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3 Tutorials that teach Organization Revision: Cutting, Adding, Moving
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Organization Revision: Cutting, Adding, Moving

Organization Revision: Cutting, Adding, Moving

Author: Gavin McCall

This essay covers revision of organization.

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Video Transcription

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Welcome to English Composition. I'm Gavin McCall. Thanks for joining me.

What are we going to learn today? We're going to be learning about revision and organization, including the three most important tools of this part of the writing process, cutting, adding, and moving. Then we'll look at an example essay, so we can get a sense for what this kind of revision entails.

As we should remember, revision is the process of re-visioning and rethinking an essay, including its structure, ideas, and support. One of the key aspects of this process is organization, since revision is the part of the overall writing process, when we take the time to step back and look at the big picture.

It's a good time to ask questions, such as whether or not the ideas flow logically and coherently from one to the next, or if any of the ideas jump problematically, from more complex to less complex, from more interesting to less interesting, or vice versa. We should also ask whether each idea fits in the essay, and if any additional ideas should be considered.

One of the biggest advantages modern writers have is that word processors allow us to easily move and manipulate entire pieces of text. Can you imagine being a writer in the time before computers? So take advantage of this, and feel free to move paragraphs and sentences to improve your essay's organization.

And while you're doing that, chances are you'll have to add sentences and possibly additional support to the essay. These additions can be as small as a sentence or a new transition or clarifying phrase and as big as a new paragraph or even a whole new draft. It all depends on what you're writing project needs.

The other side of this part of the revision process is cutting. Don't be afraid of this, because it's part of every experienced writer's process. These cuts can be as small as sentences, words, or phrases and as big as whole paragraphs, ideas, and pieces of support.

Now, I'm going to demonstrate the kinds of cutting, adding, and moving writers can do on computers. Here's an essay I've been working on for a while. It's still rough, but I like to think that it's got some potential.

And since it's been a while since the last time I've looked at it, I thought I'd give changing this draft around a shot. The first thing I notice is that my introduction is a bit weird. You may not be able to read the entirety of this essay, but it's not that big a deal. Of course, pause the video if you want to.

For now at least, trust me when I say that this introduction is kind of broken into paragraphs, and one is very short. I think I'll move the first sentence of the second paragraph up a line, and let that be the end of my introduction. It's primarily serving as a transition anyway. So doing this doesn't actually change very much, besides drawing a little more attention to the scene I'm painting.

The second thing I'd like to change is the parentheses in the third paragraph. I generally feel like these take too much away from the immediacy of the scene, so I'll just cut them. The information they're offering isn't really that important anyway.

And now that I'm looking at it, the next paragraph is a little short. And I think it could do more to paint the scene. It also looks like I forgot to say when this was happening. And that's kind of important, so I'll add it.

And finally, now that I'm looking at it directly, the conclusion I added the last I revised this text just isn't working. It's a kind of summary. And I think it could do more to explain the fact that I now see little difference between the character I met that day and myself. So I'm just going to cut the entire paragraph out and insert this text, a piece I hand-wrote a couple of days ago but didn't realize at the time fit pretty well with the essay I'd been working on.

There, I like that better. Actually, wait, I should add a transition. The text I inserted works, I think, but it's a bit jarring just slapped in there. OK, that should work better, for now at least.

So what did we learn today? We learned about how to revise with organization in mind, including the three-pronged approach of cutting, adding, and moving. Then we got to see each in action. I'm Gavin McCall. Thanks for joining me.