An English teacher critiques the 9/11 report, by Kirstin Ruth Bratt

This essay has a lot going

for it: clear and cogent details,

story arc convinces, prevails

over lost fragments, arguing

well enough. Now here’s where it fails:

Demanding unity is known

as bandwagon appeal and prone

to exaggeration, assails

thoughtful readers. The vague pronoun,

though, is the worst offense owing

to a weak referent, derails

the entire conclusion, sowing

doubt. Writing for others entails

active voice, and anchored pronoun.


Kirstin Ruth Bratt is a professor of English and English pedagogy. She loves her sweet and thoughtful children, traveling abroad,  the theater of complex and interesting playwrights, and the music of good listeners.