How to Talk About Revision (Graduate Project Statement)

Think of revision as re-envisioning your work. To re-envision is to re-see, re-think, reconsider your writing.

You’ve done a first draft, received feedback from classmates and me, and have taken it further in a second draft. You may find that you began writing in a direction that is not useful to you overall. The important thing at this point is to take a hard eye toward what you have done, mark out what is useful for your purpose (make sure you are able to clearly articulate what that is!), discard what is not useful and identify what you need to fill in the holes.

From here, we will be looking at three levels of revision:

Global Revision. This asks you to reconsider the ideas in your paper. Step back and look at the main ideas. Are they strong and focused? Is your intention clear? Are you communicating what you want to with your reader? A reverse outline or intention outline can help you do this.

Organizational Revision. This level asks you to reconsider the basic structure and organization in your writing. Here, it will be important to consider the structure of your introduction, paragraphs, transitions and your conclusion

Sentence-level Revision. This level is the polishing phase. Read your essay out loud to yourself (and classmates) to catch the flow, rhythm and grammar problems that may have slipped through. Read it and re-read it. Tinker with words until you like the way it sounds.

In class on February 17, we will continue to work on reverse outlines. Homework for February 23 is to write two different introductions.

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