Lesson 3.1 – Peer Review of Brian Wang’s “You Attitude” Assignment

Date:       November 24, 2019

TO:          Brian Wang, Student of ENGL 301

FROM:    Emily Leung, Student of ENGL 301

Subject:   Peer Review of Brian Wang’s “You Attitude” Assignment


Thank you for sharing your advice to Evan Crisp on the tips for writing effective emails to professors. The memorandum is well-writing and complete. The following are some comments and suggestions for improving the memorandum.


First Impression

The memorandum is concise and professional-sounding. The advice provided is helpful and is presented in a reader-centred manner. Great Job!


  • The inclusion of sample phrases effectively demonstrates to Evan how to implement your advice. Excellent!
  • Great job ordering the writing tips according to the flow of the email; it is easy to follow and understand.
  • The use of numberings and bullet points creates a clean and clear layout. 
  • Organizing the memorandum with headings and subheadings, such as an introduction, tips for writing emails, and a conclusion, can result in a clearer structure.

Writing Style

  • Minimizing the use of the pronoun “you” can reduce imperatives and establish goodwill. Replacing “you” with ‘the’ or ‘a’ is more appropriate and professional in some cases. Alternatively, rewriting sentences to avoid “you” is desirable. For example: replacing “Giving the reader a reason for helping you out.” to “Giving the reader a reason to offer assistance.”
  • Similarly, minimal use of imperative verbs and using the “+ing” form instead can create a less commanding tone. 
  • Using a consistent sentence structure for the writing tips can create a more cohesive piece. For example, some advice open with an imperative verb (e.g. “Try instead to write…”); others begin with the “ing” form (e.g. “Giving the reader…”), whereas the last bullet starts with “I would advise…” Standardizing the sentence structure would result in a more professional-looking memorandum. 


  • The memorandum would benefit from a more thorough scan with attention to spelling. For example, it should be “I would adviSe against…” instead of “advice.”
  • Some words, such as “ensure” repeatedly appear in the text. Switching up the same word with synonyms can add variety to the memorandum. 


Overall, the memorandum is outstanding. Attention paid to the use of imperative verbs and the repetition of  ‘you’ is recommended to result in a more effective piece of advice with the “you attitude” in mind. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach me at emilyleung@ubc.ca.


Link to Brian’s memorandum: https://blogs.ubc.ca/engl301-99a-2019wa/2019/11/22/3-1-memorandum-demonstrating-you-attitude/

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