29 February 2012

All-Purpose Edit Sheet

Professor Mead
Edit Session Worksheet

Edit sessions serve you in several ways: they help sharpen editing skills by giving you a student text in which you have little or no emotional investment; they reinforce the structural standards of argumentative papers; they assure that your paper is at least drafted forty-eight hours before the due date; they foster cooperation and diligence.

Edit your partner’s paper as if you were to receive the grade achieved by the paper. Criticism is the benign application of reasonable standards to a text; therefore, it is neither denigration nor nit-picking, but a supportive act of directional encouragement. Be critical. Be specific. Be creative.

Editor ______________________________ Author __________________________

Intro Paragraph

Ideally, a 1st paragraph in a college paper contains a clear, provocative interpretation of a subject’s topic—this is the paper’s thesis, and a thesis is a paper’s only raison d’etre. Below, write the paper’s THESIS.

HOW is the thesis interpretive? If it isn’t, say so and suggest an improvement.

HOW is the thesis provocative? If it isn’t, say so and suggest an improvement.

A 1st paragraph should also indicate HOW the author expects to support the thesis (this is sometimes called methodology or forecast of support). Does your partner’s 1st paragraph contain this information? How could this section be created or improved?

Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should advance ONE subordinate idea that promotes the thesis. The TOPIC sentence, typically the first sentence of the paragraph, should therefore explicitly connect the paragraph’s topic with the paper’s thesis. Do your partner’s topic sentences do this? If not, suggest alternate sentences that will follow 1SR.

¶ 1

¶ 2

¶ 3





Describe HOW the author uses her or his secondary sources

Body paragraphs should, in general, move from the abstract (topic sentence) to the concrete (textual references) to the abstract (interpretation of text in light of thesis). Check your partner’s ¶s for this “sandwiching” structure. Comment below.


Textual references are used to interpret USE OF LANGUAGE. In other words, you do not quote to summarize, exemplify, describe, or remind; you quote to study use of imagery, syntax, tone, word choice, diction, sound effects, alliteration, assonance, &c. Choose ONE of your partner’s quotations that does NOT study the use of language, and offer suggestions on how the quotations might be studied.

Suggest 2 alternate titles to the paper.

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