Revision Isolation Exercises
- Assign each of your sources a color and highlight every bit of source material you use from them.
- Colors should overlap when you are synthesizing.
- Make sure no color dominates your pages or the paper
- Make sure you have source material balanced throughout the paper
- Have you really, I mean REALLY explained the connection between your two synthesized sources, or did you just take the easy way out and say “agrees” or “disagrees”?
- Are their any of your MAIN sources you only use once? That’s a no-no.
Opposing/Alternative Viewpoints Station
- Read your paper for opposing or alternate viewpoints to your own.
- Circle the entire moment where you consider and embody that viewpoint.
- Is it long enough? Does it have sources (it really should)?
- Now circle the moment where you argue your way out of that viewpoint.
- Is that rebuttal moment long and thorough too?
- Mark each of the first times you use your sources.
- Number them.
- There should be at least eight.
- Now, wherever you placed each of those numbers, there should be a FULL introduction of that source. Name or names of author(s), name of “article,” (in quotation marks) and the name of publication (in italics) where article was published.
- Now look through the paper and make sure that EVERY time you used a source, you provided some analysis of it and explained how it fit into the moment or into the paper’s greater purpose.
- Remember, the general rule is 2-3 sentences to explain EACH bit of source material you use.
- Be sure to follow the above and don’t end paragraphs on citations!
- Make sure you use direct quotations and find each of the quotations in your essay.
- Make sure it is clear who is being quoted.
- Is it YOUR source or your source’s source? Be certain to clearly explain where the material is coming from and use the citation method of (qtd. in…) if necessary.
- When using words of attribution such as, “writes” and “says,” be certain that you are quoting at that moment not paraphrasing. If you are paraphrasing from your source, you can use words such as, “believes, contends, argues,” etc.
- Is it a crouton? In other words, have you led into the quote with your own voice rather than just sticking the quote in without fully explaining how it fits into your paragraph/argument?
- Consider if it is necessary to include the entire quote. Snippets are usually better. Use only what you need and fold it into your own writing. Is it really something that needs to be quoted, or are you just using it to fulfill my two uses of each source rule?
- If you can say it better…then PARAPHRASE!
- Check each of your entries on your Works Cited page against what the Penguin tells you.
- Watch details! Periods, dates, order of names, etc.
- Now check your in text citations.
- Does the first word of the WC page entry appear in the parenthetical?
- Do you have page numbers in the parentheticals if the source is a print source?
- Is your Works Cited page in alphabetical order?
Topic Sentence/Transition Station
- Does each body paragraph of your paper have a sentence that states clearly what the point of that paragraph is.
- Do the first sentence of each paragraph and the last sentence of each paragraph transition nicely to and from the other paragraphs?
- When using metadiscourse anywhere in your paper, have you carefully picked out the words or just thrown them in to transition? Remember, transitions can help with meaning!
- Does your header have four lines
- Does each page (including WC page) have your last name and the page number in a font that’s the same as the rest of your paper
- Is the Works Cited page double-spaced? Are second, thirds lines indented? Are the entries alphabetized? Are there URLs? There shouldn’t be.
- Is the paper set up like the sample?
Thesis and Structure Station
- Write your complete thesis as big as you can on an index card
- Is the thesis within the first 1-3 paragraphs of your paper so that your reader knows what’s ahead?
- In the margin of your paper and in four words or less, next to each paragraph write what that one paragraph is about. Is it about ONE thing?
- Read your thesis statement repeatedly. Does each paragraph contribute to the thesis and purpose of the paper.
- In each of your paragraphs have you made sure to nod to, echo, or use key words from your thesis statement.
©Created by Christine Cucciarre, firstname.lastname@example.org