Writing in First-Year Seminars

Integrating Writing

Assigning Writing

Assigning Research

Peer Review

Responding to Writing


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Authors & Contributors

Arguing Essay Worksheet 3

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Writer's Name:
Editor's Name and Phone Number:

This workshop sheet will help you attend to stylistic matters as you polish close-to-final drafts. If the writer needs to make major changes in content or organization, do not use this sheet. If you notice stylistic matters that this sheet does not address but that the writer should work on, be sure to discuss those with the writer.

  1. Note here the audience for the paper you're reviewing.
  2. Now read the paper completely before you answer the remaining questions.
  3. What suggestions can you make for a stronger opening for the paper? Be sure to discuss a range of possibilities for the target audience or publication.
  4. Does the conclusion of the paper provide closure for the reader? Are you left dangling? Or are you offended by reading a summary of a short paper that you can clearly remember? Suggest improvements.
  5. Has the writer used headings to indicate major chunks of the paper? Would headings improve the reader's ease in following the logic or flow of the paper? Suggest specific changes.
  6. Does the writer use adequate transitions between and within paragraphs? If not, suggest specific revisions.
  7. Has the writer integrated appropriate visuals? If not, suggest places where the text would be supplemented or complemented by a graphic.
  8. Has the writer relied too often on short or simple sentences? Do you, as a reader, perceive adequate sentence variety? If not, choose a paragraph that seems particularly repetitive and work on sentence combining for greater variety in sentence length and structure.
  9. As you read through the paper, did any words, phrases, or sentences "sound" funny to you? We often "hear" mistakes that we cannot necessarily label. Circle any words that don't sound right. If you cannot suggest a way to fix the problem, be sure to ask me.
  10. Has the writer used precise language throughout the paper? In other words, has the writer chosen exactly the right word to convey his or her meaning? Choose any one paragraph and work on substituting more precise language appropriate for the audience.
  11. Has the writer used more words to convey an idea than he or she needs? Pick out any paragraph and work with the writer to remove deadwood. Then be sure to point out where else the writer might prune the text.

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