For this revision, make high level paper and paragraph changes based on a text analysis using the questions below.
Revision: Some Questions to Ask Yourself
To be effective, revision should be approached in an organized and systematic way, beginning with an analysis of the structure and content of your text as a whole before focusing on smaller details such as individual paragraphs.
Ask yourself the following questions about each section of your paper.
- Do you catch the reader’s interest effectively right away?
- Would a writer’s trick such as using a quotation, story, or metaphor be appropriate and helpful in accomplishing this?
- Is the introduction just the right length to say what needs to be said, no more and no less?
- Is your introduction clear and logical?
- Is the information presented in the best possible order?
- What is your thesis? Is it obvious, clear, and written as a complete sentence? Where is it? Is it in just the right spot or could you improve readability if it was moved?
- What is the goal of your thesis? For example, are you trying to argue for a particular position on the topic at hand? Have you expressed this clearly?
- If you are making an argument, do you need to point out counterarguments to your thesis?
- Is the scope of your thesis appropriate for the assignment? Do you need to broaden it or narrow it down?
- Is each paragraph purposeful, relevant to your thesis, and contributing to your goals?
- Is there a logical progression throughout the paper? Do the paragraphs build on each other and support your thesis in an organized way?
- Does each paragraph have a focused topic and topic sentence that relates to the thesis? Do the other sentences in your paragraphs provide evidence and argument to support this topic?
- Is each paragraph a reasonable length—not too long or too short? Are any paragraphs trying to accomplish too much? If so, how can they be restructured?
- Have you used quotations moderately and effectively? Do your quotations relate directly to the thesis?
- Do you provide context for your quotations?
- Should you cut down on the number of quotations you’re using and paraphrase instead?
- Are you providing a useful recap of your paper in a way that’s interesting, rather than resorting to highly repetitious language? Can you write it in such a way that it relates to, and enhances, the most significant aspects of your paper?
- Are you providing a true conclusion, or are you merely summarizing what you just wrote? Do you introduce any new topics right at the end? If you do, is there a compelling reason?
- Do you end on a strong note?
Focus and Relevance
On a new sheet of paper, write down your thesis. Then, go through your paper paragraph by paragraph, and do the following:
- Check to make sure each paragraph is relevant to the thesis and is working well to support the thesis.
- Look for extraneous information that doesn’t really need to be there.
Note that this strategy also works to analyze individual paragraphs. In this case, use the topic sentence of each paragraph to compare to the other sentences in the paragraph.
Coherence and Balance
To help you determine the coherence and balance of your paper, copy and paste your thesis and all the topic sentences of your paragraphs into one paragraph.
- As you read, is there a logical flow of ideas and argument?
- Does the paragraph stay focused and balanced in its dealings with the various areas being covered? Or, are some sections of the paper given too much space, while other important areas remain underdeveloped?
Logic and Flow
On a separate sheet of paper, write down the main ideas of each paragraph in one or two words and then note the end result. Do the words fall into a logical order? If they don’t, this might be a clue about areas in your paper where your argument or evidence is out of order and could be rearranged.
At the individual paragraph level, check your logic and flow by doing the following:
- Identify the topic sentence of a paragraph and then note the subject, verb, and object of each of the remaining sentences in the paragraph.
- Use the result to see weak spots in your logical progression of ideas.
You can also use this method to see how well you stay focused on the main topic of the paragraph.
Submit your completed worksheet and your completed draft for review.
Your assignment will be scored on the following criteria:
- Assess whether or not the paper adequately integrates the topic with the literature review.
- Assess how the paper is organized in terms of how the argument flows from one point to the next.
- Assess how the paper is organized in terms of how the chunks of evidence are grouped together.
- Assess whether or not evidence is presented clearly.
- Suggest appropriate changes to address the identified revision issues.
- Provide a complete representation of the paper’s argument.
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