This is the most common phrase I end up writing on all students’ essay — along with unpack further, this is opinion, and what does that even mean? (I don’t write that last one; I think it. A lot.)
Needs more analysis is generally circled in purple since I’m worried that red pens will traumatize students and black pens make the page seem messy. It is underlined or written in all caps. It is pasted at the end of paragraphs or in the double spacing between sentences.
I think this concept initially eludes most students. I get a lot of, But I told you what happened. I said this is how it’s connected to the thesis. What more do you want from me?! EVERYTHING. No, not really. But MORE, certainly.
I think that’s the mantra of being a teacher, in the end: MORE. GIVE ME MORE.
Give me your best. Don’t just give me the obvious connection or the loose tie. Don’t just repeat the thesis at the end of every paragraph. Don’t just observe. Analyze. See the world around you, yes, but then make a connection to other things you see. Understand that everything is connected, and has a ripple effect, and it affects YOU. Go deeper than surface level assumptions. Ask yourself, why do I even feel this way? What’s been constructed around me to give me emotions? What’s been put in me or on me? Why? What is the significance? Why is this important?
Why should the reader care, if you obviously don’t as a writer?
You have thoughts; you’re texting them a mile a minute to someone else who is responding to them. Don’t think that repeating yourself for 5 paragraphs with different words is the same as thinking. You have opinions; convince me of them, don’t just yell them at me. You have a voice inside of you that wonders about things; don’t even try to tell me that you enjoy not questioning. Because that’s just not true of any human. Sure, we can get numb to things, we can ignore or be apathetic or procrastinate; but we NEVER stop questioning.
Observations are just telling me that something happened. Assumptions are just glossing over the bigger picture and staying in a comfort zone. Opinions are all well and good, but they can be blinding.
Needs more analysis.
Examine, detail, question, wonder, explain, construct, interpret and for goodness’s sake, ANALYZE.