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  1. 1. Tidewater Community College Phone: 757-822-7170 Fax: 757-427-0327 Web:
  2. 2. Reassessing Examining your draft for: Unity Coherence Effective Language Redrafting Rewriting to eliminate problem spots and/or add material to clarify your message Editing Proofreading your final draft and correcting any remaining grammatical, mechanical, and format errors There Are Three Steps to the Revision Process:
  3. 3. Editing Checklist Have I eliminated all sentence fragments? (A sentence needs a complete subject, a complete verb, and a complete thought to be a sentence.) Have I eliminated all comma splices? (Two complete thoughts separated only by a comma.) Have I eliminated all run-on sentences? (Two complete thoughts without any punctuation between them.) Are the spelling and capitalization correct throughout my paper? Is the verb tense correct throughout my paper? (Verb tense should be consistent unless you are deliberately using a flashback technique or are using transitions to guide your reader through the action.) Do all my subjects agree with their verbs? (Don’t forget that verbs in present tense change according to the subject (“he/she/it” rule).)
  4. 4. Editing Polishing your draft to correct errors in English. Proofread to identify and eliminate any errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Don’t begin the editing process immediately after redrafting; you’re too tired! Also, you’ll ghost write and automatically fill in the gaps because what you meant to say is too fresh in your memory. Put it away for a day or two. Use a proofreading checklist of grammar and spelling errors that you most frequently make. Be prepared to read your draft several times as you check for errors. Read your paper backwards! Start from the bottom of your paper, read the last sentence first, then the next-to-last sentence, etc. all the way to the beginning sentence. Team up with a classmate and become proofreading partners. After you have edited your own papers, swap and edit each other’s. He/She may find several error s you missed. Use a computer spell check to find spelling errors, but BEWARE!! If you write the sentence “I fell tired.” spell check will not pick up that “fell” is the wrong word and that it should have been “feel.” It will only recognize that fell was spelled correctly.
  5. 5. Reassessing Examining your draft for: Unity Does every sentence in each paragraph relate back to that paragraph’s topic sentence? Does every sentence in the body of my paper relate back to my thesis? Coherence Do all of my sentences communicate my ideas cleanly and smoothly? Do I make good use of effective transition words to guide my audience through my paper? Effective Language Do I use descriptive language, such as adjectives and adverbs that add interest and allow the audience to “see” my point? Do I stay away from non-descriptive terms such as “thing, bad, sad, mad,” etc? (Invest in a thesaurus!!) Do I refrain from using tired, overused language and/or phrases (cliches) such as “once in a lifetime” or “new and improved”? Have I made sure to consider my audience’s experience level with my topic and provided sufficient detail to explain unfamiliar terms? Do I use language acceptable to an academic audience? (No “bikini” language at the wedding!)
  6. 6. Redrafting Applying the knowledge you gained from answering the questions in your reassessment stage, and then writing a new version or draft of your paper. Re-order your sentences, if necessary, so that they are in a coherent order that is appropriate to the mode of writing you are doing. For example, a narrative should be written in chronological order while a persuasive paper should be in emphatic order. Eliminate sentences that are not directly related back to your topic sentence or thesis (Unity). Regroup related sentences together and provide new transition words where necessary (Coherence). Eliminate language that is “deadwood.” Some words are like junk food; they fill up a paper, but they have no real value! Sometimes, simple is just better ; for example, change “at this point in time” to “currently.” Fill in the gaps created in draft one. Provide specific and relevant examples to support your topic sentence and/or thesis. General statements may be organized and coherent, but they do little to persuade, inform, or entertain your reader. Detail (not deadwood) adds interest.
  7. 7. To Illustrate or Show Cause & Effect Accordingly consequently indeed particularly After all for example in fact specifically As a result for instance of course therefore Because for one thing overall thus To Add, Restate, or Emphasize Again finally in conclusion on the whole Also first (second) in other words too And further moreover to sum up Besides in addition next To Show Time or Place Above beyond lately soon until After currently now then when As soon as earlier once there whenever Before here presently to the left to the right Below immediately where since To Compare or Contrast Although despite in the same way similarly And even though likewise still As however nevertheless though both in contrast on the other hand whereas But n spite of regardless yet Transitional Phrases