Professor Feedback
Hi Yusuf,
Great start on your first draft. I think you have an excellent basis on which to build
your final draft. Overall, I would like to see you include more personal details and
stories. It would also be helpful to provide a little more background of who Chadwick
Boseman was. I believe your introduction paragraph needs a clearer conclusion or
thesis statement. You seem to be ending the paragraph while in the middle of the story
about your depression. Provide your reader with enough information so that they will
know what you will be focusing on in your essay, but leave the specific details of your
depression for the body of your essay. Consider moving some of the specifics to the
start of your second paragraph.
The phrase, “at the age of 17,” confuses the meaning of your first sentence. “Growing
up” implies an extended period of your life, whereas “at the age of 17” implies one fixed
moment in your life. Which do you feel most applies to your statement that you have
“always thought there are no such things as heroes in today’s society.” To me, that
phrasing sounds like it covers a long period of time, and not just something you thought
at the age of 17. Also, the phrase, “you guys,” is a little too informal, perhaps
conversational. I suggest just removing the word “guys” to resolve this problem.
Consider this sentence: “Chadwick Boseman was born on November 29, 1976, who
soon later passed away on August 28, 2020.” There is a dangling modifier in this
sentence, which means that when you say “who soon later,” it is not clear what this
phrase refers to. The reason for this is that it immediately follows Boseman’s birth date,
instead of his name. It becomes confusing because the reader thinks that “who” refers
to the words they have just read (“November 29, 1976”). You can resolve this either by
constructing your sentence so that “Boseman” comes at the end of the first clause of
your sentence, or you could start an entirely new sentence, using the pronoun “he” to
refer back to Boseman.
The words “soon later” also confuse the meaning of your sentence, as they represent
two different concepts. “Soon” and “later” have opposing meanings. Though Boseman
died young, I don’t think it would be accurate to say that 44 years later is “soon.”
However, “later” also sounds unusual, especially when you have only just mentioned his
birth date. It creates an odd sense of his life simply consisting of his birth and his death.
I suggest not mentioning his death until after you share the other information about him
in this paragraph. Also, you use the spelling “ur” in place of “your” in this paragraph.
This might be a typo, but I think it is also a common abbreviation when texting. Be sure
that you use complete, formal spelling of words when writing an essay.
Most of your paragraphs are a bit too long. Consider condensing them when
possible, and breaking them up into separate paragraphs at points where you make
subtle shifts in your subject matter. Indicate when the events of your story took place.
When did you being suffering from depression, and when did your grandmother pass
away? When discussing matters in the past, always use past tense verbs. Though I
imagine it may still be true that your grandmother on your mother’s side is alive, you are
discussing the result of your other grandmother’s death. So the word “left” would be
more appropriate than “leaves.” Your paternal grandmother’s death “left” you with one
grandmother from your mother’s side.
When you mention that school, work, and social life were all going through your mind,
you skip over a lot of the details that would help your reader understand the difficulty of
this time in your life. Provide some examples. Tell a story about the problems you were
facing. It will be easier for your reader to relate to you if they can read about some of
your experiences.
This sentence causes a lot of confusion: “A thing about me was that I have seen
myself making everyone else feeling a priority but expect myself.” There are a few
different reasons why this sentence is confusing. I believe that you are trying to say that
you make other people’s feelings a priority, above your own feelings. The phrase, “A
thing about me was that” is probably unnecessary to the sentence. I think you can just
start with “I have seen myself…” Better yet, you could just say, “I make everyone else…”
This latter example removes the filter of you looking at yourself, making an observation,
and simply states what your observation is.
Other parts of this sentence that cause confusion are the words “feeling” and
“expect.” I believe that you mean for the first word, “feeling,” to be plural (“feelings”).
The plural form makes it clear you are speaking about people’s emotions. This makes
the word a noun – an object or concept. Whereas the singular form, “feeling,” is a verb –
an action that someone takes. Lastly, I believe that the word “expect” is an incorrect
word choice. There is another word, with both similar sound and spelling, that I believe
you intend to use instead. Look up the word “expect” and see if the definition captures
your intended meaning. Consider what other word you might be looking for.
I think that you should spend a lot more time explaining why you put others’ feelings
before your own. If it’s true that this made you “lose control,” your reader needs to
understand why it was so important to you. And again, it will be a stronger essay if you
can provide an example or two from your life of how you did this. Tell a story in which
you put others’ feelings before your own, then describe the consequences of this
The last couple of sentences in your second paragraph look like they have been
separated from the rest of the paragraph. The sentence that begins, “That made me…”
begins on a new line, but some of these words should be able to fit after the words, “to
help others.” Place your cursor in front of the phrase, “That made me,” then hit your
backspace key until these words are one space away from the previous sentence.
When you first introduce someone by name in an essay, you should provide their full
name. All subsequent references to this person should refer to them by their last name
only. So, when you mention Boseman in your third paragraph, you should word it in this
manner: “I came to find myself watching Boseman’s Harvard graduation speech.”
Likewise, remember that in-text citations almost always include a person’s last name,
not their first name.
I love the first quote from Boseman. It is a profound statement. When including an
in-text citation for this quote, also include the time that he says this in the video. For
instance, if he makes this statement at one minute and 30 seconds into the video, you
would notate this as follows: 01:30. Also, remember to close your quotation before the
citation by placing the closing quotation marks after the last word of the quote. And
place the punctuation of the sentence, usually a period, after the in-text citation.
I understand how the second quote from Boseman, about “those who came after
you,” reminds you of your parents. It would be very powerful if you could provide an
example of how your parents paved the way for you. Again, tell a personal story. It’s
okay if you have to start a new paragraph or even two in order to tell this story.
You begin talking about your immigration to America in your final paragraph, but this
seems like information we should get much earlier in the essay. Consider using a
chronological order for your essay, as this is the most natural when explaining the
progression of ideas throughout one’s life. This paragraph also ends with you returning
to the video you watched, which occurred much later in your life. It is appropriate to
mention this again in a conclusion paragraph, as it is the inciting moment that led to a
change in your thinking. It is central to your essay. But I would not include the
information from your early life in the same paragraph.
I do not believe the word “despair” is working for you in your final paragraph. This is a
synonym of the word “depression.” I believe you mean to say that your depression was
lessened after viewing this video. Find a word that more appropriately expresses your
intended meaning. I love the closing sentences of your conclusion. For the most part, I
think you need to build up your essay by telling more stories from your life. You also
need at least one more quote from Boseman to meet the three-quote requirement of the
assignment. Construct your essay chronologically, so that the order of events has a
natural progression.
Your Works Cited page needs some work. Consult the appropriate style guide (either
MLA or APA) via the OWL Purdue links in the Writing Resources folder on our course
site. Your sources should be listed on a page titled either “Works Cited” or “References,”
depending on which style guide you are using. The citation for your source should
include an author (Boseman, likely), the title of the video, the name of the website
(YouTube), and the username of the person who posted the video. The time when
quotes occur is only necessary for in-text citations within your essay. They are not
necessary on your Works Cited page. However, keep in mind that if this is the only
source you use in your essay, you do not need to have a Works Cited page at all. Just
be sure to properly identify your source within the body of the essay.
Also, be sure to include a title for your essay. I look forward to reading your revisions!

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