Revision Assignment

What is the difference between editing and revising? Editing addresses problems with the form of an essay; Revision addresses problems with the content of the essay.  We must revise before we can edit.

Form: Form is a question of presentation. It does not require thoughtfulness. It does require attentiveness. Cite all of your sources (by last name); write paragraphs no longer than 175 words; number your pages; double space; write in Times New Roman 12 pt. font. We edit for form. Editing: When we edit, we read every word. We are looking for minor errors on the level of the sentences or in the presentation. Errors of grammar, punctuation, and spelling fall into this category. An accumulation of such minor errors becomes a major problem because it prevents our understanding of the content.

But if the content is poorly developed, no amount of editing will improve it. Hence, the need for revision.

Content: Content is about logic, thoughtfulness, and creativity. We revise for content. Revising: When we revise, we are thinking about the overall meaning and logic of a text. When we suggest revisions we do so because we find problems on the level of argumentation and logic. A revision-minded comment might say: “Your evidence here doesn’t prove your argument,” or “There is no logical progression from this paragraph to the next.”

Instructions: The focus for today’s class is content based. Your comments should suggest revision, not editing. If something is awkward, write “awk” in the margin. If something appears to have a grammatical error, write “gr.” If you think a word should be changed, “w.c.” Do not suggest changes. Focus your comments on the logic of the argument.

For each paragraph you must write two statements:

1. What the paragraph does. You might write:

  • This paragraph introduces the essay.
  • This paragraph provides evidence for the author’s first premise.
  • This paragraph summarizes an opposing view.
  • Provides statistical data to support a point.
  • Uses an analogy to clarify the idea of the previous paragraph.

2. Write what the paragraph says. In other words, you summarize the content of the paragraph. You might write:

  • This paragraph proves that Henry Morgon thought white people were superior to black people and that this was how he justified imperialism.
  • This paragraph introduces the main points that Parr will argue: that imperialism was bad, that women need more rights, that the Columbian exchange wasn’t all bad.
  • The evidence in this paragraph demonstrates that Mrs. Beeton had no power at all, although the topic sentence says that she did have power. (Such a comment would be suggesting that a revision was needed, right?)

3. Finally, write an overall summary of the argument in your own words. The topics are imperialism, women’s rights, and the Columbian exchange. What does the paper argue about these topics?

4. When the reviewer has finished reading the paper, the comments should be given to the author of the essay. These comments will be handed in, with the final paper, on Friday, Nov. 26, 2010

Name of Author __________________

Name of Reviewer _________________

What it Does: What it Says:
¶ 1
¶ 2
¶ 3
¶ 4
¶ 5
¶ 6
¶ 7

Overall Summary of the Argument: In Your Own Words


What did you like about the essay?


What you think could be improved upon?  (You may comment on the writing here, if you would like).


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