31 Ago Example and rules Editing the Essay, Part One
Whoever has been through the ecstasies and agonies of writing the satisfaction is known by an essay(and sometimes the sadness) of finishing. Once you’ve done all the work of figuring out what you would like to state, coming to an arguable and interesting thesis, analyzing your evidence, organizing your opinions, and contending with counter-arguments, you could feel that you have got nothing left to do but run spell-check, print it out and await your professor’s response. But what spell- check can not discern is what readers that are real think or feel if they read your essay: where they could become confused, or annoyed, or bored, or distracted. Anticipating those responses is the working job of an editor—the job you are taking on as you edit your personal work.
While you proceed, keep in mind that sometimes what might seem like a problem that is small mask (be a symptom of) a larger one. A poorly-worded phrase—one that seems, say, unclear or vague—may just need some tweaking to fix; however it may indicate that the thinking has not developed fully yet, you are not quite sure what you would like to state. Your language can be vague or confusing since the basic idea itself is. So learning, as Yeats says, to «cast a cold eye» on your prose is not only a matter of arranging the finishing touches on your own essay. It’s about making your essay better from the inside (clarifying and deepening your thinking and insights) and from the outside (expressing those ideas in powerful, lucid, graceful prose). These five guidelines can help.
Read your essay aloud .
When we labor over sentences, we are able to sometimes lose sight associated with the larger picture, of how most of the sentences sound once they’re read quickly one after the other, as your readers will read them. When you read out, your ear will pick up some of the problems your eye might miss.
As you read your essay, remember the «The Princess and the Pea,» the story of a princess so sensitive she was bothered by an individual pea buried underneath the pile of mattresses she lay upon. As an editor, you intend to princess—highly be like the alert to something that seems slightly odd or «off» in your prose. Therefore if something strikes you as problematic, do not gloss on it. Investigate to discover the type for the problem. It’s likely that, if something bothers you a little, it shall bother your readers a great deal.
Be sure all your words are doing important work with making your argument .
Are typical of the words and phrases necessary? Or will they be just using up space? Are your sentences tight and sharp, or are they loose and dull? Don’t say in three sentences what you could say in one, and do not use 14 words where five is going to do. You want every word in your sentence to add as much meaning and inflection as possible. Yourself what «own personal» adds when you see phrases like «My own personal opinion,» ask. Isn’t that what «my» means?
Even small, apparently unimportant words like «says» can be worth your attention. In the place of «says,» could you use a word like argues, acknowledges, contends, believes, reveals, suggests, or claims? Words such as these not just create your sentences more lively and interesting, they provide 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. Keep in mind the concept of le mot juste. Always try to find the most perfect words, the most precise and specific language, to say everything you mean. Without using concrete, clear language, you can’t convey to your readers precisely what you consider a subject; it is possible to only speak in generalities, and everybody has recently heard those: «The evils of society are a drain on our resources.» Sentences such as this could mean so many things that they wind up meaning very little to your readers—or meaning something very different from what you intended. Be specific: What evils? Which societies? What resources? Your readers are reading your words to see what you think, what you need certainly https://essay4you.net to say.
If you should be having trouble putting your finger on just the word that is right consult a thesaurus, but simply to remind yourself of the options. Never choose words whose connotations or usual contexts you don’t really understand. Using language you’re not really acquainted with can result in more imprecision—and that will lead your reader to question your authority.
4. Beware of inappropriately elevated language—words and phrases that are stilted, pompous, or jargony. Sometimes, in an effort to sound more reliable or authoritative, or higher sophisticated, we puff up this sort to our prose of language. Usually we only find yourself sounding like we are attempting to sound smart—which is a sign that is sure our readers that individuals’re not. If you find yourself inserting words or phrases since you think they’re going to sound impressive, reconsider. Should your ideas are great, you don’t need to strain for impressive language; if they are not, that language won’t help anyway.
Inappropriately elevated language can be a consequence of nouns being used as verbs. Most areas of speech function better—more elegantly—when the roles are played by them they certainly were designed to play; nouns work well as nouns and verbs as verbs. Read the following sentences aloud, and tune in to how pompous they sound.
He exited the area. It is necessary that proponents and opponents for this bill dialogue about its contents before voting on it.
Exits and dialogues are more effective as nouns and there are numerous means of expressing those basic ideas without turning nouns into verbs.
The room was left by him. People should debate the pros and cons of the bill before voting.
From time to time, though, this really is a rule worth breaking, as with «He muscled his option to the front associated with line.» «Muscled» gives us lots of information which may otherwise take words that are several even sentences to express. And as it’s not awkward to see, but lively and descriptive, readers will not mind the temporary shift in roles as «muscle» becomes a verb.
5. Be tough on the 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 when trying to sneak within our sentences that are favorite they do not belong, because we can not bear to cut them. But writers that are great ruthless and certainly will dispose off brilliant lines if they’re no longer relevant or necessary. They already know that readers will undoubtedly be less struck by the brilliance than by the inappropriateness of the sentences and they allow them to go.