Letter for Article
I really liked your descriptions of George and his relationships with his family and town during the initial paragraphs of your essay. However, your purpose was confusing, because you seemed to be presenting the controversy again rather than focusing on one aspect of it. Other than the beginning paragraphs, the essay is mostly informative. Try to subtly, yet effectively, display your attitude toward the issue. It seems like you are leaning toward allowing homosexuals to worship freely in Presbyterian churches; however, your information deals primarily with the controversy as a whole. Throughout the essay, you talk about how homosexuality is perceived in church communities, how homosexuality is perceived in the Presbyterian church in particular, why Christians struggle with homosexuality, and gay rights in various states. Add some testimonies from homosexual church goers and gay rights advocates to give these topics a argumentative spin.
---no identified audience--
You convince your reader that you are knowledgeable about your subject by referencing credible sources and naming sources you are pulling information from. Through paragraph four and five, you show that you have a comprehensive understanding of the Presbyterian Church’s struggle with homosexuality, as well as Presbyterian Church itself. Although your essay could be a little more argumentative, the overall neutrality (rather than harsh judgment) provides the reader with a sense of trustworthiness.
By the end of the narrative introduction (beginning of paragraph four), I understood the article to be on the struggles of the Presbyterian Church concerning homosexuality. You led up to this information effectively by describing George coming out to family without the support of any organized religion. You integrated religion into the narrative early by explaining George’s dad’s reaction to his gay son as prayer, as well as juxtaposing this reaction with George’s reaction to his father’s prayer. One thing that might be prudent to clear up is: Was George a Presbyterian?
I didn’t feel like I received the message properly by the end of your draft. Why is it ok to be homosexual in the Presbyterian Church? What are the misconceptions held by many churchgoers? What are some of the forms of prejudice homosexuals who attend the churches deal with? You don’t have to be overtly arguing for one side, but informing us about the struggle with one side in mind by using quotes, facts, and statistics that back that opinion would create a clearer message for your readers.
For your conclusion, consider returning to George and discuss whether his choice to live a discrete life, was really a choice or rather an obligation based on societal expectations like those driving the Presbyterian Church to ignore the homosexual community.
As always, I continue to learn more and more from your topic.