The FINAL Draft December 10, 1998

Make sure you keep rough draft and turn it in with final draft, so I can compare drafts and give you an appropriate revision grade.

Drafting and Revision

(adapted from Writing Worth Reading: A Practical Guide, Packer and Timpane.)

"Revision follows a slow and objective reexamination of that first draft. It allows us to react to

our first thoughts and to refine and expand them."

Critical Distance

Hopefully during the time between turning in your rough draft and when you sit down to revise, you can develop some objectivity about your writing. Very often, once you have something down on paper, you see only brilliance in your arguments and phrases. I often read what I meant to write, not what I actually wrote. After a few days, though, it becomes easier to approach the paper as if it were written by someone else.

Levels of Revision

The most important level is "macro"-level revision. Is your thesis strong? Can it be improved? Is the evidence appropriate (click here for a reminder of the points of evidence)? Is the organization sensible? Should you rearrange paragraphs, sections? You don't need to work in a "straight line." Be flexible.

"Micro"- level revision is the next level. This is fixing the grammatical errors, reworking sentences and phrases. You might think about your choice of words, how active/passive are your phrases.

1) Remember the big picture. What is the main point, and how does each paragraph fit into that?

Remember the audience (you can imagine a policy-maker with just a little economics background)

2) Read aloud to yourself. It sounds silly, but it works. You'll find a lot of grammatical errors and words that just don't work by saying the words aloud.

3) Have someone else read the paper and give you comments. ( You don't need to just rely on my notes).

4) Look back over your background material, evidence, etc... Have you fully developed each of these?

5) Look for repetitions, underline good points, write questions to yourself if you no longer remember what you meant (or if you know what you meant, but the text does not make that point clear).

6) It might be a good idea to look at the Review sheet questions yourself, and to answer them as you read your draft.

Here is how I will grade your final paper. You should have the bulk of your evidence gathered for the first draft. But, the rough draft comments and comments from the presentation may have identified holes in your arguments/evidence. You should fill those holes with additional evidence.

Final Draft Grade (click here to see composition of the grade. The points for each section are noted)

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