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Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Writers by Nancy Sommers (1)
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Nick Hanhan Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers Author(s): Nancy Sommers Source: College Composition and Communication, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Dec., 1980), pp. 378-388 Published by: National Council of Teachers of English Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/356588 Accessed: 07/05/2010 11:18 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=ncte. 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National Council of Teachers of English is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to College Composition and Communication. http://www.jstor.org Revision Revision Revision Strategies Strategies Strategies of of of Student Student Student Writers Writers Writers and and and Experienced Experienced Experienced Adult Adult Adult Writers Writers Writers Nancy Nancy Nancy Sommers Sommers Sommers Although Although Although various various various aspects aspects aspects of of of the the the writing writing writing process process process have have have been been been studied studied studied exten- exten- exten- sively sively sively of of of late, late, late, research research research on on on revision revision revision has has has been been been notably notably notably absent. absent. absent. The The The reason reason reason for for for this, this, this, I I I suspect, suspect, suspect, is is is that that that current current current models models models of of of the the the writing writing writing process process process have have have directed directed directed attention attention attention away away away from from from revision. revision. revision. With With With few few few exceptions, exceptions, exceptions, these these these models models models are are are linear; linear; linear; they they they separate separate separate the the the writing writing writing process process process into into into discrete discrete discrete stages. stages. stages. Two Two Two representative representative representative models models models are are are Gordon Gordon Gordon Rohman's Rohman's Rohman's suggestion suggestion suggestion that that that the the the composing composing composing process process process moves moves moves from from from prewriting prewriting prewriting to to to writing writing writing to to to rewriting rewriting rewriting and and and James James James Britton's Britton's Britton's model model model of of of the the the writing writing writing process process process as as as a a a series series series of of of stages stages stages described described described in in in metaphors metaphors metaphors of of of linear linear linear growth, growth, growth, conception-incubation-production.1 conception-incubation-production.1 conception-incubation-production.1 What What What is is is striking striking striking about about about these these these theories theories theories of of of writing writing writing is is is that that that they they they model model model themselves themselves themselves on on on speech: speech: speech: Rohman Rohman Rohman defines defines defines the the the writer writer writer in in in a a a way way way that that that cannot cannot cannot distinguish distinguish distinguish him him him from from from a a a speaker speaker speaker ("A ("A ("A writer writer writer is is is a a a man man man who who who ... ... ... puts puts puts [his] [his] [his] experience experience experience into into into words words words in in in his his his own own own mind"-p. mind"-p. mind"-p. 15); 15); 15); and and and Britton Britton Britton bases bases bases his his his theory theory theory of of of writing writing writing on on on what what what he he he calls calls calls (following (following (following Jakobson) Jakobson) Jakobson) the the the "expressiveness" "expressiveness" "expressiveness" of of of speech.2 speech.2 speech.2 Moreover, Moreover, Moreover, Britton's Britton's Britton's study study study itself itself itself follows follows follows the the the "linear "linear "linear model" model" model" of of of the the the relation relation relation of of of thought thought thought and and and language language language in in in speech speech speech proposed proposed proposed by by by Vygotsky, Vygotsky, Vygotsky, a a a relationship relationship relationship embodied embodied embodied in in in the the the linear linear linear movement movement movement "from "from "from the the the motive motive motive which which which engenders engenders engenders a a a thought thought thought to to to the the the shaping shaping shaping of of of the the the thought, thought, thought, first first first in in in inner inner inner speech, speech, speech, then then then in in in meanings meanings meanings of of of words, words, words, and and and finally finally finally in in in words" words" words" (quoted (quoted (quoted in in in Britton, Britton, Britton, p. p. p. 40). 40). 40). What What What this this this movement movement movement fails fails fails to to to take take take into into into account account account in in in its its its linear linear linear structure- structure- structure- "first "first "first ... ... ... then then then . . . . . . . . . finally"-is finally"-is finally"-is the the the recursive recursive recursive shaping shaping shaping of of of thought thought thought by by by language; language; language; what what what it it it fails fails fails to to to take take take into into into account account account is is is revision. revision. revision. In In In these these these linear linear linear conceptions conceptions conceptions of of of the the the writing writing writing process process process revision revision revision is is is understood understood understood as as as a a a separate separate separate stage stage stage at at at the the the end end end of of of the the the process-a process-a process-a stage stage stage that that that comes comes comes after after after the the the completion completion completion of of of a a a first first first or or or second second second draft draft draft and and and one one one that that that is is is temporally temporally temporally distinct distinct distinct from from from the the the prewriting prewriting prewriting and and and writing writing writing stages stages stages of of of the the the process.3 process.3 process.3 The The The linear linear linear model model model bases bases bases itself itself itself on on on speech speech speech in in in two two two specific specific specific ways. ways. ways. First First First of of of all, all, all, it it it is is is based based based on on on traditional traditional traditional rhetorical rhetorical rhetorical models, models, models, models models models that that that were were were created created created to to to serve serve serve the the the spoken spoken spoken art art art of of of oratory. oratory. oratory. In In In whatever whatever whatever ways ways ways the the the parts parts parts of of of classical classical classical rhetoric rhetoric rhetoric are are are Nancy Nancy Nancy Sommers, Sommers, Sommers, formerly formerly formerly Director Director Director of of of Composition Composition Composition at at at the the the University University University of of of Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, is is is now now now Adjunct Adjunct Adjunct Assistant Assistant Assistant Professor Professor Professor at at at New New New York York York University. University. University. She She She has has has taught taught taught writing writing writing at at at Boston Boston Boston Univer- Univer- Univer- sity, sity, sity, the the the Harvard Harvard Harvard Graduate Graduate Graduate School School School of of of Business Business Business Administration, Administration, Administration, and and and the the the Polaroid Polaroid Polaroid Corporation. Corporation. Corporation. An An An NCTE NCTE NCTE Promising Promising Promising Researcher Researcher Researcher for for for her her her studies studies studies of of of the the the processes processes processes of of of revising, revising, revising, she she she is is is writing writing writing a a a research research research monograph monograph monograph on on on revision. revision. revision. 378 378 378 Revision Revision Revision Strategies Strategies Strategies 379 379 379 described, described, described, they they they offer offer offer "stages" "stages" "stages" of of of composition composition composition that that that are are are repeated repeated repeated in in in contem- contem- contem- porary porary porary models models models of of of the the the writing writing writing process. process. process. Edward Edward Edward Corbett, Corbett, Corbett, for for for instance, instance, instance, describes describes describes the the the "five "five "five parts parts parts of of of a a a discourse"-inventio, discourse"-inventio, discourse"-inventio, dispositio, dispositio, dispositio, elocutio, elocutio, elocutio, memoria, memoria, memoria, pronuntiatio-and, pronuntiatio-and, pronuntiatio-and, disregarding disregarding disregarding the the the last last last two two two parts parts parts since since since "after "after "after rhetoric rhetoric rhetoric came came came to to to be be be concerned concerned concerned mainly mainly mainly with with with written written written discourse, discourse, discourse, there there there was was was no no no further further further need need need to to to deal deal deal with with with them,"4 them,"4 them,"4 he he he produces produces produces a a a model model model very very very close close close to to to Britton's Britton's Britton's conception conception conception [inventio], [inventio], [inventio], incubation incubation incubation [dispositio], [dispositio], [dispositio], production production production [elocutio]. [elocutio]. [elocutio]. Other Other Other rhetorics rhetorics rhetorics also also also follow follow follow this this this procedure, procedure, procedure, and and and they they they do do do so so so not not not simply simply simply because because because of of of historical historical historical acci- acci- acci- dent. dent. dent. Rather, Rather, Rather, the the the process process process represented represented represented in in in the the the linear linear linear model model model is is is based based based on on on the the the irreversibility irreversibility irreversibility of of of speech. speech. speech. Speech, Speech, Speech, Roland Roland Roland Barthes Barthes Barthes says, says, says, "is "is "is irreversible": irreversible": irreversible": "A "A "A word word word cannot cannot cannot be be be retracted, retracted, retracted, except except except precisely precisely precisely by by by saying saying saying that that that one one one retracts retracts retracts it. it. it. To To To cross cross cross out out out here here here is is is to to to add: add: add: if if if I I I want want want to to to erase erase erase what what what I I I have have have just just just said, said, said, I I I cannot cannot cannot do do do it it it without without without showing showing showing the the the eraser eraser eraser itself itself itself (I (I (I must must must say: say: say: 'or 'or 'or rather rather rather ..' ..' ..' 'I 'I 'I expressed expressed expressed myself myself myself badly badly badly .. .. .. .'); .'); .'); paradoxically, paradoxically, paradoxically, it it it is is is ephemeral ephemeral ephemeral speech speech speech which which which is is is I think thats why i always preferred writing because you can’t delete any of stuff indelible, indelible, indelible, not not not monumental monumental monumental writing. writing. writing. All All All that that that one one one can can can do do do in in in the the the case case case of of of a a a spoken spoken spoken utterance utterance utterance maybe you didn’t like, like in writing is is is to to to tack tack tack on on on another another another utterance."5 utterance."5 utterance."5 What What What is is is impossible impossible impossible in in in speech speech speech is is is revision: revision: revision: like like like the the the example example example Barthes Barthes Barthes gives, gives, gives, revi- revi- revi- sion sion sion in in in speech speech speech is is is an an an afterthought. afterthought. afterthought. In In In the the the same same same way, way, way, each each each stage stage stage of of of the the the linear linear linear model model model must must must be be be exclusive exclusive exclusive (distinct (distinct (distinct from from from the the the other other other stages) stages) stages) or or or else else else it it it becomes becomes becomes trivial trivial trivial and and and counterproductive counterproductive counterproductive to to to refer refer refer to to to these these these junctures junctures junctures as as as "stages." "stages." "stages." By By By staging staging staging revision revision revision after after after enunciation, enunciation, enunciation, the the the linear linear linear models models models reduce reduce reduce revision revision revision in in in writing, writing, writing, as as as in in in speech, speech, speech, to to to no no no more more more than than than an an an afterthought. afterthought. afterthought. In In In this this this way way way such such such models models models make make make the the the study study study of of of revision revision revision impossible. impossible. impossible. Revision, Revision, Revision, in in in Rohman's Rohman's Rohman's model, model, model, is is is simply simply simply the the the repetition repetition repetition of of of writing; writing; writing; or or or to to to pursue pursue pursue Britton's Britton's Britton's organic organic organic metaphor, metaphor, metaphor, revision revision revision is is is simply simply simply the the the further further further growth growth growth of of of what what what is is is already already already there, there, there, the the the "pre- "pre- "pre- conceived" conceived" conceived" product. product. product. The The The absence absence absence of of of research research research on on on revision, revision, revision, then, then, then, is is is a a a function function function of of of a a a theory theory theory of of of writing writing writing which which which makes makes makes revision revision revision both both both superfluous superfluous superfluous and and and redundant, redundant, redundant, a a a theory theory theory which which which does does does not not not distinguish distinguish distinguish between between between writing writing writing and and and speech. speech. speech. What What What the the the linear linear linear models models models do do do produce produce produce is is is a a a parody parody parody of of of writing. writing. writing. Isolating Isolating Isolating revi- revi- revi- sion sion sion and and and then then then disregarding disregarding disregarding it it it plays plays plays havoc havoc havoc with with with the the the experiences experiences experiences composition composition composition teachers teachers teachers have have have of of of the the the actual actual actual writing writing writing and and and rewriting rewriting rewriting of of of experienced experienced experienced writers. writers. writers. Why Why Why should should should the the the linear linear linear model model model be be be preferred? preferred? preferred? Why Why Why should should should revision revision revision be be be forgotten, forgotten, forgotten, superfluous? superfluous? superfluous? Why Why Why do do do teachers teachers teachers offer offer offer the the the linear linear linear model model model and and and students students students accept accept accept it? it? it? One One One reason, reason, reason, Barthes Barthes Barthes suggests, suggests, suggests, is is is that that that "there "there "there is is is a a a fundamental fundamental fundamental tie tie tie between between between teaching teaching teaching and and and speech," speech," speech," while while while "writing "writing "writing begins begins begins at at at the the the point point point where where where speech speech speech be- be- be- comes comes comes impossible."6 impossible."6 impossible."6 The The The spoken spoken spoken word word word cannot cannot cannot be be be revised. revised. revised. The The The possibility possibility possibility of of of revision revision revision distinguishes distinguishes distinguishes the the the written written written text text text from from from speech. speech. speech. In In In fact, fact, fact, according according according to to to Barthes, Barthes, Barthes, this this this is is is the the the essential essential essential difference difference difference between between between writing writing writing and and and speaking. speaking. speaking. When When When we we we must must must revise, revise, revise, when when when the the the very very very idea idea idea is is is subject subject subject to to to recursive recursive recursive shaping shaping shaping by by by lan- lan- lan- guage, guage, guage, then then then speech speech speech becomes becomes becomes inadequate. inadequate. inadequate. This This This is is is a a a matter matter matter to to to which which which I I I will will will return, return, return, but but but first first first we we we should should should examine, examine, examine, theoretically, theoretically, theoretically, a a a detailed detailed detailed exploration exploration exploration of of of what what what student student student writers writers writers as as as distinguished distinguished distinguished from from from experienced experienced experienced adult adult adult writers writers writers do do do when when when they they they write write write and and and rewrite rewrite rewrite their their their work. work. work. Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied with with with both both both the the the linear linear linear model model model of of of writing writing writing and and and the the the lack lack lack of of of attention attention attention to to to the the the process process process of of of revision, revision, revision, I I I conducted conducted conducted a a a 380 380 380 College College College Composition Composition Composition and and and Communication Communication Communication series series series of of of studies studies studies over over over the the the past past past three three three years years years which which which examined examined examined the the the revision revision revision pro- pro- pro- cesses cesses cesses of of of student student student writers writers writers and and and experienced experienced experienced writers writers writers to to to see see see what what what role role role revision revision revision played played played in in in their their their writing writing writing processes. processes. processes. In In In the the the course course course of of of my my my work work work the the the revision revision revision process process process was was was redefined redefined redefined as as as a a a sequence sequence sequence of of of changes changes changes in in in a a a composition-changes composition-changes composition-changes which which which are are are initiated initiated initiated by by by cues cues cues and and and occur occur occur continually continually continually throughout throughout throughout the the the writing writing writing of of of a a a work. work. work. I thought this was an interesting test, but not necessarily correct because it researches two schools Methodology Methodology Methodology I I I used used used a a a case case case study study study approach. approach. approach. The The The student student student writers writers writers were were were twenty twenty twenty freshmen freshmen freshmen at at at Boston Boston Boston University University University and and and the the the University University University of of of Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma with with with SAT SAT SAT verbal verbal verbal scores scores scores ranging ranging ranging from from from 450-600 450-600 450-600 in in in their their their first first first semester semester semester of of of composition. composition. composition. The The The twenty twenty twenty ex- ex- ex- perienced perienced perienced adult adult adult writers writers writers from from from Boston Boston Boston and and and Oklahoma Oklahoma Oklahoma City City City included included included journalists, journalists, journalists, editors, editors, editors, and and and academics. academics. academics. To To To refer refer refer to to to the the the two two two groups, groups, groups, I I I use use use the the the terms terms terms student student student writers writers writers and and and experienced experienced experienced writers writers writers because because because Textthe the the principal principal principal difference difference difference between between between these these these two two two groups groups groups is is is the the the amount amount amount of of of experience experience experience they they they have have have had had had in in in writing. writing. writing. Each Each Each writer writer writer wrote wrote wrote three three three essays, essays, essays, expressive, expressive, expressive, explanatory, explanatory, explanatory, and and and persuasive, persuasive, persuasive, and and and rewrote rewrote rewrote each each each essay essay essay twice, twice, twice, producing producing producing nine nine nine written written written products products products in in in draft draft draft and and and final final final form. form. form. Each Each Each writer writer writer was was was interviewed interviewed interviewed three three three times times times after after after the the the final final final revision revision revision of of of each each each essay. essay. essay. And And And each each each writer writer writer suggested suggested suggested revisions revisions revisions for for for a a a composition composition composition written written written by by by an an an anonymous anonymous anonymous author. author. author. Thus Thus Thus extensive extensive extensive written written written and and and spoken spoken spoken documents documents documents were were were obtained obtained obtained from from from each each each writer. writer. writer. The The The essays essays essays were were were analyzed analyzed analyzed by by by counting counting counting and and and categorizing categorizing categorizing the the the changes changes changes made. made. made. Four Four Four revision revision revision operations operations operations were were were identified: identified: identified: deletion, deletion, deletion, substitution, substitution, substitution, addition, addition, addition, and and and reordering. reordering. reordering. And And And four four four levels levels levels of of of changes changes changes were were were identified: identified: identified: word, word, word, phrase, phrase, phrase, sen- sen- sen- tence, tence, tence, theme theme theme (the (the (the extended extended extended statement statement statement of of of one one one idea). idea). idea). A A A coding coding coding system system system was was was developed developed developed for for for identifying identifying identifying the the the frequency frequency frequency of of of revision revision revision by by by level level level and and and operation. operation. operation. In In In addition, addition, addition, transcripts transcripts transcripts of of of the the the interviews interviews interviews in in in which which which the the the writers writers writers interpreted interpreted interpreted their their their revisions revisions revisions were were were used used used to to to develop develop develop what what what was was was called called called a a a scale scale scale of of of concerns concerns concerns for for for each each each writer. writer. writer. This This This scale scale scale enabled enabled enabled me me me to to to codify codify codify what what what were were were the the the writer's writer's writer's primary primary primary con- con- con- cerns, cerns, cerns, secondary secondary secondary concerns, concerns, concerns, tertiary tertiary tertiary concerns, concerns, concerns, and and and whether whether whether the the the writers writers writers used used used the the the same same same scale scale scale of of of concerns concerns concerns when when when revising revising revising the the the second second second or or or third third third drafts drafts drafts as as as they they they used used used in in in revising revising revising the the the first first first draft. draft. draft. Speaking from experience, i personallly never liked to revise all my writing Revision Revision Revision Strategies Strategies Strategies of of of Student Student Student Writers Writers Writers Most Most Most of of of the the the students students students I I I studied studied studied did did did not not not use use use the the the terms terms terms revision revision revision or or or rewriting. rewriting. rewriting. In In In fact, fact, fact, they they they did did did not not not seem seem seem comfortable comfortable comfortable using using using the the the word word word revision revision revision and and and explained explained explained that that that revision revision revision was was was not not not a a a word word word they they they used, used, used, but but but the the the word word word their their their teachers teachers teachers used. used. used. Instead, Instead, Instead, most most most of of of the the the students students students had had had developed developed developed various various various functional functional functional terms terms terms to to to de- de- de- scribe scribe scribe the the the type type type of of of changes changes changes they they they made. made. made. The The The following following following are are are samples samples samples of of of these these these definitions: definitions: definitions: Scratch Scratch Scratch Out Out Out and and and Do Do Do Over Over Over Again: Again: Again: "I "I "I say say say scratch scratch scratch out out out and and and do do do over, over, over, and and and that that that means means means what what what it it it says. says. says. Scratching Scratching Scratching out out out and and and cutting cutting cutting out. out. out. I I I read read read what what what I I I have have have written written written and and and I I I cross cross cross out out out a a a word word word and and and put put put another another another word word word in; in; in; a a a more more more decent decent decent Revision Revision Revision Strategies Strategies Strategies 381 381 381 word word word or or or a a a better better better word. word. word. Then Then Then if if if there there there is is is somewhere somewhere somewhere to to to use use use a a a sentence sentence sentence that that that I I I have have have crossed crossed crossed out, out, out, I I I will will will put put put it it it there." there." there." Reviewing: Reviewing: Reviewing: "Reviewing "Reviewing "Reviewing means means means just just just using using using better better better words words words and and and eliminating eliminating eliminating words words words that that that are are are not not not needed. needed. needed. I I I go go go over over over and and and change change change words words words around." around." around." Reviewing: Reviewing: Reviewing: "I "I "I just just just review review review every every every word word word and and and make make make sure sure sure that that that everything everything everything is is is worded worded worded right. right. right. I I I see see see if if if I I I am am am rambling; rambling; rambling; I I I see see see if if if I I I can can can put put put a a a better better better word word word in in in or or or leave leave leave one one one out. out. out. Usually Usually Usually when when when I I I read read read what what what I I I have have have written, written, written, I I I say say say to to to myself, myself, myself, 'that 'that 'that word word word is is is so so so bland bland bland or or or so so so trite,' trite,' trite,' and and and then then then I I I go go go and and and get get get my my my thesaurus." thesaurus." thesaurus." Redoing: Redoing: Redoing: "Redoing "Redoing "Redoing means means means cleaning cleaning cleaning up up up the the the paper paper paper and and and crossing crossing crossing out. out. out. It It It is is is looking looking looking at at at something something something and and and saying, saying, saying, no no no that that that has has has to to to go, go, go, or or or no, no, no, that that that is is is not not not right." right." right." Marking Marking Marking Out: Out: Out: "I "I "I don't don't don't use use use the the the word word word rewriting rewriting rewriting because because because I I I only only only write write write one one one draft draft draft and and and the the the changes changes changes that that that I I I make make make are are are made made made on on on top top top of of of the the the draft. draft. draft. The The The changes changes changes that that that I I I make make make are are are usually usually usually just just just marking marking marking out out out words words words and and and putting putting putting dif- dif- dif- ferent ferent ferent ones ones ones in." in." in." Slashing Slashing Slashing and and and Throwing Throwing Throwing Out: Out: Out: "I "I "I throw throw throw things things things out out out and and and say say say they they they are are are not not not good. good. good. I I I like like like to to to write write write like like like Fitzgerald Fitzgerald Fitzgerald did did did by by by inspiration, inspiration, inspiration, and and and if if if I I I feel feel feel inspired inspired inspired then then then I I I don't don't don't need need need to to to slash slash slash and and and throw throw throw much much much out." out." out." I dont think I have ever been so concerned about my word usage in writingThe The The predominant predominant predominant concern concern concern in in in these these these definitions definitions definitions is is is vocabulary. vocabulary. vocabulary. The The The students students students understand understand understand the the the revision revision revision process process process as as as a a a rewording rewording rewording activity. activity. activity. They They They do do do so so so because because because they they they perceive perceive perceive words words words as as as the the the unit unit unit of of of written written written discourse. discourse. discourse. That That That is, is, is, they they they concen- concen- concen- trate trate trate on on on particular particular particular words words words apart apart apart from from from their their their role role role in in in the the the text. text. text. Thus Thus Thus one one one student student student quoted quoted quoted above above above thinks thinks thinks in in in terms terms terms of of of dictionaries, dictionaries, dictionaries, and, and, and, following following following the the the eighteenth eighteenth eighteenth century century century theory theory theory of of of words words words parodied parodied parodied in in in Gulliver's Gulliver's Gulliver's Travels, Travels, Travels, he he he imagines imagines imagines a a a load load load of of of things things things carried carried carried about about about to to to be be be exchanged. exchanged. exchanged. Lexical Lexical Lexical changes changes changes are are are the the the major major major revision revision revision activities activities activities of of of the the the students students students because because because economy economy economy is is is their their their goal. goal. goal. They They They are are are governed, governed, governed, like like like the the the linear linear linear model model model itself, itself, itself, by by by the the the Law Law Law of of of Occam's Occam's Occam's razor razor razor that that that prohibits prohibits prohibits logi- logi- logi- cally cally cally needless needless needless repetition: repetition: repetition: redundancy redundancy redundancy and and and superfluity. superfluity. superfluity. Nothing Nothing Nothing governs governs governs speech speech speech more more more than than than such such such superfluities; superfluities; superfluities; speech speech speech constantly constantly constantly repeats repeats repeats itself itself itself precisely precisely precisely because because because spoken spoken spoken words, words, words, as as as Barthes Barthes Barthes writes, writes, writes, are are are expendable expendable expendable in in in the the the cause cause cause of of of communication. communication. communication. The The The aim aim aim of of of revision revision revision according according according to to to the the the students' students' students' own own own descrip- descrip- descrip- tion tion tion is is is therefore therefore therefore to to to clean clean clean up up up speech; speech; speech; the the the redundancy redundancy redundancy of of of speech speech speech is is is unnecessary unnecessary unnecessary in in in writing, writing, writing, their their their logic logic logic suggests, suggests, suggests, because because because writing, writing, writing, unlike unlike unlike speech, speech, speech, can can can be be be reread. reread. reread. Thus Thus Thus one one one student student student said, said, said, "Redoing "Redoing "Redoing means means means cleaning cleaning cleaning up up up the the the paper paper paper and and and crossing crossing crossing out." out." out." The The The remarkable remarkable remarkable contradiction contradiction contradiction of of of cleaning cleaning cleaning by by by marking marking marking might, might, might, indeed, indeed, indeed, stand stand stand for for for student student student revision revision revision as as as I I I have have have encountered encountered encountered it. it. it. The The The students students students place place place a a a symbolic symbolic symbolic importance importance importance on on on their their their selection selection selection and and and rejection rejection rejection of of of words words words as as as the the the determiners determiners determiners of of of success success success or or or failure failure failure for for for their their their compositions. compositions. compositions. When When When revising, revising, revising, they they they primarily primarily primarily ask ask ask themselves: themselves: themselves: can can can I I I find find find a a a better better better word word word or or or phrase? phrase? phrase? A A A more more more impressive, impressive, impressive, not not not so so so cliched, cliched, cliched, or or or less less less hum-drum hum-drum hum-drum word? word? word? Am Am Am I I I repeating repeating repeating the the the same same same word word word or or or phrase phrase phrase too too too often? often? often? They They They approach approach approach the the the revision revision revision process process process with with with what what what could could could be be be labeled labeled labeled as as as a a a "thesaurus "thesaurus "thesaurus philosophy philosophy philosophy of of of writing"; writing"; writing"; the the the students students students consider consider consider the the the thesaurus thesaurus thesaurus a a a harvest harvest harvest of of of lexical lexical lexical substitutions substitutions substitutions and and and be- be- be- lieve lieve lieve that that that most most most problems problems problems in in in their their their essays essays essays can can can be be be solved solved solved by by by rewording. rewording. rewording. What What What is is is revealed revealed revealed in in in the the the students' students' students' use use use of of of the the the thesaurus thesaurus thesaurus is is is a a a governing governing governing attitude attitude attitude toward toward toward 382 382 382 College College College Composition Composition Composition and and and Communication Communication Communication their their their writing: writing: writing: that that that the the the meaning meaning meaning to to to be be be communicated communicated communicated is is is already already already there, there, there, already already already finished, finished, finished, already already already produced, produced, produced, ready ready ready to to to be be be communicated, communicated, communicated, and and and all all all that that that is is is neces- neces- neces- sary sary sary is is is a a a better better better word word word "rightly "rightly "rightly worded." worded." worded." One One One student student student defined defined defined revision revision revision as as as "re- "re- "re- doing"; doing"; doing"; "redoing" "redoing" "redoing" meant meant meant "just "just "just using using using better better better words words words and and and eliminating eliminating eliminating words words words that that that are are are not not not needed." needed." needed." For For For the the the students, students, students, writing writing writing is is is translating: translating: translating: the the the thought thought thought to to to the the the page, page, page, the the the language language language of of of speech speech speech to to to the the the more more more formal formal formal language language language of of of prose, prose, prose, the the the word word word to to to its its its synonym. synonym. synonym. Whatever Whatever Whatever is is is translated, translated, translated, an an an original original original text text text already already already exists exists exists for for for students, students, students, one one one which which which need need need not not not be be be discovered discovered discovered or or or acted acted acted upon, upon, upon, but but but simply simply simply com- com- com- municated.7 municated.7 municated.7 to be honest that would be my defintion for revision as well The The The students students students list list list repetition repetition repetition as as as one one one of of of the the the elements elements elements they they they most most most worry worry worry about. about. about. This This This cue cue cue signals signals signals to to to them them them that that that they they they need need need to to to eliminate eliminate eliminate the the the Repition was a problem in my second essay repetition repetition repetition either either either by by by substituting substituting substituting or or or deleting deleting deleting words words words or or or phrases. phrases. phrases. Repetition Repetition Repetition occurs, occurs, occurs, in in in large large large part, part, part, because because because student student student writing writing writing imitates-transcribes-speech: imitates-transcribes-speech: imitates-transcribes-speech: attention attention attention to to to repeti- repeti- repeti- tious tious tious words words words is is is a a a manner manner manner of of of cleaning cleaning cleaning speech. speech. speech. Without Without Without a a a sense sense sense of of of the the the develop- develop- develop- mental mental mental possibilities possibilities possibilities of of of revision revision revision (and (and (and writing writing writing in in in general) general) general) students students students seek, seek, seek, on on on the the the authority authority authority of of of many many many textbooks, textbooks, textbooks, simply simply simply to to to clean clean clean up up up their their their language language language and and and prepare prepare prepare to to to type. type. type. What What What is is is curious, curious, curious, however, however, however, is is is that that that students students students are are are aware aware aware of of of lexical lexical lexical repeti- repeti- repeti- tion, tion, tion, but but but not not not conceptual conceptual conceptual repetition. repetition. repetition. They They They only only only notice notice notice the the the repetition repetition repetition if if if they they they can can can "hear" "hear" "hear" it; it; it; they they they do do do not not not diagnose diagnose diagnose lexical lexical lexical repetition repetition repetition as as as symptomatic symptomatic symptomatic of of of prob- prob- prob- lems lems lems on on on a a a deeper deeper deeper level. level. level. By By By rewording rewording rewording their their their sentences sentences sentences to to to avoid avoid avoid the the the lexical lexical lexical repetition, repetition, repetition, the the the students students students solve solve solve the the the immediate immediate immediate problem, problem, problem, but but but blind blind blind themselves themselves themselves to to to problems problems problems on on on a a a textual textual textual level; level; level; although although although they they they are are are using using using different different different words, words, words, they they they are are are sometimes sometimes sometimes merely merely merely restating restating restating the the the same same same idea idea idea with with with different different different words. words. words. Such Such Such blindness, blindness, blindness, as as as I I I discovered discovered discovered with with with student student student writers, writers, writers, is is is the the the inability inability inability to to to "see" "see" "see" revi- revi- revi- sion sion sion as as as a a a process: process: process: the the the inability inability inability to to to "re-view" "re-view" "re-view" their their their work work work again, again, again, as as as it it it were, were, were, with with with different different different eyes, eyes, eyes, and and and to to to start start start over. over. over. The The The revision revision revision strategies strategies strategies described described described above above above are are are consistent consistent consistent with with with the the the students' students' students' understanding understanding understanding of of of the the the revision revision revision process process process as as as requiring requiring requiring lexical lexical lexical changes changes changes but but but not not not semantic semantic semantic changes. changes. changes. For For For the the the students, students, students, the the the extent extent extent to to to which which which they they they revise revise revise is is is a a a func- func- func- tion tion tion of of of their their their level level level of of of inspiration. inspiration. inspiration. In In In fact, fact, fact, they they they use use use the the the word word word inspiration inspiration inspiration to to to describe describe describe the the the ease ease ease or or or difficulty difficulty difficulty with with with which which which their their their essay essay essay is is is written, written, written, and and and the the the ex- ex- ex- tent tent tent to to to which which which the the the essay essay essay needs needs needs to to to be be be revised. revised. revised. If If If students students students feel feel feel inspired, inspired, inspired, if if if the the the writing writing writing comes comes comes easily, easily, easily, and and and if if if they they they don't don't don't get get get stuck stuck stuck on on on individual individual individual words words words or or or phrases, phrases, phrases, then then then they they they say say say that that that they they they cannot cannot cannot see see see any any any reason reason reason to to to revise. revise. revise. Because Because Because students students students do do do not not not see see see revision revision revision as as as an an an activity activity activity in in in which which which they they they modify modify modify and and and develop develop develop perspectives perspectives perspectives and and and ideas, ideas, ideas, they they they feel feel feel that that that if if if they they they know know know what what what they they they want want want to to to say, say, say, then then then there there there is is is little little little reason reason reason for for for making making making revisions. revisions. revisions. The The The only only only modification modification modification of of of ideas ideas ideas in in in the the the students' students' students' essays essays essays occurred occurred occurred when when when they they they tried tried tried out out out two two two or or or three three three introductory introductory introductory paragraphs. paragraphs. paragraphs. This This This results, results, results, in in in part, part, part, because because because the the the students students students have have have been been been taught taught taught in in in another another another version version version of of of the the the linear linear linear model model model of of of com- com- com- posing posing posing to to to use use use a a a thesis thesis thesis statement statement statement as as as a a a controlling controlling controlling device device device in in in their their their introductory introductory introductory paragraphs. paragraphs. paragraphs. Since Since Since they they they write write write their their their introductions introductions introductions and and and their their their thesis thesis thesis statements statements statements even even even before before before they they they have have have really really really discovered discovered discovered what what what they they they want want want to to to say, say, say, their their their early early early close close close attention attention attention to to to the the the thesis thesis thesis statement, statement, statement, and and and more more more generally generally generally the the the linear linear linear model, model, model, Revision Revision Revision Strategies Strategies Strategies 383 383 383 function function function to to to restrict restrict restrict and and and circumscribe circumscribe circumscribe not not not only only only the the the development development development of of of their their their ideas, ideas, ideas, but but but also also also their their their ability ability ability to to to change change change the the the direction direction direction of of of these these these ideas. ideas. ideas. Too Too Too often often often as as as composition composition composition teachers teachers teachers we we we conclude conclude conclude that that that students students students do do do not not not will- will- will- ingly ingly ingly revise. revise. revise. The The The evidence evidence evidence from from from my my my research research research suggests suggests suggests that that that it it it is is is not not not that that that stu- stu- stu- dents dents dents are are are unwilling unwilling unwilling to to to revise, revise, revise, but but but rather rather rather that that that they they they do do do what what what they they they have have have been been been taught taught taught to to to do do do in in in a a a consistently consistently consistently narrow narrow narrow and and and predictable predictable predictable way. way. way. On On On every every every occasion occasion occasion when when when I I I asked asked asked students students students why why why they they they hadn't hadn't hadn't made made made any any any more more more changes, changes, changes, they they they essen- essen- essen- tially tially tially replied, replied, replied, "I "I "I knew knew knew something something something larger larger larger was was was wrong, wrong, wrong, but but but I I I didn't didn't didn't think think think it it it would would would help help help to to to move move move words words words around." around." around." The The The students students students have have have strategies strategies strategies for for for han- han- han- dling dling dling words words words and and and phrases phrases phrases and and and their their their strategies strategies strategies helped helped helped them them them on on on a a a word word word or or or sen- sen- sen- tence tence tence level. level. level. What What What they they they lack, lack, lack, however, however, however, is is is a a a set set set of of of strategies strategies strategies to to to help help help them them them identify identify identify the the the "something "something "something larger" larger" larger" that that that they they they sensed sensed sensed was was was wrong wrong wrong and and and work work work from from from there. there. there. The The The students students students do do do not not not have have have strategies strategies strategies for for for handling handling handling the the the whole whole whole essay. essay. essay. They They They lack lack lack procedures procedures procedures or or or heuristics heuristics heuristics to to to help help help them them them reorder reorder reorder lines lines lines of of of reasoning reasoning reasoning or or or ask ask ask questions questions questions about about about their their their purposes purposes purposes and and and readers. readers. readers. The The The students students students view view view their their their composi- composi- composi- tions tions tions in in in a a a linear linear linear way way way as as as a a a series series series of of of parts. parts. parts. Even Even Even such such such potentially potentially potentially useful useful useful concepts concepts concepts as as as "unity" "unity" "unity" or or or "form" "form" "form" are are are reduced reduced reduced to to to the the the rule rule rule that that that a a a composition, composition, composition, if if if it it it is is is to to to have have have form, form, form, must must must have have have an an an introduction, introduction, introduction, a a a body, body, body, and and and a a a conclusion, conclusion, conclusion, or or or the the the sum sum sum total total total of of of the the the necessary necessary necessary parts. parts. parts. The The The students students students decide decide decide to to to stop stop stop revising revising revising when when when they they they decide decide decide that that that they they they have have have not not not violated violated violated any any any of of of the the the rules rules rules for for for revising. revising. revising. These These These rules, rules, rules, such such such as as as "Never "Never "Never begin begin begin a a a sentence sentence sentence with with with a a a conjunction" conjunction" conjunction" or or or "Never "Never "Never end end end a a a sentence sentence sentence with with with a a a preposition," preposition," preposition," are are are lexically lexically lexically cued cued cued and and and rigidly rigidly rigidly applied. applied. applied. In In In general, general, general, students students students will will will subordinate subordinate subordinate the the the demands demands demands of of of the the the specific specific specific problems problems problems of of of their their their text text text to to to the the the demands demands demands of of of the the the rules. rules. rules. Changes Changes Changes are are are made made made in in in compliance compliance compliance with with with abstract abstract abstract rules rules rules about about about the the the product, product, product, rules rules rules that that that quite quite quite often often often do do do not not not apply apply apply to to to the the the specific specific specific problems problems problems in in in the the the text. text. text. These These These revision revision revision strategies strategies strategies are are are teacher-based, teacher-based, teacher-based, directed directed directed towards towards towards a a a teacher-reader teacher-reader teacher-reader who who who expects expects expects compliance compliance compliance with with with rules-with rules-with rules-with pre-existing pre-existing pre-existing "conceptions"-and "conceptions"-and "conceptions"-and who who who will will will only only only examine examine examine parts parts parts of of of the the the composition composition composition (writing (writing (writing comments comments comments about about about those those those parts parts parts in in in the the the margins margins margins of of of their their their essays) essays) essays) and and and will will will cite cite cite any any any violations violations violations of of of rules rules rules in in in those those those parts. parts. parts. At At At best best best the the the students students students see see see their their their writing writing writing altogether altogether altogether passively passively passively through through through the the the eyes eyes eyes of of of former former former teachers teachers teachers or or or their their their surrogates, surrogates, surrogates, the the the textbooks, textbooks, textbooks, and and and are are are bound bound bound to to to the the the rules rules rules which which which they they they have have have been been been taught. taught. taught. Revision Revision Revision Strategies Strategies Strategies of of of Experienced Experienced Experienced Writers Writers Writers One One One aim aim aim of of of my my my research research research has has has been been been to to to contrast contrast contrast how how how student student student writers writers writers define define define revision revision revision with with with how how how a a a group group group of of of experienced experienced experienced writers writers writers define define define their their their revision revision revision pro- pro- pro- cesses. cesses. cesses. Here Here Here is is is a a a sampling sampling sampling of of of the the the definitions definitions definitions from from from the the the experienced experienced experienced writers: writers: writers: Rewriting. Rewriting. Rewriting. "It "It "It is is is a a a matter matter matter of of of looking looking looking at at at the the the kernel kernel kernel of of of what what what I I I have have have written, written, written, the the the content, content, content, and and and then then then thinking thinking thinking about about about it, it, it, responding responding responding to to to it, it, it, making making making deci- deci- deci- sions, sions, sions, and and and actually actually actually restructuring restructuring restructuring it." it." it." Rewriting: Rewriting: Rewriting: "I "I "I rewrite rewrite rewrite as as as I I I write. write. write. It It It is is is hard hard hard to to to tell tell tell what what what is is is a a a first first first draft draft draft because because because it it it is is is not not not determined determined determined by by by time. time. time. In In In one one one draft, draft, draft, I I I might might might cross cross cross out out out three three three 384 384 384 College College College Composition Composition Composition and and and Communication Communication Communication pages, pages, pages, write write write two, two, two, cross cross cross out out out a a a fourth, fourth, fourth, rewrite rewrite rewrite it, it, it, and and and call call call it it it a a a draft. draft. draft. I I I am am am constantly constantly constantly writing writing writing and and and rewriting. rewriting. rewriting. I I I can can can only only only conceptualize conceptualize conceptualize so so so much much much in in in my my my first first first draft-only draft-only draft-only so so so much much much information information information can can can be be be held held held in in in my my my head head head at at at one one one time; time; time; my my my rewriting rewriting rewriting efforts efforts efforts are are are a a a reflection reflection reflection of of of how how how much much much information information information I I I can can can en- en- en- compass compass compass at at at one one one time. time. time. There There There are are are levels levels levels and and and agenda agenda agenda which which which I I I have have have to to to attend attend attend to to to in in in each each each draft." draft." draft." Rewriting. Rewriting. Rewriting. "Rewriting "Rewriting "Rewriting means means means on on on one one one level, level, level, finding finding finding the the the argument, argument, argument, and and and on on on another another another level, level, level, language language language changes changes changes to to to make make make the the the argument argument argument more more more effective. effective. effective. Most Most Most of of of the the the time time time I I I feel feel feel as as as if if if I I I can can can go go go on on on rewriting rewriting rewriting forever. forever. forever. There There There is is is always always always one one one part part part of of of a a a piece piece piece that that that I I I could could could keep keep keep working working working on. on. on. It It It is is is always always always difficult difficult difficult to to to know know know at at at what what what point point point to to to abandon abandon abandon a a a piece piece piece of of of writing. writing. writing. I I I like like like this this this idea idea idea that that that a a a piece piece piece of of of writing writing writing is is is never never never finished, finished, finished, just just just abandoned." abandoned." abandoned." Rewriting: Rewriting: Rewriting: "My "My "My first first first draft draft draft is is is usually usually usually very very very scattered. scattered. scattered. In In In rewriting, rewriting, rewriting, I I I find find find the the the line line line of of of argument. argument. argument. After After After the the the argument argument argument is is is resolved, resolved, resolved, I I I am am am much much much more more more in- in- in- terested terested terested in in in word word word choice choice choice and and and phrasing." phrasing." phrasing." Revising: Revising: Revising: "My "My "My cardinal cardinal cardinal rule rule rule in in in revising revising revising is is is never never never to to to fall fall fall in in in love love love with with with what what what I I I have have have written written written in in in a a a first first first or or or second second second draft. draft. draft. An An An idea, idea, idea, sentence, sentence, sentence, or or or even even even a a a phrase phrase phrase that that that looks looks looks catchy, catchy, catchy, I I I don't don't don't trust. trust. trust. Part Part Part of of of this this this idea idea idea is is is to to to wait wait wait a a a while. while. while. I I I am am am much much much more more more in in in love love love with with with something something something after after after I I I have have have written written written it it it than than than I I I am am am a a a day day day or or or two two two later. later. later. It It It is is is much much much easier easier easier to to to change change change anything anything anything with with with time." time." time." Revising: Revising: Revising: "It "It "It means means means taking taking taking apart apart apart what what what I I I have have have written written written and and and putting putting putting it it it back back back together together together again. again. again. I I I ask ask ask major major major theoretical theoretical theoretical questions questions questions of of of my my my ideas, ideas, ideas, respond respond respond to to to those those those questions, questions, questions, and and and think think think of of of proportion proportion proportion and and and structure, structure, structure, and and and try try try to to to find find find a a a controlling controlling controlling metaphor. metaphor. metaphor. I I I find find find out out out which which which ideas ideas ideas can can can be be be developed developed developed and and and which which which should should should be be be dropped. dropped. dropped. I I I am am am constantly constantly constantly chiseling chiseling chiseling and and and changing changing changing as as as I I I revise." revise." revise." The The The experienced experienced experienced writers writers writers describe describe describe their their their primary primary primary objective objective objective when when when revising revising revising as as as finding finding finding the the the form form form or or or shape shape shape of of of their their their argument. argument. argument. Although Although Although the the the metaphors metaphors metaphors vary, vary, vary, the the the experienced experienced experienced writers writers writers often often often use use use structural structural structural expressions expressions expressions such such such as as as "finding "finding "finding a a a framework," framework," framework," "a "a "a pattern," pattern," pattern," or or or "a "a "a design" design" design" for for for their their their argument. argument. argument. When When When questioned questioned questioned about about about this this this emphasis, emphasis, emphasis, the the the experienced experienced experienced writers writers writers responded responded responded that that that since since since their their their first first first drafts drafts drafts are are are usually usually usually scattered scattered scattered attempts attempts attempts to to to define define define their their their territory, territory, territory, their their their objective objective objective in in in the the the second second second draft draft draft is is is to to to begin begin begin observing observing observing general general general patterns patterns patterns of of of development development development and and and decid
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