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Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Writing, Second Edition
John Chaffee et al.
Guide to Publishing Your Work
A Step-by-Step Method for Revising Any Assignment

This method is presented in more detail in Chapter 4.

Think big. Look at the draft as a whole.
  • Does it fulfill assignment in topic and length?
  • Does it have clear focus?
  • What parts do not relate to the focus?
  • How can it be reorganized to make it more logical?
  • What evidence could be added?
  • How could flow between paragraphs be smoother?
  • Is point of view consistent?
Think medium. Look at the draft paragraph by paragraph.
  • How can you make the lead more interesting?
  • How can you make the tone of the introduction match the rest of the paper?
  • Would visible structure state the focus more effectively?
  • Does each paragraph support the thesis?
  • Does each present relevant, specific evidence?
  • Should any be combined or eliminated?
  • Which do and don't use topic sentences effectively?
  • How can you improve transitions?
  • How can you make the conclusion more effective?
  • Is the tone of the conclusion appropriate?
Think small. Look at the draft sentence by sentence.
  • Which sentences are difficult to understand? How can you reword them?
  • Which sentences are too long?
  • Which short, choppy sentences can be combined?
  • Which sentences seem vague? How can you clarify them?
  • Which sentences have usage errors? How could you correct them?
Think picky. Look at your draft as the fussiest critic might.
  • Which words are unclear or not quite right? Which could you use instead?
  • Are any words spelled incorrectly?
  • Are the pages numbered consecutively?
  • Does the appearance make a good impression?
  • Is there anything else you can do to improve your draft?


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