What is the writer's thesis?
Viewing controversial topics as us verse them and identifying the hindrance that proves to the advancement of our society.
How does the writer establish the conversation--identify a gap in people's knowledge, attempt to modify an existing argument, or try to correct some misunderstanding?
The writer makes the assumption that people within Middle Eastern countries are simply closed off from other cultures solely because of their governmental leaders. The governmental leaders supposedly are manipulating the information that received into the country, making it more favorable for the home culture while vilifying all other cultures. The assumption continues that when the oppressive governmental leaders or regime is disposed of then the people will be more open-minded and accepting of other cultures.
How effectively does the writer distinguish between his or her ideas and the ideas he or she summarizes, paraphrases, or quotes?
It appeared as though the writer’s thoughts and the ideas to be paraphrased were the same. The only differences found were in the cited sources within the writing.
To what extent are you persuaded by the writer's argument? Why?
I am only 10 percent persuaded by the writer’s argument. It is true that non-democratic governments weld more power over the people and what they are exposed to. It is not being discounted that the Middle Eastern leaders may be manipulating the information their people receive to make their culture more appealing than any others. However, there is one important fact that the writer seems to exclude, religion and culture. There are some religions that are not favorable to other cultures such as Islam. There are extremists that quote its words calling non-Muslims infidels and spell out that death should come to those individuals.
There are also culturally based experiences such as civil wars, regular wars, the intentional and unintentional disrespect of cultures. The writer makes it seem that these people in the Middle East were mindless sheep simply following orders. It must also be pointed out that people are shaped by their cultures and that culture is multifaceted, not one dimensional.
To what extent does the writer anticipate possible counterarguments?
The writer didn’t seem to include any elements related to counterarguments. The writer pointed out the differences in Middle Eastern cultures and the differences within American cultures. There was a continuous emphasis of open-mindedness and being fair to others whereas closed-mindedness was unfair to others.
Can you follow the essay's organization easily? If so, point to transitions/transitional phrases that help? If not, suggest them.
Yes, there are transitional phrases such as: “By understanding the culture of other societies it allows us to interact more openly with them without encroaching on their beliefs.” Then the next paragraph talks about the common use of languages so that people can communicate with each other.
What do you think is working best? Explain by pointing to specific passages in the writer's draft.
As Lieber and Weisberg point out “...it became evident that much of the Afghan population was celebrating its liberation from an oppressive regime." This passage was meant to point out that oppression causes people to think and behave a certain way. When the oppression is removing the people begin to celebrate their freedom and with freedom come openness. Appiah discusses the abusua, an Akan family structure, where the uncle is the primary male care giver to the children of his sister (658).
This passage introduces the readers to a new form of family simply because it is found within a new culture. Again when a culture is misunderstood or the dominant culture is closed-minded regular global cultural practices might seem strange. Acceptance brings knowledge or at least that’s the link presented in this essay.
What do you recommend the writer work further on, and why?
The writer needs to take into consideration how other aspects such as foundational culture, religious beliefs, and conflicts that may have colored the acceptance of one culture towards another culture.