In Donald Murray’s “The Maker’s Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscript,” (attached file) you should have come across the following excerpts:
- “Most writers share the feeling that the first draft, and all of those which follow, are opportunities to discover what they have to say and how best they can say it” (para. 2).
- “Writers must learn to be their own best enemies. They must accept the criticism of others and be suspicious of it; they must accept the praise of others and be even more suspicious of it” (para. 4).
- “At the end of each revision, a manuscript may look…worked over, torn apart, pinned together, added to, deleted from, words changed and words changed back” (para. 8).
- “Writing isn’t virtuous. It isn’t something that ought to be done. It is simply something that most writers find they have to do to discover what they have to say and how to say it” (para. 10).
After reading the article and specifically reflecting on the quotes above, answer questions 1 and 2 with a 100-200 word response for each.
1. How did this article, and especially what Murray suggests in these quotes, reaffirm or challenge your thoughts and opinions about revision that you had coming into this class?
2. Of the eight elements Murray discusses in his article, discuss one that perhaps you haven’t ever spent too much time considering in your own revision process. What new writerly perspective do you anticipate gaining if you considered this element more closely?
3. Now we will put some of what you read about revision into practice. For question #3, first, review the essay prompt (attached file) Then read the student sample (note: this is a rough draft) (attached file). Finally, choose 4 out of the 8 elements
(just four) below to provide feedback on the student sample. Please keep in mind that I’m really looking for you to provide thorough, meaningful, and specific feedback. So, for each of the four elements you choose, be sure that your feedback comment is between 50-150 words (200-600 words in total for question 3)
- Information: is there enough information? is it specific? accurate? interesting? does essay address all parts of the prompt and meet the length requirement?
- Meaning: does the writer convey a clear message (refer back to prompt)? do they answer “so what” (make clear why what they are writing about is important)? share an insight? add something new to the conversation?
- Audience: does the writer seem aware of the audience? are definitions provided of new terms? are questions anticipated and addressed? is the tone appropriate?
- Form/Genre: given the writer is required to write an academic essay and follow MLA format, does she? is the paper formatted correctly? are direct quotes and paraphrases cited accurately?
- Structure: is there a clear and sensible introduction, body, conclusion? are transitions used to help a reader move smoothly from one section to the next? are ideas logically connected in and between paragraphs?
- Development: is each section adequately developed? do there are appear to be any gaps? or places that leave you wanting/expecting more? or are there sections that seem to ramble, does the writer go off on a tangent?
- Dimension: related to development, does each section seem to be appropriately proportioned? does a paragraph carry on for a full page or more–may need to be divided into two? does a section include only two or three sentences–may need more development?
- Voice: can you hear the writer’s voice? while this is an academic essay meant to be formal, it is also reflective which invites a personal, somewhat casual tone. Is there evidence of both: moments of scholarly speech and moments of more genuine reflection? is there too much of one and not enough of the other?