We are beginning this week thinking about completing the phased writing process. Phase Three is essentially mechanical/technical editing of your Phase Two document — it doesn’t happen in a new document. You just make changes to your Phase Two. In order to satisfy the Phase Three requirement for this week (and to include with your portfolio at the end of the semester), you’ll be making a new document in which you reflect on the editing that you need to do to your Phase Two in order to turn it into your final draft.
Open a new document and title it Phase Three; it should include sections on the following three prompts: Top Twenty, Three Questions, and Five Keys. You’ll complete those sectiosn of the document by following the steps below:
- Read the following resource thoroughly: The Top Twenty Errors in Undergraduate Writing (composed by the Hume Center for Writing and Speaking at Stanford University). Choose a handful of the errors from that list that you struggle with the most. What sentences from your Phase Two reflect “errors” that are named on the Stanford site, and how can you best rebuild those sentences in your own writing (include both your original sentence and the revision).
- Examine your writing at the sentence level, and choose some that don’t seem to be clear to you (or someone you’ve asked to look at your writing). Ask three important questions about these sentences: Is this sentence clear? Is the tone of this sentence academic (rather than general)? Can you choose a new sentence structure that makes improves its language? Provide a list of at least three sentences along with possible revisions along with reflection for why one sentence is an improvement over the other.
- Finally, reflect on my five keys to more effective editing below. Do the same as above: include sentences that could be improved by the items on this list and offer a possible revision that will go into your assignment.
- Reduce wordy or vague language.
- Reduce pronouns and replace with more specific words.
- Reduce use of “to be” verb constructions (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been).
- Reduce sentence completion issues (fragments, run ons, and comma splices).
- Rebuild sentences that start with “There,” “It,” or “That”; when you remove those words, rebuild the sentence so that its idea is more clear.
Your Phase Three document will consist of three sections, matching to the ones above, and will include pairs of sentences — one that appears in your Phase Two and one that is a stronger, clear version with some reflection in each section about what you’re learning by picking those sentences/issues out.
Submit that document to the #phasedwriting channel by Friday. Remember: your Phase Three document is not a final draft of your writing, it’s a document that reflects on possible revisions to that document based on the prompts above.