Thursday, September 24, 2009

Topic: Revision and Proofreading

10-second review: For most students proofreading is the same as revision. The author of this article suggests that the instructor first read the composition through as a whole and then comment on unity, thesis, development, clarity, and smoothness which require revision. Second, read to provide corrections in sentence structure, usage, punctuation and spelling, which are the stuff of proofreading.

Title: “What about Revision?” R Baird Shuman. English Journal (December 1975), 41-43. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Comment: Provides a clear differentiation between revision and proofreading. Revision involves the whole composition. Proofreading involves the sentence and grammar.

If the instructor follows this approach to revision and proofreading, the students can soon learn to use the same approach themselves.

Unity. The writer folds a paper width-wise and on one side writes the main idea of the composition. Partner reads the composition and writes the perception of the main idea on the other side. Unfold the paper and compare main ideas. If they generally agree, the paper is probably unified.

Clarity. Partner reads the composition again. Whenever the partner encounters an idea that is not clear, the partner puts a question mark in the margin next to the sentence(s) that is/are not clear. Writer reviews the question marks, decides if the development is not complete or if the word choice is not clear and revises as necessary.

Smoothness. Tries to anticipate the awk.’s. Partner reads aloud the composition. If the partner stumbles or goes back to repeat in reading, underlines the part on which stumbled or has repeated. Writer reviews the underlined parts and decides if expression needs to be smoothed.

Spelling. Writer reads from last word to first. If you read from first to last, you will read for comprehension and will miss the details of each word. Reading from last to first focuses on the words and their details.

Grammar: Writer reads from first to last slowly in order to find the incomplete or run-on sentences, use of the passive voice, dangling modifiers, problems in parallelism, sexist language, usage and punctuation, etc.


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