Example and rules Editing the Essay, Part One

Whoever has gone through the ecstasies and agonies of writing the satisfaction is known by an essay(and sometimes the sadness) of finishing. Once you have done all the work of finding out what you want to state, arriving at an arguable and interesting thesis, analyzing your evidence, organizing your ideas, and contending with counter-arguments, you may believe that you’ve got nothing left to accomplish but run spell-check, print it out and await your professor’s response. Exactly what spell- check can not discern is what readers that are real think or feel when they read your essay: where they could become confused, or annoyed, or bored, or distracted. Anticipating those responses could be the working job of an editor—the job you are taking on as you edit your personal work.

As you proceed, remember that sometimes what might appear like a small problem can mask (be a symptom of) a larger one. A phrase—one that is poorly-worded seems, say, unclear or vague—may just need some tweaking to correct; however it may indicate that the thinking has not developed fully yet, you are not quite sure what you would like to express. Your language could be vague or confusing due to the fact idea itself is. So learning, as Yeats says, to “cast a cold eye” on the prose is not just a matter of arranging the finishing touches in your essay. It’s about making your essay better through the inside (clarifying and deepening your thinking and insights) and through the outside (expressing those ideas in powerful, lucid, graceful prose). These five guidelines often helps.

Read your essay aloud .

Once we labor over sentences, we could sometimes lose sight for the larger picture, of how all of the sentences sound when they’re read quickly one after the other, as the readers will read them. When you read aloud, your ear will pick up some of the nagging problems your eye might miss.

While you read your essay, remember the “The Princess and the Pea,” the story of a princess so sensitive she was bothered by a single pea buried under the pile of mattresses she lay upon. As an editor, you wish to princess—highly be like the alert to anything that seems slightly odd or “off” in your prose. Therefore if something strikes you as problematic, don’t gloss on it. Investigate to locate the type associated with the problem. It’s likely that, if something bothers you just a little, it will bother your readers a whole lot.

Make sure all of your words are performing work that is important making your argument .

Are all of your phrases and words necessary? Or will they be just taking up space? Are your sentences tight and sharp, or are they loose and dull? Do not say in three sentences what you could say within one, and don’t use 14 words where five is going to do. You desire every word in your sentence to include as meaning that is much inflection as you possibly can. When you see phrases like “My own personal opinion,” ask yourself what “own personal” adds. Isn’t that what “my” means?

Even small, apparently unimportant words like “says” can be worth your attention. In the place of “says,” might you use a word like argues, acknowledges, contends, believes, reveals, suggests, or claims? Words such as these not only make your sentences more lively and interesting, they supply useful information: if you inform your readers that someone “acknowledges” something, that deepens their comprehension of how or why she or he said that thing; “said” merely reports.

3. Bear in mind the concept of le mot juste. Always look for an ideal words, the absolute most precise and specific language, to state that which you mean. Without the need for concrete, clear language, you can’t convey to your readers exactly what you consider a topic; you can only speak in generalities, and everybody has already heard those: “The evils of society are a drain on our resources.” Sentences like this could mean a lot of things that they wind up meaning nothing at all to your readers—or meaning something very different from that which you intended. Be specific: What evils? Which societies? What resources? Your readers are reading your words to see just what you think, what you have to say.

If you’re having trouble putting your finger on simply the right word, consult a thesaurus, but simply to remind yourself of one’s options. Never choose words whose connotations or contexts that are usual don’t really understand. Using language you are not really acquainted with can lead to more imprecision—and that will lead your reader to question your authority.

4. Beware of inappropriately elevated language—words and phrases which are stilted, https://essayshark.ws pompous, or jargony. Sometimes, in order to sound more reliable or authoritative, or more sophisticated, we puff up our prose with this sort of language. Usually we only find yourself sounding like we’re trying to sound smart—which is a sure sign to our readers that we’re not. If you find yourself inserting words or phrases since you think they’ll sound impressive, reconsider. In case the ideas are great, you don’t have to strain for impressive language; if they’re not, that language won’t help anyway.

Inappropriately language that is elevated result from nouns getting used as verbs. Most parts of speech function better—more elegantly—when the roles are played by them these were designed to play; nouns work well as nouns and verbs as verbs. Read the following sentences aloud, and listen to how pompous they sound.

He exited the space. It is important that proponents and opponents of the bill dialogue about its contents before voting on it.

Exits and dialogues work better as nouns and there are plenty of ways of expressing those basic ideas without turning nouns into verbs.

He left the space. People should debate the professionals and cons with this bill before voting.

From time to time, though, this can be a rule worth breaking, like in “He muscled his solution to the leading associated with the line.” “Muscled” gives us lots of information that might otherwise take several words or even sentences to convey. And because it’s not awkward to learn, but lively and descriptive, readers will not mind the temporary shift in roles as “muscle” becomes a verb.

5. Be tough on your own most sentences that are dazzling. You may find that sentences you needed in earlier drafts no longer belong—and these may be the sentences you’re most fond of as you revise. All of us are guilty of trying to sneak within our sentences that are favorite they don’t belong, because we can not bear to cut them. But writers that are great ruthless and certainly will throw out brilliant lines if they are no more relevant or necessary. They know that readers should be less struck by the brilliance than because of the inappropriateness of those sentences and they allow them to go.