editing

The writing process does not cease when a paper is turned in. Instead, your writing can be revised almost continually. As an old saying goes: “Writing is never finished, it is only abandoned.” There are always ways to improve writing, but time constraints and other pressures often push us toward other pursuits. In this class, the midterm is a time to develop strategies for improving writing that, at one point, was “good enough.” The revision strategies you learn and practice should then translate to the two final phases in our class. Throughout the Midterm Revisions and Reflection assignment, you’ll practice intense revision on Phases 1 and 2, look closer at the inner workings of your writing and your writing process, and reflect on your growth so far.

 Guidelines

  • Revisions: Revise submissions for both Phase 1 and 2. These revisions should be thoughtful, systemic, and thorough. They should be based both on my comments and your own thoughts on your writing.
  • Explanations: Write explanations that describe what you changed in each revision and why you believe it improves the essay.
  • Midterm Reflection: Compose a Midterm Reflection that responds to your Outcome and Goal Statement and looks forward to the second half of the semester
  • Arrange all of these pieces into a Canvas ePortfolio

Revisions

Revision is the practice of re-seeing a piece of writing and improving it across all aspects. It is not just editing typos and fixing sentence fragments. Instead, it requires re-working all aspects of a piece on the path to achieving your writing potential. 

You should begin revision by reviewing my comments. Read the comments I added to your Phase 1 and Phase 2 essays. Watch the short video where I talk through them. Ask me questions if you don’t understand my comments or are confused by them. Take notes of what to work on as you revise.

Next, you should take your own view of the piece. While I want you to pay attention to my comments, you should be working on more than that. Throughout the Midterm Revisions, I expect you to complete self-directed, thoughtful, intense, and systemic revision. For this type of revision, you return to drafts and see their flaws, inconsistencies, and their potential for improvement. Sometimes this might mean completely rewriting a paragraph or two, or restructuring an entire argument. Sometimes you have to go back and do better research, or reread your sources to make sure you have their points correctly displayed. Overall, good revision, and thereby good writing, is about thinking about the choices you made when you are writing. And, as you improve as a writer, you learn to make choices that you know will benefit your audience and yourself. 

You should make changes that go beyond editing errors or changing a few words. A good revision will reflect thoughtful consideration of each moment of writing: organization, paragraph consistency, clarity, verb choice, sentence construction, level of detail, use of research, etc. Continually ask yourself questions such as these:

  • Am I phrasing this the best possible way?
  • Could I get my point across more concisely? With more detail?
  • Could I connect my source better?
  • What do I really mean here and is it getting across to the reader?

I suggest making an appointment with the Writing Center now if you would like assistance during the revision process. Or, you can make additional appointments with me in the coming week. We will be working through three days of revision strategies and workshops on February 24, February 26, and March 3. While you will have a limited time to practice this in class, you are expected to apply these elements on your own outside of class as well.

NoteInclude both of your revisions on your ePortfolio, as well as the originals.Include these as .doc or .docx

Explanation behind Revision

Because your revisions will be complex and thoughtful, you need to be able to explain them. After finishing both revisions, write a detailed paragraph where you explain what you altered and why. Explain why you believe that these changes improve your paper. 

Note: Both revisions should have its own individual explanation.

 Midterm Reflection (about 500 words)

For your Midterm Reflection, you should write a narrative of your semester so far. Begin by reading your Outcome and Goal Statement. Consider the following questions as you compose:

  • Where have you succeeded so far?
  • Where have you fallen short?
  • How has your understanding of this course changed since writing this statement?
  • Have you been making your goals? Why or why not?

Take your answers to those above questions and shape them into a cohesive narrative about your writing for this course. What can you do, as a writer and a student, to make the best of the second half of En 112? Use examples and details throughout.

Suggestions for Success

  • Re-read my comments on both Phase 1 and Phase 2. Watch the included videos.
  • Print out your essays and mark places in your writing where you need to improve.
  • Go through each essay several times on different days.
  • Read your essays aloud or to an attentive friend.
  • Make note of what you change when you do so you will know what to write on the “Explanation” section.
  • Visit the Writing Center or Learning Services for individual assistance.
  • Make an appointment with me for individual assistance.
  • Draft your Midterm Reflection early and come back to it. Don’t make the mistakes in the Midterm Reflection that you have fixed in your other essays.

Grading Rubric

I will use this rubric when assessing your portfolio.

 

Points

Excellent

Acceptable

Poor

Revision of Phase 1 with Explanation

40

Phase 1 summaries fully revised. Organized paragraphs, direct sentences, correct citation, and clear purpose. Author takes initiative in revising. Much improvement evident in writing.

 

Explanation of revision complete, clear, and accurate.

Phase 1 summaries revised. Most paragraphs are more organized, sentences more direct, citations nearer correct, and purpose more evident. Author has found own places to revise. Improvement evident.

 

Explanation of revision present, direct, and accurate.

Phase 1 summaries barely revised, or not at all. Author only revised points instructed by professor. Little improvement evident.

 

Explanation of revision not present, indirect, or not accurate.

Revision of Phase 2 with Explanation

40

Phase 2 essay fully revised. Organized paragraphs, direct sentences, correct citation, and clear purpose. Author takes initiative in revising. Much improvement evident in writing.

 

Explanation of revision complete, clear, and accurate.

Phase 2 essay revised. Most paragraphs are more organized, sentences more direct, citations nearer correct, and purpose more evident. Author has found own places to revise. Improvement evident.

 

Explanation of revision present, direct, and accurate.

Phase 2 essay barely revised, or not at all. Author only revised points instructed by professor. Little improvement evident.

 

Explanation of revision not present, indirect, or not accurate.

Midterm Reflection

20

An eloquent narrative of student’s presence in class. Forthright, clear, interesting, and detailed. Projects a sense of where to go in future. Direct references to Outcome and Goal statement.

A clear narrative of student’s presence in class. Direct, interesting in points, with examples. Writer considers the future in writing. Some reference to Outcome and goal statement.

No sense of narrative. Not reflective, muddy, uninteresting, or bland. All generalities with few examples. No sense of past or future.

 

Points deducted for poor organization of ePortfolio, MLA errors, late submission, and other issues.

 

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