Effective Revision

Writing Draft -2How Do I Make It Better?

Even experienced writers sometimes wonder how they can make a well written early draft even better.  Taking the time to look at your work through these specific lenses, you can improve your own writing. You will find different issues each time you read and consider whether to change or leave the writing as it is.  It’s your choice.

Five E’s.

  •  Expand – develop what is written to make ideas clearer and more interesting without being repetitive. Add more information to show rather than tell. Use carefully chosen examples from literature (any reading and viewing), life (personal experiences and observations), and lessons learned in other content area courses. This may require research to find credible sources and experts to add weight to their arguments.

  • Explain  – clarify what is written by using various reasons based on experiences and observations and lessons learned in other courses. “This is important because…”

  • Exchange and rearrange – what words can be substituted that will make the writing clearer, more interesting, more precise? Consider using more active verbs instead of passive ones with forms of the verb “to be”; more concrete nouns, more words that have the positive or negative connotations to create the desired mood in your reader. Think about ways words, sentences, paragraphs can be rearranged to make the ideas unfold more smoothly, making the thoughts less unambiguous, more interesting, and more inviting to consider. What does audience need to know before making a decision? This is why skillful informative writing is important.

  • Expunge get rid of distracting or weak words, phrases, and sentences that cloud writing that clouds and prevents ideas from shining through, glowing with authority as the writing informs, convinces, persuades, and even entertains.”

  • Enliven – -use active verbs instead of passive verbs  Use concrete nouns rather than abstract ones. Where appropriate, inject  fresh and sensory images to help read experience the ideas/concepts/feelings in your writing.

*Excerpt from TEACHING WRITING IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL: Common Core and More (2013)

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Teaching English Language Arts