In this lesson, our instructor Rebekah Hendershot gives an introduction to revision. She starts by comparing revision and proofreading, then goes on to discuss dess revision, getting a second opinion, and what she calls the 90/10 rule.
Before you revise your work, take a break! Even if its just for a few minutes or hours, go do something else. You will come back to see your writing with fresh eyes.
Revision vs. Proofreading: revision (“seeing again”) is the process of reexamining your work to see whether you started with the right idea and correctly followed the steps of the writing process. By contrast, proofreading is the process of finding mechanical errors in your writing (mistakes in spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.). Youll do that in Lesson 8.
Deep Revision: Ask yourself these questions:
Did you answer the prompt? Did you identify its type, main idea, and theme?
Did you choose the right topic? Is it something you remember well, something that reflects well on you, and something that answers the question?
Did you organize your answer well? Do you have a compelling hook, well-ordered details, and a strong conclusion with echoes and callbacks?
Did you leave out anything important? Did you skip a step, fail to explain yourself thoroughly, or leave out information you think everyone knows?
Did you pad your response? Did you add unnecessary words, quotes, or explanations? (If you did that, delete the padding!)
Get a Second Opinion
How to choose a beta reader
Choose a beta reader who reads a lotboth fiction and nonfictionso he or she has a good sense of how good writing sounds.
Choose a beta reader who knows you well enough to give you good advice but wont be tempted to sugar-coat his or her response for you.
Choose a beta reader with a strong grasp of English mechanics (preferably a native speaker)
If you know others who are working on similar essays, consider creating a writing circle to critique one anothers work.
Choose a moderator in case there are conflicts.
Read everyone elses work (including the prompts!) and offer polite recommendations on how it may be improved.
Begin your remarks with praise, then move to constructive criticism.
Never ever copy a fellow circle members work.
The 90/10 rule of second opinions: 90% of the advice you get from amateurs will be less than helpful. Your job is to find the 10% that rings true. The more you practice, the better you will get at hearing it.
When in doubt:
Take a break.
Go over the steps again. You cant do this too many times.
Choose a knowledgeable beta reader who writes well.
Trust your fellow writers to see the strengths and weaknesses in your work that you cant see yourself.
Remember the 90/10 rule, and trust your instincts.
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
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