Docstoc

DEVELOPING A REVISING _ EDITING TOOLKIT

Document Sample
DEVELOPING A REVISING _ EDITING TOOLKIT Powered By Docstoc
					                  68 PLC, 346-3226
                  http://als.uoregon.edu


                   DEVELOPING A REVISING & EDITING TOOLKIT
WHAT’S THE PURPOSE?
After working on the same paper for days on end, it can be difficult to identify ways you might rewrite,
reorganize, or expand. Even harder is finding spelling and punctuation mistakes: after a while you
just read the paper the way you know it goes, glossing right over missing words and extra
apostrophes. One way to take better stock of your writing is to use a revising “toolkit,” a collection of
strategies based on your own writing needs and goals. Some suggestions for building a personalized
toolkit are described below.

    IDENTIFY AVAILABLE RESOURCES & SEARCH FOR REVISING TIPS THAT MATCH YOUR NEEDS:
     With the number of colleges hosting online writing labs, there is no shortage of helpful, free
     information available on the Internet. College writing handbooks and style guides are also
     good sources of information – and can often be found cheap in used bookstores. As you skim
     through available materials, look at the different writing issues they suggest. Which seem
     most applicable to your writing? Which strategies might really help? Write down good ideas or
     make copies of especially useful pages and put them in a notebook.

               Purdue Online Writing Lab: http://owl.english.purdue.edu
               This Purdue University website offers an extensive collection of writing links and handouts – find
               information on everything from developing a thesis to overcoming writer’s block to documenting
               sources.

               Dave’s ESL Café: http://www.eslcafe.com/
               Submit questions about English grammar & usage and get a reply back from an instructor,
               usually within 24 hours.

               Ten Tips for Effective Editing: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~sschuman/tentips98.html
               A short article by UO professor Sharon Schuman on higher-level style issues.

               Departmental Writing Guides: http://wic.oregonstate.edu/wic_dept_writ_guides.html
               This Oregon State website offers specific guidelines for writing college papers in different
               disciplines: philosophy, anthropology, chemistry, political science, botany, engineering,
               sociology, and others.



    MAKE A LIST OF SPECIFIC “HIGHER ORDER” REVISING TASKS: “Higher order” refers to the
     global aspects of your paper: content, support, organization, unification around a clear and
     interesting central idea. Because it’s generally more efficient to work on these larger issues
     before fiddling too much with sentence-level details, you’ll probably want to focus on them first.
     In your notebook, make a list of specific things you can do that will help you pick out higher
     order issues to work on. For example:

               TO FIND YOUR THESIS: Underline the sentence or two that best captures the paper’s main idea. If
               you can’t find a statement that expresses your main point, write one now.
            TO CLARIFY THE MAIN IDEA/MAKE THE THESIS MORE PRECISE: Once you’ve underlined your thesis,
            rewrite the idea in at least two different ways. Then compare. Which most precisely captures
            the main idea? Which sounds best?

            TO REVISE FOR SUPPORT: Put an EX at the end of each line that could be illustrated with a
            specific example. Put a QU at the end of each line that could be backed up with a specific
            quote from the text.

            TO REVISE FOR ORGANIZATION: Given the draft you have now, write an outline that follows your
            existing pattern of organization. Does it make sense? OR, cut the paper into pieces, paragraph
            by paragraph. Try rearranging the paragraphs – do any other systems of organization work
            better?

            TO REVISE FOR UNITY: Put a U? next to the sentences that pull the essay furthest away from your
            main idea. What is their function? Are they necessary? If no, cut them out. If yes, consider
            how you might revise your thesis to reflect that this is an important direction the essay is taking.


 MAKE A LIST OF SENTENCE-LEVEL EDITING STRATEGIES: Identify common problems you have
  with grammar, punctuation, and spelling and come up with concrete steps you can take to
  work on each skill. Again, give yourself concrete tasks that will help you catch your mistakes.
  For example:

            TO EDIT FOR PLURAL ENDINGS: Read through the paper line by line and circle all nouns. Then, go
            back through the paper, asking whether each noun refers to one thing or many.

            TO EDIT FOR SENTENCE FRAGMENTS: Read the paper backwards, one line at a time. Highlight any
            sentence that sounds incomplete by itself. Then, check these sentences against your fragment
            handout. Are they complete thoughts? Or do they need to be added to another sentence to
            make sense?


   KEEP A LEARNING LOG: Keep a list of trouble spots you have encountered in your writing,
    along with how you fixed them and a rough explanation why. This helps you find solutions to
    mistakes you make often and allows you to gradually learn from them.

     Problem word or phrase            Correction                           Explanation

     After the thief robbed, he ran    After the thief robbed the old       The verb rob takes an
     away.                             man, he ran away.                    object.



     The solution’s benefits           The solution’s benefits              The apostrophe in “it’s”
     outweigh it’s drawbacks.          outweigh its drawbacks.              represents a contraction
                                                                            (not possession): “it is.”

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:6
posted:8/12/2011
language:English
pages:2