Some good questions to ask yourself when revising your writing:
- What is my topic (response to the reading)? This is especially important. If you can’t figure out what your topic is, your paper needs serious work!
- Do I have a clear introduction, body with at least two paragraphs, and conclusion? This is also quite important.
- Do I have enough strong examples backing up my response? This is another really important one.
- A good way to answer these first three questions is to make an OUTLINE of your existing paper. Re-write your thesis exactly as it appears in your paper. Make a list of each supporting example you have backing up your thesis. If you can’t do this, that’s a sign that your paper is lacking a topic, support for that topic, or both.
- Do I fully EXPLAIN and CLARIFY everything I say to support my response? This is also very important.
- Can a reader follow my paper?
- You are NOT just writing to me; I don’t grade and don’t even get to read your real CATW essays! You are writing a paper that any student could read and understand, no matter whether they have taken our class or not.
- Is my writing consistent?
- Are there unnecessary switches in verb tense?
- Do you go off on tangents?
- Do you mix up words or get information wrong?
- Does my writing flow evenly and clearly?
- Do I have too much summary?
- Am I using quotations properly, if I use them?
- Do I have spelling errors?
- Do I mix up words that sound the same?
- Do I follow SUBJECT-VERB-OBJECT sentence structure properly?
- Do I use complete sentences?
- Do I capitalize everything that needs to be capitalized?
I hope this is helpful,
Prof. Jaime Weida