Debrief First Round of Grad Talks
Generally in expository writing, the first task is to identify a central thesis. Often this is expressed as a question and the job of the subsequent writing is to answer or resolve that question. Though we are writing to discover or illuminate thought as it relates to your work rather than prove an argument, writing with a sense that you are answering a question or exploring and resolving a tension or instability will add clarity. Your writing may not seem to have an identifiable thesis, however, there should be some sense of moving along a path to a conclusion with a deliberate method of construction that draws the reader forward. Global editing will help you organize the structure of your writing. It’s looking at the big picture. Read for content, context, structure and logical (even if it’s a poetic logic) sequence. Ferret out repetition. Look for opportunities to condense (or if necessary, expand). Don’t worry too much about fine tuning grammar or making each sentence clear and lovely (though progressively working on that is not bad). We are working on the overall shape, the progression from beginning to end, and major points of content.
Here are some questions that generally are used in global editing. Work with your editing partners to tailor them to your individual purpose.
- What is the central idea that motivates your writing?
- Where and how does this appear? (Mark every reference.) If it is not included in the draft, where is/are good place(s) to add it?
- Do you have an interesting title that grabs the reader’s attention and hints at the main idea? It might be the exhibition title or something else.
- Do you have an introduction that sets up context or background? If not, how and where do you provide this? Are there better options?
- Do you use description to help the reader visualize your ideas? Do you adequately describe specific works and tie them to main ideas?
- Do you use evidence (personal observations, experience, information from outside sources, etc.) to back up your ideas?
- Do you transition smoothly between paragraphs?
- Have you discovered anything new in the writing? Have you shown your reader something new?
- Do you have a conclusion that relates back to the the central motivation?
Individual Meetings May 4
- No group class meeting on 5/4; students meet individually for feedback with me in AB 110 (schedule below)
- Students exchange drafts with two classmates for global editing (mark-up and meet to discuss). You each will be doing two edits and receiving two summaries.
- In class on 5/11, each student presents a summary of the global editing evaluation of a partner’s draft. Select illustrative portions to read aloud and ask questions for group discussion geared to improving the selected section.