Writing The Research Paper A Handbook (7th ed) - Ch 8 revising the rough draft


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Writing The Research Paper Winker - Ch 8 revising the rough draft
Winkler McCuen-Metherell
Seventh Edition

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Writing The Research Paper A Handbook (7th ed) - Ch 8 revising the rough draft

  1. 1. 88 Revising Your Rough Draft
  2. 2. Principles of Revision • Principles of Revision • Part psychological and part mechanical process • Must learn to revise your work • Writing should fit particular audience • Formal research paper held to higher standard of grammar • Process of revision partly mechanical – will find errors of facts, grammar, poor word usage, too much details, too little details • “There is no writing; there is only rewriting”
  3. 3. Principles of Revision • Rereading your writing • All revision based on repeated rereading of the first draft • Dedicated writers are fanatic about rereading • One novelist claimed he revised every page 20 times • Research paper writer should go over text a minimum of 3 times
  4. 4. Principles of Revision • Revising the paper from biggest to smallest elements • Don’t forget the small elements too (ex. Misspelled word)
  5. 5. Revising the Opening Paragraph • Revising the opening paragraph • Check opening paragraph to see if it is lively enough to draw in the reader • Check thesis to make sure it is not muddled or vague • Typically first sentence of first paragraph • Read Muddled opening / rewritten version (Text pg. 124)
  6. 6. Revising the Opening Paragraph • Revising the introduction • Opening paragraphs usually consist of two sections: 1.Introduction - initial sentences • Critically important to the paper • Entices reader to read more • Strategies: 1. Quotation 2. Ask a question 3. Present an illustration 2.Thesis – traditionally is final sentence of paragraph
  7. 7. Revising the Opening Paragraph • Revising the introduction - Quotation • Advantage of plunging into topic • Can be well-know saying or any apt comment • Dictionary of quotations available in reference section of library • Available online – use search engine • Make sure it is applicable to topic and thesis • Read quote from text, pg. 125
  8. 8. Revising the Opening Paragraph • Revising the introduction – Ask a question • Allows you to steer the discussion in exactly the direction you want to go • Read quote from text, pg. 125-126
  9. 9. Revising the Opening Paragraph • Revising the introduction – Present an illustration • Anecdote or examples that illustrate a point • Start paper with a interesting illustration, and reader will eagerly follow • Is an effective introduction • Read quote from text, pg. 126
  10. 10. Revising the Opening Paragraph • Check that your paragraphs follow the sequence of topics in the thesis • Topic sentences of paragraphs must follow the same sequence as the points of the thesis • If thesis announces it will cover a, b, and c, topic sentences must appear in same sequence • Read example in text pg. 127 (what not to do)
  11. 11. Revising the Opening Paragraph • Revising the body paragraphs • Body paragraphs – middle of the paper where the argument is thickest • Don’t make paragraphs too dense and long as to choke reader with details • Better to organize in shorter paragraphs • Read example, text pg. 127-128
  12. 12. Revising the Opening Paragraph • Check paragraph transitions • Chapter 7 – discussed techniques of ensuring smooth transitions between paragraphs • Essay is like a train • Individual paragraphs are separate boxcars of meaning • Linked together by locomotion of common theme, idea, or argument • Achieve this by use of transitional markers and sentences
  13. 13. Revising Sentences for Variety and Style • Variety  mixture, that is, not monotonous • Style  not as easy to pinpoint • Is conspicuous in its absence, but subtle in its presence • Passage that monotonously uses the same kind of sentence over and over is boring, and without style • Do not begin/end more than two sentences in a row with the same word • Read example, text pg. 129
  14. 14. Revising Sentences for Variety and Style • Summary of ways to vary sentences: • Learn to juxtapose short and long sentences • Learn to subordinate • Lean parallel constructions • Read examples, text pg. 129-130
  15. 15. Revising Sentences for Variety and Style • Revise sentences to use the active voice • Verbs have two voices: 1. Active Voice: “Jim wrote those letters” 2. Passive Voice: “Those letters were written by Jim” • Read text examples, pg. 131
  16. 16. Revising sentences for variety and style • Three exceptions call for the passive voice 1. Occasional change of pace 2. For the sake of focus 3. To avoid sexism See/read text example, pg. 131
  17. 17. Revising sentences for variety and style • Revise to use an appropriate point of view • First-person point of view • Objective/third-person point of view • In the past, instructors insisted on objective point- of-view; More relaxed today text pg. 132 • Rule of thumb: Use the first-person point of view only for expressing personal comments, judgments, or experiences, otherwise use third-person • Read text example pg. 132-133
  18. 18. Revising sentences for variety and style • Revise sexist language • Watch for language that reflects the values and biases of a male dominated society (ex. His, He) • Publishers encourage sex-neutral nouns and pronouns (ex. Their, thon (not widely used)) • Some writers alternate between he and she not the best solution • Can use passive voice to hide subject’s gender • Read text examples pg.’s 133-134
  19. 19. Revising Words: Diction • Revising Words: Diction: Word choice and usage • Bigger is not always better • Use words for their: • Exactness • Appropriateness • Accuracy • Read example, text, pg. 134
  20. 20. Revising Words: Diction • Revise Diction for accuracy and exactness • Best writing is concise and to the point • Uses vocabulary appropriate to the subject • Don’t be vague or fuzzy • Use right technical terms and details when necessary • Use as many words as you need to make point – no more no less • Read examples, text pg. 135-136
  21. 21. Revising Words: Diction • Revise the overuse of phrases for subjects instead of single nouns • Heavy use of long phrases is found in bureaucratic writing • Are hard to read because they uses phrases instead of single nouns as subjects • Read examples, text pg. 136-137
  22. 22. Revising Words: Diction • Revise redundant expressions • Redundant expressions: unnecessary words used to repeat what has already been said • Read examples, text pg. 137
  23. 23. Revising Words: Diction • Revise meaningless words and phrases • Meaningless words and phrases used as fillers will blur a style • Read example, text pg. 137
  24. 24. Revising Words: Diction • Revise snobbish diction • Words used not to clarify but to impress • Replace with common equivalent results in sharper and less pompous style • Read paper aloud to identify pompous language • Read example, text pg. 138
  25. 25. Rules for Writers. Not. • Fun list of revisions writers most often make in their work • Use these rules as a guide in revising your paper
  26. 26. Rules for Writers. Not. 1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects 2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with 3. .And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction 4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive 5. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  27. 27. Rules for Writers. Not. 6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration 7. Be more or less specific 8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary 9. Also, too, never, use repetitive redundancies 10. No sentence fragments
  28. 28. Rules for Writers. Not. 11.Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used 12.Foreign words and phrases are not apropos 13.Do no be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it is highly superfluous 14.One should NEVER generalize 15. Don’t use double negatives
  29. 29. Rules for Writers. Not. 16.Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. 17.One-word sentences? Eliminate. 18.Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake 19.The passive voice should never be used 20.Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
  30. 30. Rules for Writers. Not. 21.Never use a big words when a diminutive one would suffice 22.DO NOT use exclamation point and all caps to emphasize!!! 23.Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them 24.Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas
  31. 31. Rules for Writers. Not. 25.Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed 26.If you’ve heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly 27.Puns are for children, not groan readers 28.Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms
  32. 32. Rules for Writers. Not. 29.Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed 30.Who needs rhetorical questions? 31.Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement 32. Do not put statements in the negative form 33.A writer must not shift your point of view
  33. 33. Rules for Writers. Not. 34.Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences of ten or more words, to the their antecedents 35.Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided 36.If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is 37.Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors
  34. 34. Rules for Writers. Not. 38.Avoid trendy locutions that sounds flaky 39.Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing 40.Always pick on the correct idiom 41.The adverb always follows the verb 42.Be careful to use the rite homonym 43.Proofread carefully to see if you .. any words out