.) Overall, it seemed like there was a lot of thought put into it but maybe focusing on a few themes [ sommerville vs. society] with more analysis can strengthen the essay.

Specific Suggestions 1.) Use headings and subheadings to make it visually organized. 2.) Dedicate a portion of the paper to a "Conclusion" with a summary of the argument. 3.) Citations.

Author: Kathleen Beilsmith Reviewer: Jake Hanebutt Thesis

1. Is there an identifiable thesis? There is a strong thesis. It conveys exactly what the paper covers.

2. Did the paper pass the ‘so what’ test? Yes. Bringing in social prejudices and how it affected her academic career makes it fairly strong.

3. After reading the thesis do you want to know ‘how’ or ‘why’? Yes


4. Was the organization clear? Did it facilitate the argument? What reorganizations would you suggest? The organization was very clear. It followed a chronological order, and the argument seemed to develop in that way as well.

5. Was the material ordered in a way that was logical, clear, easy to follow? Yes, it was ordered chronologically, so it was very easy to follow.

6. Does the essay support the thesis specifically and w/o wandering? The essay does not wander, each section addresses the thesis and proves it to be true. Citations and Evidence

7. Did the writer cite sources adequately and appropriately through footnotes on the wiki? There were no footnotes. I assume there will be some in the final draft, so it should be fine.

8. Was the evidence relevant? Did it support the argumenet sufficiently? Were both primary and secondary sources used effectively? Was any evidence that could strengthen the argument left out? What? Yes. There was plenty of evidence, which did prove the thesis.

Grammar and Style

9. Were there any grammatical or spelling problems? Grammar was a-ok.

10. Was the writer’s writing style clear? Crystal clear.

11. Does each paragraph have a topic sentence that both indicates the subject of the paragraph and ties it to the thesis? Not really. Not all are tied directly to the thesis, they instead are stating facts to develop the paragraph.


12. Did the writer comprehensively cover appropriate material and all the appropriate sources? Yes. I do feel there should be more on her later works. With all this buildup of how she was restricted from learning, I felt there must have been more things she has done scientifically.

13. Did the writer make some contribution of thought to the paper, or merely summarize the subject’s life? She provides a strong analysis of restricted education opportunities.

Specific Suggestions

1. Include more information on what she did scientifically. The part you covered on her youth and early adulthood, more or less how her opportunities were very limited, was very well done, but I felt that there should be some more of what she did that was of value to society.

2. Topic Sentences. You don’t really have topic sentences. It instead seems that you go straight into facts.

3. General formatting. The page could really use some cleaning up. Yet this is really minor What did they do well? You did a fantastic job of describing how prejudices affected her throughout her life, specifically how these prejudices restricted her education opportunities. I was thoroughly convinced that she was an amazing person for dealing with such an anti-intellectualist family. Overall a great read.

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This page has been accessed 3,404 times. This page was last modified on 12 May 2010, at 18:32.


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