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The Confident Writer Chapter 6: Revising and Editing Your Essays
“Clutter” by William Zinsser Every word in an essay should serve a purpose. Avoid clutter in your essay: Delete extra prepositions Free up > free Head up > head Avoid euphemisms “Put brackets around every component in a piece of writing that [isn’t] doing useful work.”
How to Revise Your Essay Think of your first draft as your discovery draft. Every subsequent draft is a revision in which you are improving: Content Organization Style
How to Revise Your Essay Last weekend I had fun with my friends. Traffic was terrible this weekend. I saw the worst movie yesterday. I have very definite opinions about big issues. Last weekend I had fun with my friends. Traffic was terrible this weekend. I saw the worst movie yesterday. I have very definite opinions about big issues.
How to Revise Your Essay Conclusion Ends the essay with finality and reinforces the thesis, uses an effective concluding strategy Body w/ support & evidence Topic sentences relates to thesis, details are focused (unity), transitions create coherence Introduction w/ thesis Statement Builds a context for thesis, clarifies topic for reader, uses an effective intro strategy
How to Revise Your Essay Sentence Variety: Change it up! Tone: Sound of the Words Diction: Word Choice
Eliminating Surface Errors DefinitionCauses Surface errors are mistakes in: ◦Grammar ◦Punctuation ◦Spelling Surface errors result from: ◦Inconsistent application of the rules of Standard English ◦Careless mistakes that occur when you pay more attention to content than to mechanics
Eliminating Surface Errors Become aware of the kind of mistakes you make ◦Track your mistakes Which ones are you making? How do you fix them? Proofread ◦Check for correctly punctuated sentences ◦Check for spelling errors Use your returned essays to compete the chart in Figure 6.4 on pp. 145. What trends do you see?
Trim & Tighten Your Writing
Use Proofreading Strategies Follow these steps for your final round of editing: 1. Let your ideas incubate. 2. Pace yourself. 3. Read backwards. 4. Read aloud. 5. Use a writer’s tools. 6. Proofread with a purpose.
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