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  • 34 Drafting2c draft

      Sports fans are an interesting breed. They have  many ways of showing support for the team they love.  Many fans perform elaborate rituals before, during,  or after a sporting event. These rituals are performed  both privately in homes with family or friends and at  the stadiums and arenas where the games take place.  Experiencing a sports competition where the fans are  participating in rituals to support the team makes the  game exciting. Some fans even believe that rituals are  necessary and that their actions influence the outcome  of a game. However, some fans go beyond cheering, and  their actions, verbal harassment, and chanted  slurs reveal a darker side of sports.

    Revising with comments Narrow your introduction unDerStanDinG tHe coMMent

    When readers point out that your introduction needs to be “narrowed,” the comment oft en signals that the beginning sentences of your essay are not specifi c or focused.

    Th is opening begins with such general statements that the purpose of the essay is unclear. To revise, the student might delete her fi rst few sentences — generalizations about sports fans and rituals — and focus on one specifi c sports ritual. She might describe how fans who wear lucky clothes, eat certain foods, or chant a particular expression think they can infl uence the outcome of a game. Using a quotation, a vivid example, or a startling statistic, the student might show how a par- ticular ritual not only unites fans but also reveals a dark side of sports. Whatever “hook” she chooses should lead readers to her thesis.

    SiMilar coMMentS: focus your intro � too general � engage your readers

    reviSinG WHen You neeD to narroW YOUR introDuction

    1. Reread your introduction and ask questions. Are the sentences lead- ing to your thesis specifi c enough to engage readers and communi- cate your purpose? Do these sentences lead logically to your thesis? Do they spark your readers’ curiosity and off er them a reason to continue reading?

    2. Try revising your introduction with a “hook” that will engage readers — a question, quotation, paradoxical statement, or vivid example.

    More advice on writing introductions: 2a

    One student wrote this introductory paragraph in response to an assignment that asked her to analyze a ritual.

    Narrow your intro duction

    02_7813_Part1_001-068.indd 34 7/26/11 9:59 AM

  • 35introduction • conclusion • global revision • big picture 3 rev

    In addition to echoing your main idea, a conclusion might

    • briefl y summarize your essay’s key points • propose a course of action • off er a recommendation • discuss the topic’s wider signifi cance or implications • pose a question for future study

    To conclude an essay analyzing the shift ing roles of women in the military services, one student discusses her topic’s implica- tions for society as a whole:

    As the military continues to train women in jobs formerly reserved for men, our understanding of women’s roles in society will no doubt continue to change. As news reports of women training for and taking part in combat operations become commonplace, reports of women becoming CEOs, police chiefs, and even president of the United States will cease to surprise us. Or perhaps we have already reached this point. — Rosa Broderick, student

    To make the conclusion memorable, you might include a detail, an example, or an image from the introduction to bring readers full circle; a quotation or a bit of dialogue; an anecdote; or a witty or ironic comment. Whatever concluding strategy you choose, keep in mind that an eff ective conclusion is decisive and unapologetic. Avoid introducing wholly new ideas at the end of an essay. And because the conclusion is so closely tied to the rest of the essay in both content and tone, be prepared to rework it (or even replace it) when you revise.

    Make global revisions; then revise sentences.3

    Revising is rarely a one-step process. Global matters — focus, purpose, organization, content, and overall strategy — generally receive attention fi rst. Improvements in sentence structure, word choice, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics come later.

    practice anD MoDelS > The writing process > 3–1 and 3–2 > Revising > Sample global revision

    > Sample sentence-level revision

    02_7813_Part1_001-068.indd 35 7/26/11 9:59 AM

  • 3a36 Revising rev

    3a Make global revisions: Think big.

    Writers oft en resist global revisions because they fi nd it diffi cult to view their work from their audience’s perspective. What is clear to them, because they know what they mean to say aft er all, is not always clear to their audience. To distance yourself from a draft , put it aside for a while, preferably overnight or even longer. When you return to it, try to play the role of your audience as you read. If possible, enlist friends or family to be the audience for your draft . Or visit your school’s writing center to go over your draft with a writing tutor. Ask your reviewers to focus on the larger issues of writing, such as purpose and organization, not on word- or sentence-level is- sues. You might begin with a basic question: Do you see my main point? Th e checklist for global revision below may help you and your reviewers get started.

    Making the most of your handbook Seeking and using feedback are critical steps in revising a college paper. ▶ Guidelines for peer

    reviewers: page 38

    checklist for global revision

    Purpose and audience

    ● Does the draft address a question, a problem, or an issue that readers care about?

    ● Is the draft appropriate for its audience? Does it account for the audience’s knowledge of and possible attitudes toward the subject?


    ● Is the thesis clear? Is it prominently placed? ● If there is no thesis, is there a good reason for omitting one? ● Scan the supporting paragraphs: Are any ideas obviously off the


    Organization and paragraphing

    ● Are there enough organizational cues for readers (such as topic sentences or headings)?

    ● Are ideas presented in a logical order? ● Are any paragraphs too long or too short for easy reading?

    02_7813_Part1_001-068.indd 36 7/26/11 9:59 AM

  • 373b global revision • big picture •

    peer review • revising sentences


    3b Revise and edit sentences.

    Much of this book off ers advice on revising sentences for clarity and on editing them for grammar, punctuation, and mechanics. Some writers handle sentence-level revisions directly at the com- puter, experimenting with a variety of possible improvements. Other writers prefer to print out a hard copy of the draft and mark it up before making changes in the fi le. Page 38 shows a rough-draft paragraph as one student edited it on-screen for a variety of sentence-level problems.


    ●● Is the supporting material relevant and persuasive? ●● Which ideas need further development? Have you left your

    reader with any unanswered questions? ●● Are the parts proportioned sensibly? Do major ideas receive

    enough attention? ●● Where might material be deleted? Look for redundant or

    irrelevant information.

    Point of view

    ●● Is the dominant point of view — fi rst person (I or we), second person ( you), or third person (he, she, it, one, or they) — appropriate for your purpose and audience? (See 13a.)

    tHe WritinG center > Resources for writers and tutors > Tips from writing tutors: Revising

    and editing

    as you write Use the Checklist for global revision (pp. 36–37) to gain perspective on your draft. Does your draft accomplish its purpose? Does it reach its audience? Share your draft with a writing center tutor or with a peer. What did you learn from the feedback you received? Take a moment to identify three or four revision goals.

    02_7813_Part1_001-068.indd 37 7/26/11 9:59 AM

  • 3b38 Revising rev

      Although some cities have found creative ways to improve access  

    to public transportation for passengers with physical disabilities, and to

    fund other programs, there have been problems in our city has struggled

    with due to the need to address budget constraints and competing needs 

    priorities. This The budget crunch has led citizens to question how funds 

    are distributed.? For example, last year when city officials voted to use

    available funds to support had to choose between allocating funds for

    accessible transportation or allocating funds to after-school programs 

    rather than transportation upgrades. , they voted for the after school

    programs. It is not clear to some citizens why these after-school

    programs are more important.

    The original paragraph was flawed by wordiness, a problem that can be addressed through any number of revisions. The fol- lowing revision would also be acceptable:

    Some cities have fund