Revising

Exercise: Revise a Body Paragraph

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.

  1. Does the introduction provide the general information a reader needs in order to understand the topic?
  2. Does the introduction end with an effective thesis? Does it match the style of the essay?
  3. Do each of the body paragraphs begin with an effective topic sentence?
  4. Are the body paragraphs sequenced in a logical order?
  5. Look at each body Do the supporting sentences support the topic sentence?
  6. Look at each body Are the supporting sentences sequenced in a logical order?
  7. Look at each body Is there enough development? Are there more details or examples that would help the reader?
  8. Look at each body Does the concluding sentence close the paragraph logically?
  9. Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?
  10. Does the conclusion paragraph have a suggestion, prediction, or opinion at the end?

Nelson Mandela: A World Leader

       Through the ages, the rights of black people have been abused. The non-white people, especially in South Africa, have suffered a lot of discrimination because of racial segregation, which is "…the practice of restricting people to certain circumscribed areas of residence or to separate institutions (e.g., schools, churches) and facilities (parks, playgrounds, restaurants, restrooms) on the basis of race or alleged race" ("Racial segregation," 2017, para. 1). People could not comment, work, and even interact with people of different races. Racism spread throughout in all parts of South Africa, and each time it gained more strength due to government support. "By 1950, the government had created an apartheid system to separate the races in South Africa lasting until the early 1990s" ("Racial segregation," 2017, para. 3). Non-white people looked for the way to defend their rights, but they were not heard until Nelson Mandela appeared. Nelson Mandela fought against racial segregation and founded a political and democratic model in South Africa.

       Nelson Mandela repeatedly fought against racial segregation. Black people in South Af- rica were devastated for the racial segregation and suffered because they lacked the rights that white people had. People manifested with "non-violent demonstrations, protests and strikes to political action and eventually to armed resistance" ("Apartheid," 2010, para. 8). Nelson Mandela was a remarkable person because he fought racial discrimination making diverse strikes and protests. Nonetheless, these rebellions did not help him because the government imprisoned him. While he was "sentenced to life imprisonment, Mandela became a powerful symbol of resistance for the rising anti-apartheid movement" ("Youth for Human Rights," n.d., para. 3). After many years in prison he was able to go free and was chosen to represent the country. In May 1994, "Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's first black president, a position he held until 1999."

       Nelson Mandela was a revolutionary political leader. Nelson Mandela, seeing so much oppression and injustice, decided to join the "African National Congress (ANC) and actively worked to abolish the apartheid policies of the ruling National Party" ("Nelson Mandela," 2009, para. 4). He made many protests against the discriminatory movement and promoted a political model, for example, he "established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights and political violations committed by both supporters and opponents of apartheid between 1960 and 1994" ("Nelson Mandela," 2009, "Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa," para. 2). However, because of these protests he was imprisoned for 27 years. After negotiations with the governing National Party and other politicians, he could put an end to the unjust policies of the state. This powerful leader left a great legacy "which investigated human rights violations under apartheid, and he introduced housing, education, and economic development initiatives designed to improve the living standards of the country's black population" ("Nelson Mandela," 2017, para. 9).

       In summary, Nelson Mandela fought against racial segregation and founded a political and democratic model in South Africa. Mandela was an intelligent person because he used various strategies to fight against discrimination. Mandela was a great leader who risked his life and political career in favor of democracy, freedom, peace, and equality. Mandela was a symbolic leader of the anti-apartheid movement as president of South Africa. Nelson Mandela died in 2013 from a recurring lung infection. Thanks to Mandela's legacy today, black people enjoy the same rights as white people. The world has changed, and we can see people of color in large positions, both political and social. Nelson Mandela will always be remembered in the world.

Exercise: Check your essay

Remember to think about those same questions as you revise your own essay before you ask someone for feedback. 

Good luck with your revisions!