Archive for the ‘Revising’ Category

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Argument Haiku

posted: 11.6.06 by Barclay Barrios

Have students review the sections of the handbook on developing and revising a thesis and on wordiness or conciseness. Then have each student express her or his thesis as a haiku (5 syllables / 7 syllables / 5 syllables). For example:

Balinese cockfight
And American football.
Texts of culture both.

This is not an easy exercise, but it’s a great way to have students focus on the core of what they want their papers to say, in its most condensed form.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Grammar & Style, Revising, Thesis Statement
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Topology of Topic Sentences

posted: 11.6.06 by Barclay Barrios

Have students review the section of the handbook on topic sentences before class. Ask them to bring in a copy of their current draft with all of the topic sentences removed. In peer revision groups, share these drafts and have the peers craft topic sentences that would work in the paragraphs. The student should then compare these to her or his original sentences. This exercise has a number of advantages: students get practice identifying the topic sentences of their own paragraphs (or learn to recognize when their paragraphs do not have them), they get practice writing these sentences for peers, and finally they get a sense of whether or not their paragraphs are clearly focused, based on whether or not the topic sentences they get back accurately reflect what they feel is the content of the paragraphs.

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Categories: Drafting, Grammar & Style, Peer Review, Revising
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Revising Revision Strategies

posted: 10.23.06 by Barclay Barrios

Ask students to read the section of the handbook on revision strategies. Discuss these strategies in class and then have students work in groups to expand the list of available strategies.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Collaboration, Revising
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Notable Examples

posted: 10.9.06 by Barclay Barrios

Locate a section of the handbook that describes a common problem or error for the class. Ask students to come in with examples of the error from their own writing; then have them correct the error and add their example to their own handbook by writing it either in the book or on a sticky note. It may be easier for students to remember how to fix an error when they refer back to their own examples.

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Categories: Revising
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Below the Surface

posted: 10.9.06 by Barclay Barrios

In small groups, have students develop a definition of “surface error.” Ask them to come up with its opposite term, too: “deep error”? “subsurface error”? “serious error”? What marks the difference between the terms? Which one do they need to pay more attention to? At which stage of drafting should they focus on one or the other? And what parts of the handbook will help them with both?

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Collaboration, Drafting, Grammar & Style, Revising
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It’s Not Just Error

posted: 9.25.06 by Barclay Barrios

Have students identify what they feel is their strongest statement/sentence in the paper. Then have them write about the sentence using the handbook and its terms. For example, “My sentence uses two clauses, both with active verbs…” The goal is to have students see how grammar is not just about being “wrong” but is an active force in helping them make strong sentences, better papers, and better grades.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Grammar & Style, Revising
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Wicked Revision

posted: 9.25.06 by Barclay Barrios

Choose a sentence from the essay the class is reading. Have students revise it to make the sentence less effective, though still correct. Discuss as a class what sentence elements make it less effective. Students should be able to explain why the revision is correct by citing advice in their handbook.

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Collaboration, Grammar & Style, Revising
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Editing, Proofreading, Revising

posted: 9.11.06 by Barclay Barrios

Have students review the sections of the handbook on editing and proofreading. Use this to open a discussion about the differences between editing, proofreading, and revising. How are they different? Are they all necessary? Which do they tend to do in their own writing?

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Drafting, Revising
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