Writing Project 4: Revision Project

Writing Project 4: Revision Project

Final Due (Revised Project and Cover Letter): Finals Week [TBA]

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Purpose: In keeping with the English 101 goal for students to “revise to improve their own writing” and to “critique their own writing and revise to improve global qualities (focus, development, organization) as well as local qualities (style, usage), this assignment will enable you to revisit a previous assignment to strengthen your response.

Description: For this assignment, you have the option of revising Writing Project 1 or 2. In order to succeed, revisions must go beyond editing. In revising your project, you should make a concerted effort to “re-see” and rethink the overall focus, development, organization and approach of the project. The emphasis, in other words, will be on large-scale or global revision. Evaluation will be based, in part, on the overall effort you make in revising—the degree to which you make changes that significantly affect the quality and clarity of your project.

While the emphasis is on large-scale changes to focus and development of ideas, you are expected to revise all aspects of the project including organization, paragraphing, coherence of points, style, sentence structure, and usage (spelling, punctuation and grammar). You should use any previous comments on the project as a guide for revising; however, you should also move beyond those comments to application of your own revisions/refinements. Instead, use the comments as a guide to exploring your own methods for improving the overall project.

Format: Your revision paper should be accompanied by the original copy of the paper you chose to revise, and your cover letter (see below) should be attached.

Cover Letter: Attach to your revision a 500-word (typed, double-spaced) letter, explaining what significant changes you made, why you made the changes you made, and what you perceive as the effect of those changes on the paper, overall. You might reflect on how you went about revising your original essay—the choices you made, the problems you tried to address—in other words, where and why you added new text, where and why you deleted old, where and why you changed existing text.

GRADING CRITERIA*

Revision Project:

Thesis/Main idea:

Is my thesis or main idea clear? Does it guide the content and organization of my paper? Does it take a strong stand, come to an important point, or make a significant claim? Do I stick to this main idea throughout my paper?

Content and Supporting Evidence:

Does ALL of the content I included support my theme? Are there any irrelevant pieces I can eliminate? Do I support each claim with valid evidence? Is my supporting evidence effective for my genre? Does it come from a reliable source? Does my supporting evidence prove or explain the point I am trying to make? If applicable, do I use quotations effectively and sparingly (relying primarily on my own thoughts and voice)? Is all outside information cited both in-text and in a Works Cited page?

Coherence and Organization:

Does my paper make sense? Is it broken into manageable paragraphs? Does each paragraph stick to only one topic (but cover that topic fully)? Are there any issues I bring up twice that would be better off presented together? Does it follow a logical, topical organization pattern? Are transitions smooth, natural, and effective?

Introduction and Conclusion:

Does my introduction effectively “set up” my main idea? Does it give adequate (but not excessive) background information? Does it “hook” the reader somehow? Does my conclusion effectively “wrap up” the paper without giving a step-by-step recap? Does it bring the paper full circle, back to the main? Does it explain the importance of or state the implications of my central claim/main idea?

Sentence-Level Revision:

Are my sentences clear and concise? Did I read them out loud to ensure that they are fluent and easy to read? Are they specific? Do they offer concrete detail? Do I use the right words to convey my message? Is my tone appropriate for the genre?

Spelling, Grammar, and Formatting:

Does my paper follow the conventions of Standard Written English? Did I proofread it for spelling and grammatical issues? Does it follow MLA formatting conventions (see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/)?

An above-average paper will show evidence of substantial revision based on all of the criteria listed above, as well as other criteria that the author deems important. An average paper will show evidence of revision based on all of the criteria listed above. A below-average paper will show evidence of revision based on several of the above criteria.

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