You may formulate your thesis at various times during your pre-writing stage.
As you learn more about your subject through research or brainstorming, a thesis may emerge in your mind.
You may arrive at a thesis after reviewing material you have accumulated.
You should have formulated a TENTATIVE THESIS, however, before you begin to write your first draft.
It is “tentative” because after you being writing, you may discover a more concise or interesting thesis; flexibility is important at this stage because the writing process is a dynamic thinking process. Allow yourself the freedom to discover as you write.
The middle section, or body, of your essay develops your thesis.
In order to convince your audience that your thesis is reasonable, your body paragraphs should be unified, coherent and well developed.They should follow a pattern of development and clearly support your thesis.
Unity: each paragraph should contain one main idea that supports the essay’s thesis.
Coherence: your paragraph is coherent is its sentences are smoothly and logically connected to one another.You do this through the use of repeated key words, pronouns to refer to key nouns in preceding sentences, and the use of transitions.
See a very useful list of transitions on page 43; bookmark it and use it often as you write essays for this course.
Well Developed: a paragraph is well developed if it contains support – examples reasons, etc – that the readers need to understand it main ideas (and the thesis)
See a very useful list of types of support on page 44.
Revision is not something you do after your paper is finished. It is a continuing process during which you consider the logic and clarity of your ideas as well as how effectively they are presented.
Revision involves reexamining and rethinking what you have written.
Give yourself a cooling off period; put your draft aside for a day or two.
Work from a typed draft (it will be easier to see mistakes)
Read your draft aloud; this will help you spot choppy sentences, missing words, or phrases that don’t sound right.
Get feedback; peer review is an essential part of this course.In addition to class peer review, ask others at home, in the dorm, or at work to read your work and give you constructive criticism.Think of the peer review as a sort of “test marketing” for your essay.
Make a review outline, to show whether you have omitted any important points, whether your essay follows a particular pattern of development, and whether your body paragraphs are clearly related to your thesis.
Revising with Peer Critique
Remember that your peer review is your reader, not your collaborator or ghost writer.
See guidelines for peer critiques on page 56.
Revising with Instructor’s comments.
Carefully read these comments; sometimes they take the form of questions regarding your thought process or intent; at other times you may see suggestions for word choice, sentence or paragraph structure, or grammar conventions.Learn from these comments…. They are a crucial part of the writing course.