Audience: Has the writer chosen a rhetorical audience, one that has the opportunity to respond and incite change? Do they make it clear how the writer wants that audience to respond?
Problem/Solution: Does the writer clearly identify and describe the problem in a way that would convince their audience? Do they offer a concrete proposal for change? Does that proposal address the problem that they identified (in other words, do the problem and the solution match?)
Feasibility: Does the author adequately address issue of feasibility? Are you convinced that their proposal could be successful? Do you think their audience will be convinced? Are there any issues that they neglect to address? Where/how could they offer more detail?
Objections: Does the author address and defend from potential objections? Do they acknowledge anyone who might have to make concessions in order for their proposal to succeed? Do you get the sense that they have an adequate understand of opposing viewpoints or competing solutions? Do they represent the opposition fairly? Do they still effectively convince the audience that their specific plan is worth following?
Archival Connection: Is there some mention of the history behind the problem or the solution? Whether or not they directly mention the “archives,” does the writer indicate that they have done some sort of historical work? Or is there any evidence that their perspective has been informed by their historical research?
Appeals to Audience: Does the writer appeal to their stated audience? How? By addressing them directly, using examples or evidence that audience would value, using pathetic/ethical/logical appeals that audience would respond to, or writing with a style/tone that audience would find appropriate and engaging? What more can they do to strengthen their appeals to their audience
Organization/Transitions: What are your thoughts on the general organization of the piece? Has the writer chosen a structure that will effectively appeal to their audience and support their proposal? Is there a specific point being made in each body paragraph? Identify any areas where they might rearrange their ideas or areas where clearer transitions are needed
Introduction: Does the proposal begin by catching the audience’s attention? Even if the thesis statement does not appear in the introduction, does the proposal begin with a clear sense of the direction for the entire piece? How could they make the introduction stronger
Thesis: Note the writer’s thesis statement/controlling idea. If you cannot locate a thesis statement, what thesis statement might work for this argument
Conclusion: Is the conclusion effective? Does it tell the reader something they didn’t already know from the rest of the piece? Is it clear what the author wants the audience to do or think now that they have this information? What suggestions do you have for improvement.