Presentation on theme: "Issues in editing Postgraduate writing Seminar 6 John Morgan."— Presentation transcript:
Issues in editing Postgraduate writing Seminar 6 John Morgan
Drafting and redrafting At this stage you have finished your essays and reports for semester 1. You may either feel confident about them or you may feel unsure of numerous issues in your work. Whichever way you feel about it, you could be wrong in those assumptions as many writers are either over confident or not confident enough about their own work.
Feedback and/or proofreading One way of putting feedback into perspective is by using it in relation to some techniques and advice on redrafting and proofreading— essentially your work is not ready to hand in until you have read through it with your own eyes, at least once, after completing it. The vast majority of errors in essays can be picked up at this stage with careful reading and revision.
Quotations about revision Revising is like putting a fine-honed edge on a blade. Revising for me is like a kind of control that I don’t get anywhere else. I can change the words, erase them, create others. It’s a chance to polish and perfect ideas before someone else sees them.
Secret cleaning? Revising is like a secret; I hide all the stupid things I wrote (when I was obviously not myself) the first time. Revising is like cleaning the house; everything is there in front of you just not in an order you’re satisfied with. It takes valuable time and effort to get it just like you want it.
Improving challenges? Revising is like improving what I have, putting on the finishing touches. Revising is like a challenge—to sort things in a logical order and make them a pleasure to read.
How would you describe it? What is revising like for you? Discuss these ideas with other people and add your own statement to an overhead transparency.
What do you need to redraft? When redrafting you have to look at your text on at least two levels, globally, suggesting the issues that affect the complete essay, or locally, suggesting the smaller parts that go into making the whole essay. Look at the list below and tick the issues you are happy with.
Global and local issues GlobalLocal Ideas Sections Main issue/thesis Paragraphs Aims Sentences Overall structure Words Full text Examples & references
Are you happy with it? Now go back to the list and ask yourself why you are happy with these issues? What can you base your confidence on if you have not had feedback from other friends, students, teachers or experts?
Never be too sure Expert writers revise all these things, which is probably how they become expert writers in the first place. A large amount of students overlook the most basic redrafting issues due and they often feel secure with the draft but insecure in the prospect of looking at it again in case they have to redraft too much. This is a very false security that causes a significant number of grades to be lower than they should be.
Checking your own writing Assessing your own writing is not an easy task, though you could do it with a friend and exchange work. It is always possible to be more critical about the work of others than it is about our own work. We usually see what is wrong with somebody else’s work far more quickly than we do with our own and this is most probably related to the fact that we understand our own argument through our own background knowledge.
Things to consider 1 What do you think are the strong points in the text/plan? Were you able to follow the main points? Yes With difficulty No
Things to consider 2 Would you be able to summarise what you have read if somebody asked you what this person was writing about? Yes With difficulty No Is the text well organised? Does it follow a structured pattern? Yes Generally No
Things to consider 3 Does the plan/text clearly indicate when the writer is moving to a new point? Yes Generally No Does the writer explain any specific or “new” technical terms within the plan/text? Yes Not really No
Things to consider 4 Does the writer include enough examples to support comments, generalisations and/or other statements about the topic? Yes Not really No Is the plan/text too short, too long or adequate within the total word limit of the essay task?