Thursday, December 6, 2007

Professional Journals on Writing 25

What is meant by revising? Students have been so intimidated in their grade-school classrooms by Mrs. Grundy’s standards of neatness that they may interpret our assignments to revise as requests merely to recopy an original to improve the appearance on the page. EP Maimon. College Composition and Communication (Dec. 79), 367.

How teach revision? Give students copies of our own first drafts with revisions so that they can visualize the process of revision. EP Maimon. College Composition and Communication (Dec. 79), 367.

How define revision? …identifies two kinds of revision: external revision (preparing the writing for a reader) and internal revision (discovering meaning, structure, preferred word choices, voice in what one has written). DM Murray in RL Larson. College Composition and Communication (May 79), 208.

How define revision? Revision is usually equated with cleanliness; to revise is to groom, to polish, to order, and to tidy-up one’s writing. The message communicated to students is that revision is the act of cleaning prose of all its linguistic litter. NI Sommers. College Composition and Communication (Feb. 79), 48. [RayS: I define the use of a knowledge of grammar in editing as the process of polishing prose. I define revision as adding, deleting, substituting and moving words, phrases, clauses, sentences and paragraphs.]

How define revision? The use of such temporal phrases as ‘the final aspect of the composing process is revision…’ or ‘after a writer writes, he revises…’ equate revision with an activity that is separate in quality and isolated in time from writing. NI Sommers. College Composition and Communication (Feb. 79), 48. [RayS: In my sequence of the writing process, students, once they have defined their thesis sentence, complete a quick first draft that is then revised and edited. I consider it important to put down a first draft right to the summarizing paragraph—a first draft that is then reworked. Sommers seems to envision a process that begins at the beginning with the introductory material and works steadily through the thesis, the middle paragraphs and the final summarizing paragraph, revising and editing as she goes. That’s not the way I write, but I can understand that once people understand the structure of expository writing, they might prefer to write in that way.]

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