Revising is an important step in writing. In fact, revising is most of what writers do. In this chapter, you will practice this skill with a focus on descriptive writing.
Exercise 1: Revise a body paragraph
Here is a paragraph from a student essay and the feedback from the teacher. Use the teacher's feedback to decide what changes you would make to improve this paragraph.
On the other hand, the services offered by the big cities, in most cases, are much better than those offered by the small cities. For example, better hospital services, better school offers, and much better communications channels, in terms of roads, bridges, transport services such as front runner, buses and light rail, among others. These comforts of having better services including large shopping centers, with different offers of shops and restaurants, as well as entertainment centers such as stadiums, theaters and concert halls, make a great difference between living a large and small city.
Feedback: This paragraph focuses almost completely on one of the topics (cities) and does not explain the other topic (small cities). The second sentence is not a complete sentences. You include long lists of things cities do have, but you don't discuss the ideas generally. The word better shows your opinion, but this essay should not have your opinion in it. You also need a concluding sentence and more supporting details.
Exercise 2: Give Feedback
Give feedback on this body paragraph. How could it be improved? Look specifically at the organization of the ideas and the flow of ideas (logical connections).
Modernism and pop-art both use bright colors. Both styles happened around the same time, also making them similar. Artists of both these styles want to attract their viewer’s attention to their communication, and the best way to do it is by using neon and bright colors. Because of the colors and lights of the art styles, both styles are similar to each other. Spectators needed something new for their eyes, and artists gave them this new experience. Modernism served as the basis of pop art, so they have similarities, like color. Furthermore, if the artistic space is not defined by an unified and rigid system of perspective, color begins to play a particularly important role in determining the depth of both pictures.
2 Exercise: Check your essay
Use these questions to give the author advice about how to improve it. Think about the function of each type of paragraph as well as how sources are used to support the main idea of the essay.
- Does the introduction provide the general information a reader needs in order to understand the topic?
- Does the introduction end with an effective thesis? Does it match the style of the essay?
- Do each of the body paragraphs begin with an effective topic sentence?
- Are the body paragraphs sequenced in a logical order?
- Look at each body Do the supporting sentences support the topic sentence?
- Look at each body Are the supporting sentences sequenced in a logical order?
- Look at each body Is there enough development? Are there more details or examples that would help the reader?
- Look at each body Does the concluding sentence close the paragraph logically?
- Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?
- Does the conclusion paragraph have a suggestion, prediction, or opinion at the end?