This appendix covers some of the most important aspects of writing-what's more important than the information you put in a document, how you organize it, how you link it all up together? Writing teachers tend not to do much with this sort of stuff in their classrooms because it's just plain old hard and tedious. Yet, if we were to find a way to make these revision concepts and techniques easier (or even fun?) to learn, practice, and apply, we might have achieved one of the most important breakthroughs in the teaching of writing.
When you look at all these powerful ways you can review (look for potential problems) and then revise (fix those problems), you're likely to be put off by how tedious and time-consuming it looks. This stuff can become second nature rather quickly though. If you spend some time analyzing writing in the ways outlined in this appendix, the way you write and the way you review what you write will change. You'll start operating-and not even be fully aware of it-with this stuff in mind.
Therefore, if we had the proper materials, the proper equipment for you to work out on for several weeks (some sort of verbal NordicTrac), these concepts and techniques would become nearly second nature to you and really give a big boost to this most important area of your writing.
Specifically, this appendix covers these paragraph- and higher-level elements:
This appendix also covers these sentence-style problems:
- Overview of structure-level revision
- Topic sentences and overviews
- Overview of sentence-level revision
- Weak be verbs
- Overnominalization ("noun stacks")
- Redundant phrasing
- Weak use of expletives (there is, it is)
- Weak use of the passive voice
- Subject-verb mismatch
- Sentence length
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