Writing Comments

No Clear Thesis / ½ Thesis:

This paper is lacking a thesis in the introduction or only presents a portion of the thesis statement. You always want your introductory paragraph to act as a roadmap for the rest of your paper.Your thesis must be present in the introduction. The rest of your paper should be used as support for your thesis.


There are several instances of grammatical mistakes. This may be directed towards multiple spelling, capitalization, or punctuation errors. This may also be indicative of run on sentences. Perhaps longer sentences need to be closed with a period! When someone is reading, you want them to be focused on your argument! Poor grammar takes away from the content of your work. It also leads to inefficient word use.

Awk(ward) / Clarity:

Some sentences may be grammatically correct, but the word usage is confusing or sounds awkward. This can throw your reader off the main points of your article.

Further Textual Analysis:

This paper contains one or more of the following issues:

  1. A certain position is not correctly applied. Perhaps further evaluation of the text was necessary.
  2. A certain position was not considered. Sometimes philosophers have multiple arguments which help support a certain stance/position/viewpoint. It is up to you to tell the reader as much as you can about that philosopher and which of their arguments are most important. It is fine to focus in on one particular argument, but you have to let the reader know that is what you are doing!
  3. A segment of some position is missing. An argument is explained without covering the entirety of the argument. This makes it seem like the puzzle doesn’t quite fit together. This is usually tied in to 1.

Slippery Slope:

This paper may contain a slippery slope fallacy. This is where you start snowballing causes and effects. I.E. If A, then B, then C, … then ultimately Z! Some common examples:

“You can never give anyone a break! If you do, they’ll walk all over you!”

“Today late for ten minutes, tomorrow late for an hour, and then someday you will simply cease to show up.”

“You should never gamble. Once you start gambling you find it hard to stop. Soon you are spending all your money on gambling, and eventually you will turn to crime to support your earnings.

Argument Gaps:

This paper contains some argument gaps. Similar to slippery slope, there is a missing piece in the move from A to B.

Some Inconsistency:

A is first introduced and supported in the argument. B is then introduced and supported. A and B together seem like an odd pairing or occurrence. Without addressing an inconsistency, it could lead to confusion in the reader. Make sure you edit your paper a few times to catch possible consistency problems.

Lacking Counterexamples:

This paper states a certain view without considering objections for it. If you wish to say “X is obviously right” or “X is obviously wrong”, you have to argue for it. This means that introducing a certain philosopher or theory should be accompanied with some form of criticism.

Needs Source:

This paper references some type of research without acknowledging the primary source. I.E. statements like “research shows” or “I read about a study” are not acceptable unless the source is presented.


There is at least one instance in this paper where a hasty generalization is made. This is when a certain feature or quality is applied to some group of things without considering all the possible variables. This is usually a fallacy in statistics. I.E. A certain population of X exhibits some feature Y. Therefore, all X’s exhibit this feature Y. Example: “Sam is riding her bike in her home town in Maine, minding her own business. A station wagon comes up behind her and the driver starts beeping his horn and then tries to force her off the road. As he goes by, the driver yells “get on the sidewalk where you belong!” Sam sees that the car has Ohio plates and concludes that all Ohio drivers are jerks.”


There are multiple occasions where something is mentioned several times with a different combination of words. Make sure you check your sentences over a few times to avoid restating the same thing. I.E. “I wasn’t sure if the grocery store had milk. This was because I was in a state of not knowing whether the grocery store had milk. Of course, I would not have been in such a state if I was aware of the fact that the grocery had milk or not.”

Long Quotes:

A quote should not be used to increase the length of an essay. If the quote is longer than 2 or 3 lines, use ellipses to pick out the relevant lines. I.E “This is the relevant part of the quote… this is another relevant part…so is this.”

First Name Issue:

You only need to include the author’s first name once. Once you say “Elizabeth Anderson”, you can start referring to her as “Anderson” from that point on.