Anybody care to peer-review my college essay on iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by zachnelson, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. zachnelson macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    I am writing my first essay in my ENG-121 composition class. I decided on the launch and then success of the iPhone as my topic. If anyone would like to read what I have so far, here it is in quotes.

    Of course not finished yet. I'm at a writers block so taking a break to read stuff on MacRumors.
  2. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    There should be a writing center at your school. Go to them.
  3. zachnelson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    Did actually, they just gave me some information on formatting my works cited so it fits MLA style correctly. Other than that the teacher I worked with didn't give me any suggestions as to my content, and when I inquired she said she felt it was already well written "enough" :/
  4. Big.Mac.Daddy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    I like what you have so far :)

    Can you post the finished product on here when your done writing it?

    P.S. what is your main focus of the article? It's history? Or is it something different?
  5. zachnelson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    My main focus is basically to look at how the iPhone came from a flagship device, to basically the most popular and highest selling phone in modern history. I wanted to even touch on Apple culture, but I spent basically a page on my first point so I have to seriously cut down on the rest. I could write a book about the iPhone aha.
  6. Big.Mac.Daddy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    Gotcha. Heres some ideas off the top of my head:

    I might touch on the unique features the iPhone brought to the table (both when it was first revealed and even now, an example being the non mobile browser or retina display) when it first came out as a reason why it is so popular.

    As for the Apple culture I might touch on the crazy lines you see for iPhone launches as an example, along with some quotes from Jonny Ive abou how Apple says they aren't looking to make money 1st... just great products.
  7. stickybuns, Sep 10, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012

    stickybuns macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2011
    You're missing commas on several introductory elements.

    Remove "I believe." Readers will assume that you are expressing your own opinion unless you attribute a thought or idea to someone else.

    Many teachers dislike seeing papers written in the first person, so check the assignment sheet to see if your teacher states a preference.
  8. zachnelson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    In addition, I'm talking about patent protection (samsung v apple) and also the future of the iPhone.

    This essay is only supposed to be 500-750 words. URG aha.
  9. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    As a university Comp. instructor, I'd say it isn't bad for a first attempt. The only thing that bothered me was the use of first and second person pronouns (I, you, etc.) In my opinion, they have no place in formal academic compositions, and make the writing too informal.

    Otherwise pretty good job (I've graded much worse), and good luck.

  10. stickybuns macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2011
    My thoughts exactly. Third person makes for a stronger argument since it presents arguments as fact rather than opinion.

    On the other hand, "They Say/I Say" is a fantastic composition text book.
  11. Gathomblipoob macrumors 601


    Mar 18, 2009
  12. solarguy17 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2007
  13. ihav0frnds macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    your first paragraph should only have one sentence that is the thesis of your paper. your sentence is bad as a thesis as it stands.

    "Furthermore it proves that with hard work, and a bit of creativity, a person or even a company can work from the ground up to reach sure success."

    that's not a very good argument.

    how about

    The meteoric ascension of the iPhone to touch all aspects of life illustrates how a person, or even a company, can reach unimaginable success from humble beginnings.
  14. zachnelson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    I'm considering removing that, it is misleading and is actually not my thesis. Perhaps I don't follow you.

    I'll check the commas, thanks.

    The teacher wants 1st person for this essay. I don't know why. Something about knowing what form of writing is important for what audience. Since our audience is the class.. 1st person is apparently the proper form of writing for this assignment.

    Got it thanks.


    Also I should mention, she is grading this specific essay on "style of writing" and content rather than conjunction, punctuation etc. Again, not sure why. I think over the semester, we'll start with this basic, informal essay, and learn procedures and concepts to build a real big nice tasty research/persuasive essay in the end.
  15. ihav0frnds macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    your thesis should always be the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. otherwise, we have no idea where the rest of the paper is going.
  16. GoreVidal macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2011
    Comes off as kool-aid induced praise instead of academic analysis. And the only competitor you're including is Nokia? Not Motorola, Samsung, Palm (at the time), or Blackberry?

    EDIT: Sorry, thought this was an essay for a REAL class, not 100-level English. My mistake.
  17. egeek84 macrumors 6502


    Mar 26, 2010
    Northern California
    As others have stated, see if you can address the pronoun issues. Otherwise, great paper!
  18. zachnelson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    Oh really? Cool then I can change that up then.

    We are supposed to write something that interests us.

    I could put sales data in there for all those competitors, and spend two pages statistically analyzing it... but thats not the point.
  19. nastebu macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008
    eeeehhh... writing advice that includes the word "always" is "always" wrong.

    There's no concrete formula for where the thesis statement goes (or even if you need one). The last sentence of the first paragraph is a pretty good place for it, as is the first or second sentence of the first paragraph. There's also the last paragraph, which is often appropriate.

    It's hard to give you feedback with no idea of what the writing prompt was, but I will say that you're not really arguing anything. Most of this is a description of the iPhone's success, which may or may not be appropriate.

    Take a look at these two sentences, which might be interpreted as thesis statements:

    1.) "From analyzing five years worth of sales data, ingenuity, patent protection and even the future of the iPhone it can be concluded that Apple’s incredible gadget has risen from a flagship device, to a world renowned and highly innovative product that leads the smartphone market across the globe."

    2.) "Furthermore it proves that with hard work, and a bit of creativity, a person or even a company can work from the ground up to reach sure success."

    Number one is concrete enough to lead to an essay, and blueprints a structure for the reader. We expect an essay that gives a brief history of the iPhone's emergence and market dominance. But it's not actually an argument. It's more a description of the iPhone's success. Again, that may or may not be a problem depending on the writing prompt. If the prompt is just "write about something that interests you" then this is perfectly fine.

    Number two is a vague, open-ended, vacuous statement that means nothing and adds nothing. Apple's success doesn't "prove" anything about achieving success. Just because Apple works hard and has a bit of creativity doesn't mean anyone who does so will achieve a valuation of $621.64 billion. This is an argument, but not a good one. Further, how on earth would you prove this?? By showing that every person who works hard and has a bit of creativity is successful?? Do you follow me? Your instinct to cut this piece of fluff is exactly right.
  20. zachnelson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    I've cut the fluff! That being that last sentence in the first paragraph.

    Here is the prompt:

    Not sure if the iPhone is essentially an idea/event/person/place but the topic and my thesis was approved by the instructor even after I expressed my concerns it didn't match the prompt exactly.

    So I'm not really proving anything, just explaining the launch of the iPhone and how it came from basically nothing to a successful product.
  21. nastebu, Sep 10, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012

    nastebu macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008
    Yes, the key word in the prompt is "explain," which means you don't have to have an argument that's provable as your thesis statement. You just need to focus on something that qualifies as an "event," which the rise of the iPhone to market dominance certainly is.

    If you're still looking for feedback, the second paragraph is kind of off topic--which you acknowledge by saying you're not going to talk about something you just spent three sentences talking about. It would be more fun to add a paragraph here about the skepticism which greeted the launch. Who can resist quoting Bill Gate's forced sarcasm about how no one is going to buy a $600 phone?

    As for a conclusion, one way is by ending with the 621.24 billion figure, which has a nice impact. You could also conclude with a brief setting out of the challenges the iPhone faces in the market now, or with your own prediction for the future of the iPhone 5. Since you started with the Steve Jobs quotation, you could also go back to that.

    Have fun!

    P.S. One way to improve the "thesis" sentence #1 I quoted above is to change "from a flagship device" to something like "from an unproven and risky product," which is to emphasize that when the iPhone launched there were no guarantees of success. To say it went from "a flagship device" to "a world renowned and highly innovative product" doesn't actually show much progress. There's no contradiction since a product can be both a flagship and world-renowned at the same time.
  22. zachnelson thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    I only quoted this part, but I of course read the whole of your post and I am making some additional changes. ;)

    What I meant with the "not talking about it" part, is that, I read an article that 6 months from the announcement date, Apple didn't have a working product at all. It was crap, software, hardware etc. And I don't want to go into that, specifically the hardships they had while developing the first product.

    What's a better way to word that?
  23. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    I think your writing is a bit too flowery... Lose some of the extraneous words and state your ideas clearly. (I well remember liberally sprinkling my papers with tons of "therefores, howevers, and moreovers" to make the word count!)

    Your descriptions could use a bit of work as well. I'm not sure what "Nokia's blasphemous share" really means.


    Also, I agree with the comments about the use of the word flagship. It's not really the best way to describe the beginning of the journey of the iPhone.

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