Celebrity Essays Graded!
When 140 characters are not enough, celebrities turn to writing essays for print publications; we asked Margot Mifflin, a professor of English at the City University of New York, to school these stars
George Clooney, USA Today
The op-ed A response to London’s Daily Mail, which claimed his future mother-in-law opposes his marriage. ”The irresponsibility, in this day and age, to exploit religious differences…is at the very least negligent and more appropriately dangerous,” he wrote.
Critical take ”It’s pointed and concise. But the weakness is that it’s a little too concise,” says Mifflin. ”Still, the tone is serious and the writing is persuasive.” A-
Kesha, Elle UK
The op-ed A personal essay about her recent rehab stint to recover from an eating disorder. ”I felt like a liar,” she admitted, ”telling people to love themselves as they are, while I was being hateful to myself and really hurting my body.”
Critical take ”The essay is honest. It flows. It lacks specific detail — I would suggest adding dialogue. There’s not a lot of style here, but it works.” B+
Taylor Swift, The Wall Street Journal
The op-ed An essay about the future of the music industry (it’s ”not dying…it’s just coming alive”), a rumination on fandom (”[people] view music the way they view their relationships”), and a glimpse at her hopes for the future (”I’d also like a nice garden”).
Critical take ”She has a strong, effervescent writing style. But the piece has a serious focus problem. It skids all over the place.” B-