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What to Look For when Revising

Uploaded by EssayEdge on Jan 07, 2002

When editing, make sure to pay careful attention to:


Substance refers to the content of the essay and the message you send out. It can be very hard to gauge in your own writing. One good way to make sure that you are saying what you think you are saying is to write down, briefly and in your own words, the general idea of your message. Then remove the introduction and conclusion from your essay and have an objective reader review what is left. Ask that person what he thinks is the general idea of your message. Compare the two statements to see how similar they are. This can be especially helpful if you wrote a narrative. It will help to make sure that you are communicating your points in the story. Here are some more questions to ask yourself regarding content.

  • Have I answered the question asked?
  • Do I back up each point that I make with an example? Have I used concrete and personal examples?
  • Have I been specific? (Go on a generalities hunt. Turn the generalities into specifics.)
  • Could anyone else have written this essay?
  • What does it say about me? After making a list of all the words you have used within the essay -- directly and indirectly -- to describe yourself, ask: Does this list accurately represent me?
  • Does the writing sound like me? Is it personal and informal rather than uptight or stiff?
  • Regarding the introduction, is it personal and written in my own voice? Is it too general? Can the essay get along without it?
  • What about the essay makes it memorable?

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  • To check the overall structure of your essay, conduct a first-sentence check. Write down the first sentence of every paragraph in order. Read through them one after another and ask the following:
    • Would someone who was reading only these sentences still understand exactly what I am trying to say?
    • Do the first sentences express all of my main points?
    • Do the thoughts flow naturally, or do they seem to skip around or come out of left field?

  • Now go back to your essay as a whole and ask these questions:
    • Does each paragraph stick to the thought that was introduced in the first sentence?
    • Does a piece of evidence support each point? How well does the evidence support the point?

  • Is each paragraph roughly the same length? Stepping back and squinting at the essay, do the paragraphs look balanced...

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Uploaded by:   EssayEdge

Date:   01/07/2002

Category:   Lesson 6

Length:   3 pages (774 words)

Views:   1878

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