How to Write and Revise a Rough Draft

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					How to Write and Revise a
      Rough Draft
             Inter American University of PR
                    Bayamón Campus

               GEEN 2313
            Prof. Gladys Cruz
Writing and Revising
   Writing a rough draft is a late stage
    in the writing process. Before you
    get to this stage, be sure you’ve
    done a lot of preparation: clarified
    your topic, taken lots of notes,
    collected as many ideas in writing as
    you can.
   PLAN to do a              PLAN to finish your
    rough draft and            rough draft four or
    revise it.                 five days before
                               your paper is due
   Promise yourself           so you will have
    you won’t turn in          time to revise it.
    the very first ideas
    you put on paper.
   Once you complete the rough draft,
    lay it aside for as long as you can
    afford, so that you can come back to
    it objectively as if you were reading
    someone else’s paper.
 PLAN  to re-read    Asyou work,
 your paper           be sure to take
 several times,       regular breaks
 each time            so you will
 looking for          keep your
 something            mind fresh and
 different.           alert.
    The First Draft:

   Introductions:
     Introductions are important. They
      arouse a reader’s interest, introduce the
      subject and tackle the So What?
     They’re your paper’s first impression.
      But you don’t have to write them first.

   Whatever your style, you’ll probably put
    your thesis statement somewhere near the
    end of the paragraph and some important
    background information directly before.
Contrary to what you may have been taught,
intros don’t have to begin with a “general
statement.” So what are some different ways
to start that first sentence?

   Begin with a quotation. Just make sure you
    explain its relevance.
   Begin with a question.
   Begin with an acknowledgement of an opinion
    opposite to the one you plan to take.
   Begin with a very short narrative or anecdote that
    has a direct bearing on your paper.
   Begin with an interesting fact.
   Begin with a definition or explanation of a term
    relevant to your paper.
   Begin with an irony or paradox.
   Begin with an analogy. Make sure it’s original but
    not too far fetched.
First reading: Organization

   Underline or highlight the TOPIC
    SENTENCE in each paragraph.

    (If you discover you don’t have one, write it!)
   Read through only the topic sentences in
    your paper, or block these into a second
    document on your word processor.

            • Does each sentence follow logically the one preceding it?
            • Do they form a reasonable mini-essay in themselves?
            • Do you like the sequence of ideas?
            • Are similar ideas grouped together?
            • Cut and paste – either literally, with scissors and paste or
              electronically, with blocking on your computer.
            • Move ideas – whole paragraphs, sentences, parts of text
              – around like blocks to improve ORGANIZATION.

       To insure overall CONTINUITY among
        paragraphs, tell your reader what point you’re
        discussing, what you’ll talk about next etc.
Second reading: paragraphs
and sentences
   Take one paragraph at a time and
    read it out loud. Then ask yourself:

       Does each sentence in the paragraph
        refer to the central idea stated in the
        topic sentence?

        • Throw out IRRELEVAN SENTENCES or move
          them to a better location.
   Does each sentence follow the preceding one

   Do you give your readers clues (words such
    as thus, therefore, first, because, but, etc.)
    to help them follow your thoughts?

   Rearrange sentences and add TRANSITIONS
    if necessary.

   Do your sentences sound dull because
    they’re too SHORT?
       Do they sound complex because they’re LONG? Combine
        some; break others up into simple sentences.
Do you repeat the same
words too often?
   Do you use words you don’t need?                     Omit
    NEEDLESS WORDS and search the thesaurus for useful
   Be sure words convey what you mean.

   Circle all VERBS.
       Change passive to active voice. Search for
        fresh, powerful verbs. For example, change
        “Signs were seen by . . .” to “Witnesses
        detected. . .”
   Read each sentence in the paragraph
    aloud to recognize ERRORS IN GRAMMAR,
    Third reading: Content
   Have a friend or your professor read
    your paper and give you feedback.
       Then ask yourself:
        • Do you BELIEVE what you’ve written?
        • Do you UNDERSTAND your own ideas and your
           • If necessary, reconsider your thesis or discuss your
             ideas with your professor.
        • Do you tell your reader in the beginning what
          you believe?
        • Does every paragraph, sentence and word
          serve to DEVELOP YOUR THESIS?
           • Speak SIMPLY and clearly to your reader.
           • Edit out irrelevancies.
Have you documented with
references all your quotations.

    Not too many quotes?

    Final draft clean and easy to read?

    Check your STYLRBOOK for proper
     form. (For this paper you are to use
     the APA style.)
Thoughts Unique to
   I’ve said everything. What’s left?

       At it’s basic level, a concluding
        paragraph serves as a summary of the
        writing preceding it.

       In most cases, however, you will want
        to expand on your thesis by revealing
        the ways in which your paper’s thesis
        might have significance in the world
        outside it.l
In an effort to go beyond summary, it might
be helpful to think of your conclusion as
something that might:

 Place the paper in a larger context
 Serve as a call for action
 Set forth a warning or hypothesis
 intentionally complicate the issues
  you have already introduced
 Raise a question or question
 Introduce a relevant quote
 Tell an appropriate anecdote

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