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Revision Strategies

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Amy Rains

on 30 November 2017

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Transcript of Revision Strategies

Revision Strategies
Before you begin...
Understand that there are TWO levels of revision:

1) Higher Order Concerns (HOCS)
2) Lower Order Concerns (LOCS)

ALWAYS start with HOCS before moving to LOCS
Higher Order Concerns
THESIS: This is the most important part of your paper. It drives everything that follows.

1) Can you clearly identify the thesis? Is it in the right place?

2) Is the thesis specific enough to encompass all of the points you are addressing your paper?

Higher Order Concerns
Body Paragraphs: It is important that each paragraph is focused and detailed so the reader can fully grasp your argument.

1) Look at your topic sentence. Does your body paragraph focus ONLY on what is listed there?

Higher Order Concerns
Introductory Sentences: These sentences make sure your reader knows what each paragraph is going to be about.

1) Do you have a topic sentence that matches EACH part of your thesis?

2) Do any topic sentences introduce an idea that is NOT mentioned in your thesis?
Try writing a reverse outline: Copy your thesis statement into a blank Word document. Then, copy each of your topic sentences into that Word document. Look at this skeleton version of your argument and make sure every topic sentence directly relates to the thesis, and that each one makes an actual claim.
Ask someone to read your intro paragraph and thesis and guess what the following paper is about. Is their guess accurate?
Remember ICE: Introduce, Cite, Explain. A highlighting exercise can be done here to make sure you ONLY have I's, C's, and E's in each paragraph: Try highlighting each I, C, and E in a different color. Anything that remains unhighlighted is probably a digression that can be eliminated.
Higher Order Concerns
Conclusion: The Conclusion should wrap up your main points and address a broader sense of significance.

1) Do you restate your thesis in a new way?

2) Do you answer the "so what" question?
Ask someone to read the conclusion paragraph. Can they tell from that paragraph alone what your argument was about and why it is important?

Now, look back at the assignment sheet and make sure that argument and sense of significance match the requirements laid out by your professor.
Higher Order Concerns
Organization: Your paper should flow smoothly and logically from one point to the next with NO disconnects.

1) Think about the order you've placed your body paragraphs in. Does that order make sense given the purpose of the assignment? Can you think of any possible way to organize those paragraphs more effectively?

2) As you read through your paper, notice any paragraph jumps that may be lacking transitions.
Make a note to the side of each paragraph that succinctly sums up what that paragraph is all about. Looking at just those notes, do you see a logical progression of points? Use those notes to help you add any transitions that may be needed as well.
Body Paragraphs Continued: Each paragraph should also be as detailed as possible in regards to the single focal point.

1) Do you have at least one specific example to support your point?

2) Is the paragraph long enough to fully support your claim?

2) Is YOUR voice the main one coming through, or do you rely too much on summary/outside sources?
As you read through your paragraph, ask yourself "How so?" and "Why?" after each claim you make. Do you fully answer those questions? If not, you may need to add some elaboration or additional examples.
Higher Order Concerns
Lower Order Concerns
Sentence structure should be complete and varied.

1) Do each of your sentences express a complete thought with a subject AND a verb?

2) Do you have a nice combination of short and long sentences?
Read your paper out loud. If at any point you find yourself out of breath, that's a good indication that a sentence is too long and needs to be broken up. Similarly, if you find yourself reading in a choppy/monotonous tone, that's a good indication that your sentences are either incomplete or simply too short.
Lower Order Concerns
Punctuation should be used appropriately.

1) Do you have periods at the end of every sentence?

2) Do you see a lot of unnecessary commas?

3) Do you notice any other punctuation errors that frequently occur?

Read your paper from the last sentence to the first sentence to check for small grammar issues. Similarly, read each sentence completely backwards to check for spelling errors.
Lower Order Concerns
All citations should be formatted correctly

1) Do you put quotation marks at the beginning AND end of each quote?

2) Do you have a parenthetical citation for EVERY quote/ paraphrase?

3) Do you put the period AFTER the parenthetical citation?
Proofread through your cited material extra carefully in order to avoid small errors that could result in accusation of plagiarism. Always double check your citation format with the current MLA/APA handbook.
Example Intro and Thesis
Romantic comedies are an excellent source of entertainment. These films allow viewers to experience that magical, perfect kind of love that everyone hopes for in their own lives. While these films are indeed entertaining, however, they are also highly implausible. Specifically, the women in these movies do not exist in real life. This is a problem, for the women who make up this genre's primary audience can become negatively affected by the emphasis on such unattainable ideals.
Common romantic comedy archetypes like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the Young But Perfect Mom, and the Skinny Over-Eater are just a few of the many fictional creations that damage women's general concept of their own self image.
Example Topic Sentences
Common romantic comedy archetypes like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the Young But Perfect Mom, and the Skinny Over-Eater are just a few of the many fictional creations that damage women's general concept of their own self-image.

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is perhaps the most pervasive of these damaging archetypes in the romantic comedy genre.

Just as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl fosters unrealistic personal expectations, the Young But Perfect Mom encourages viewers to seek an unattainable goal of perfection.

Sandra Bullock's character in
Two Weeks Notice
is constantly ordering massive quantities of food, yet her physique remains idyllic.
Perhaps the most dangerous of the three archetypes discussed here is the Skinny Over-Eater.

Example Body Paragraph
Perhaps the most dangerous of the three archetypes discussed here is the Skinny Over-Eater. Sandra Bullock's character in
Two Weeks Notice
, for example, is constantly ordering massive quantities of food, yet her physique remains idyllic. It's almost cruel to suggest that a woman can eat whatever she wants whenever she wants and still maintain a perfect body shape. My mom cries uncontrollably every time she sees characters like this because she has a thyroid problem and always has to be careful with her food choices.
Explain what this archetype is like before giving an example of one.
Continue elaborating in order to explain WHY this is so cruel.
Example Organization
Manic Pixie fosters unrealistic expectations in regards to personality

Skinny Over-Eater creates damaging self-esteem issues concerning body image

Young/Perfect Mom fosters unrealistic expectations in regards to motherhood

Paragraph Notes In Order:
Example Conclusion
The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the Young but Perfect Mom, and the Skinny Over-Eater only scratch the surface in regards to the high volume of implausible female archetypes in the entertainment industry. There are countless other character types that place equally damaging expectations on female audiences, and the influence of this phenomenon can be felt around the globe.
In the end, this persistent stereotyping serves as a reminder that there will always be those who try to place women in the role of the subservient or bully women into behaving in a particular way. It is left to the real women off-screen, then, to rise above such limitations and be the standout in a world full of cookie-cutter characters.
Example Proofreading Session
Nathan Rabin coined the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl to describe Kirsten Dunst's character in the movie “Elizabethtown,” because this girl can’t be pinned down and may or may not show up when you make concrete plans with her. She wears gauzy blouses. She wears her hair in braids. She dances in the rain. She might spin a globe, place her finger on a random spot, and decide to move there.
." This
She wears gauzy blouses, puts her hair in braids, and dances in the rain.
This poor, skinny actress who actually
weight to play the likable lead character has frequent lines in which she has to defend her love of unhealthy food. "When I get stressed, I just eat. I eat cheesecake," she exclaims (
Two Weeks Notice
). If you look closely, you can see, this woman’s ribs through the dress she’s wearing that’s how skinny she is, this cheesecake-loving cow.
Example Proofreading Session
Example Proofreading Session
According to Kaling, "there are many specimens of women in romantic comedies that, like Vulcans or Mothra, do not exist in real life." (24)
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