Immigrant Interview Write-up Checklist

Person who wrote the paper:
Your name:

Ask if you have permission to write on the person’s paper. If so, mark it up with comments about what you like, what confused you, spelling, grammar and punctuation problems, etc. Read carefully. Put a check next to each of the criteria that you believe the paper met. Put a zero for criteria that weren’t met.

  1. _____ Clever, engaging title
  2. _____ Opening/introduction that grabs the reader/makes us want to read further
  3. _____ Does the “voice” feel authentic? Is it believable?
  4. _____ Do you learn important details about this person’s life?
  5. _____ Specifically, do you learn about why this person or this person’s family migrated to the United States?
  6. _____ No substantial spelling/grammatical/punctuation errors
  7. _____ Is it in ink or typed and a minimum of 2 pages?

Write the person a letter. In the first part, tell in detail what you like about the paper. Is it imaginative? Were you drawn in by the writing, by the dialogue, by the detail that the person provided? Did it flow well? In the second part, say what didn’t work and make suggestions on how the writer could improve the paper. Use the back of this paper, if you feel like it.

Sample letter:

Dear Brandon,

                Nice work on this. On the whole, I found it really convincing. I’m glad you cut out your questions and just told Jaime’s story as if you were Jaime. You spent a long time on the story of Jaime’s mother hiring a coyote and crossing the desert. Even though Jaime didn’t actually go on this trip, I’m glad that you included it, because it was dramatic and showed how much she went through. You must have asked Jaime a lot of questions about his life at Franklin because you included so much detail about what it’s like to be Mexican and go to Franklin. It felt honest and also helped me look at Franklin in a new light — through the eyes of an immigrant. By the way, “In A Strange Land” is a great title.

                I’d like to know more about Jaime’s attitude about Mexico. For example, does he want to go back to live? Why or why not? The assignment asked us to write about the person’s thoughts about the border. Did Jaime talk about this at all? — I put a zero on your checklist for the spelling/punctuation part. There are some spelling errors and I think you used quotes incorrectly throughout the paper. The only other problem is that it ends pretty suddenly. You might think about a better conclusion.  Still, I like this a lot. Great work.

Spring 2006