Thursday, August 23, 2007

Be Your Own Editor 02

Question: How can I learn to edit and revise my own writing?

Answer: While I think you would learn to recognize your own mistakes from my showing you how to edit and revise your personal ten-minute essays, maybe the next best assistance is to try to edit other students’ 10-minute essays.

Here are my directions from yesterday's blog: Following is a 10-minute essay from a college English class. Try to correct the essay yourself. While not as challenging as Sudoku, revising the essay is probably more practical, if half the fun. Then check the next day’s blog to see how I corrected it. Compare. Did we agree? Note that my revisions are merely suggestions. If you think I have improved the expression, try to figure out how I did it. I will give you some clues about what I am looking for by putting problems in the original essay in bold-face print.

And do not hesitate to send your own 10-minute essays to I believe that if you do so for 5 days a week for 3 weeks, you will learn to recognize and correct the problems I have been discussing in this blog.

Below is the original ten-minute essay that I gave you yesterday followed by my suggested revisions.

Original Ten-Minute Essay
..........This weekend I went to the University of Delaware with a couple of friends to visit some of our former classmates. All of us had a great time. We walked all over Newark, we visited all of the dorms, and met numerous people.
..........The campus was great it was kind of big but well worth the effort to walk around. I think that I might transfer to "U of D" because it's only 15 to 20 minutes away from my home, the campus setting was great, and the people seemed very nice.
..........I asked the students I met questions about classes and they said that, the only aspect they did not like about the university was the size of the classes. They said that they were really big and that the professor did not get to know you because there are so many students to a class room.

Suggested Revisions
……….This weekend I went to the University of Delaware with a couple of friends to meet some of our former classmates from high school. We had an enjoyable time, walked all over Newark, visited the dorms and met numerous people.
………The campus was extensive, but well worth the effort to walk around it. I think that I might transfer to “U of D” because my home is only 15 to 20 minutes from the university, the setting is attractive and the students I met seemed pleasant and friendly.
………I asked questions about classes and the students said that class size was the only negative aspect of the university. Professors had difficulty learning to know individuals in classrooms with more than 100 students.

Note: I tried to make the expression more concise, more specific in choice of words and more consistent in point of view.

Next: Another original 10-minute essay to revise and edit.

All the best. RayS.

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