In Chapter 2: The Second Draft, you learned how to use margin comments to improve certain sections of the academic essay, which include the introduction, thesis, topic sentences, supporting evidence, transitions, analysis, and conclusion.
Throughout the process of learning how to apply comments in Chapter 2, you also learned how to recognize both positive and negative replies; how to recognize an “unclear” statement and provide definitions for terms you want to use within your paper; and how to outline distinctions. For example, a paper that lacks coherence, logic, and sense often will frustrate the teacher’s ability to grade the essay fairly. In addition, too many different types of statements within one paragraph will cause the whole paper to suffer greatly, because you will end up walking the reader through a forest of trees with no clear, discernible path or direction.
Ensuring that your analysis is both precise and detailed is a difficult task, because you believe it is your duty to add as much detail to a particular paragraph to satisfy your teacher. However, this same teacher will criticize you for adding too much detail in another paragraph. Although this seems unfair, there isn’t a true standard for teaching revision and for administering comments. Professors and teachers alike take a student’s paper, mark it up in red, and add a comment to the end or to the margin just to inform the student that he or she has made a mistake.
Rarely do we see teachers use comments to help students actually improve their writing. They may use a check mark or add a statement at the end of the essay that basically provides the student with positive feedback, but not enough instructors teach revision that includes incorporating margin comments to help students address areas of their papers that need extensive improvement. Students need to understand how a faulty thesis affects the whole paper, how a quote doesn’t always support a topic sentence, and how unverified assumptions affect the analysis.
Each part in a paper is connected, interrelated and interdependent. The thesis can’t survive without the introduction paragraph and the topic sentence can’t survive without the thesis. Chapter 2 provides solutions for students who need to clarify the content within some parts of the paper, outline better arguments by developing a solid stance, and organize information so that each section of the paper fulfills its purpose.
With this in mind, Chapter 3: The Third Draft highlights the importance of revising papers for sentence structure. Although Chapter 3 is a shorter chapter in comparison to the previous one, it offers specific solutions for repairing and correcting passive voice and it also provides proofreading tips. During the process of revising the third draft, you will undoubtedly have problems with logic, sentences, grammar, and punctuation. Because the first two drafts require so much extensive editing and restructuring, it is likely your sentences also need correction. Therefore, in this chapter, you will learn briefly about different verbs, passive construction, and active voice; and you will review typical comments professors use to highlight grammar problems within your paper.
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