Chapter 10: Revising the Conclusion (The Fifth Draft)

Overview

In Chapter 9: Revising the Analysis, you learned valuable tips for repairing and correcting the analysis parts of your paper. In the chapter, you reviewed important composition terms necessary for defining and learning before revising the analysis sections of your papers. In other words, understanding what you are doing is the mission of Chapter 9 and it should be the mission of every student beginning the tasks of writing and revising the academic essay. In essence, reviewing the definitions of the terms within the instruction of an essay prompt is important to understanding what the professor desires for you to accomplish with the paper.

Specifically, Chapter 9 introduced step-by-step guides for removing plot summary, correcting mismatched chronology, and yanking irrelevant supporting evidence. The ANALYSIS acronym provided sample tasks that allowed you to take those areas of the chapter separately and apply key principles while revising your essay. Confronting one task at a time is important to the post-writing evaluation process, because it is indeed overwhelming. You need direction at the beginning while revising your essays, because you often don’t know where to start or the first area to correct.

Throughout the process of incorporating the principles of this glossary, we both learned the importance of following instructions, developing an essay that fully reflects the instruction (essay prompt) upon which the paper is based, and ensuring that the academic paper represents a complete product. In essence, an essay is only complete, provided it fulfills the professor’s requirements and the essay prompt.

Ensuring that a paper is complete is no easy task, because there are so many factors to consider. Some of these factors include revising to ensure that you have incorporated appropriate supporting evidence, redefined the thesis, maintained the tone and direction for the paper, and redeveloped an analysis that best reflects college-level critical thinking. Although the task of completing a paper is oftentimes difficult, it is nonetheless necessary for both academic and professional development. Students must learn the value in finishing a goal and achieving an objective to the end. As eternal students, we all must understand the importance of endurance, persistence, and perseverance. These are character-building qualities that each individual must confront in their lifetime.

With this in mind, Chapter 10: Revising the Conclusion is the last chapter of the glossary. In a sense, the chapter “completes” our process. It is shorter than the previous chapters and it offers powerful tips and examples to help you reach the end of your own journey.

The chapter provides two margin comments: “Well Done” and “Well Written and Researched.” These two comments reflect the goals of the book, which are to help you begin and finish the task of revising academic essays. Finishing the task doesn’t end at checking the paper for grammar. Proofreading the paper for grammar should be the very last step of the revision process. When you revise your paper, you must give attention to the thesis, topic sentences, body paragraphs, supporting evidence, and the analysis.

For example, how you structure the essay is just as important as the thesis you use. If we can’t locate the topic sentence for each paragraph, then we won’t know if a body paragraph actually supports the ideas of the topic and the thesis. In addition, how you structure the analysis is also important, because we need to be able to differentiate your explanation statements from your evaluation statements. Every part of an essay is important and necessary to fulfilling the goal of the class assignment.

Therefore, as you revise your papers, you must consider that every element of the paper requires revision. Checking each sentence should be your main goal. For example, you should check to make sure that the explanation sentence you use after a quote actually “explains” the quote. You should revise all prep statements that don’t have any relation to the quote you incorporate. You should revise all topic sentences that do not directly support the thesis. In essence, taking each sentence line-by-line and examining, evaluating, and revising it is a process called developmental editing, or line editing. It is a standard procedure traditional publishing editors use to restructure and copyedit a manuscript at the sentence level. Editors take a manuscript and edit chapters, sections, and paragraphs for stylistic and structural reasons. They tend to work primarily with fictional works.

This overview of the role of developmental editors is definitely applicable to our discussion. Although you may not have experience in developmental editing, you are, nonetheless, capable of examining your essay to ensure that it fully represents a completed work according to the instructions of the essay prompt. You are capable of beginning, enduring, and ending a goal. Since you are capable of this, then you are also capable of examining, revising, and completing your paper. Always remember that just because you type the last sentence on the last page doesn’t mean that you are finished with the task of writing. As soon as you finish writing, you have just begun the process of revising the essay. Your first draft is never your perfect draft. Your second draft is never really the last one either. You can expect your fourth or fifth draft to reflect the full instructions of the assignment.

Therefore, be prepared to finish. This means that you will undoubtedly have to develop a revision plan. The plan will include a revision time schedule, a list of areas you believe need revising, and a checklist for ensuring that you fulfill the essay prompt. The checklist is a bulleted list of the prompt in outline form. This means you would break down the prompt and list each of its parts, so you can use it as a checklist against your paper. Once you have developed a sound revision plan and implemented it, and actually revised the work, only then will you be able to submit a final draft suitable for grading.

Chapter 10 explores the concept of ensuring that your paper represents a complete product by including a common example related to the subject of baking. In addition, the chapter ends with a comment on the concept of developing sound research. The overall purpose of this chapter is to teach you the importance of finishing and finishing well.

The comment titles below fall under the fifth draft. Click on any one of the links to access content.

Well Done
Well Written and Researched

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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