Archive for category 5. Revision: Keys to Success

I am sure that you can remember the first toy you bought as a child with your own money, I know I can. I also recall how terribly upset I was to hand the store clerk the money I had spent my valuable time on saving; still I bought the toy anyway, noticing it came with a small folded paper filled with directions and safety warnings.If you were hard headed as I am you did not read those directions and in turn completely ruined the new toy you spent your hard earned money on.It is hard watching something that you have spent your valuable time on go to waste, money and toys are compatible with grades and papers. Just like the toy came with a set of directions papers comes with a rubric; if you neglect the directions you lose the toy the same as if you neglect the rubric you lose the grade. As I said before I am extremely hard headed I ruined my first toy and just recently a paper. I became excited about the topic of the paper and failed to even look over the rubric; I was positive I had written a really good paper and even sent it to previous high school teachers to have it read over but received a zero only because I had two sources rather than the required four; the rubric clearly stated to have four sources. Though it may seem simple to just always check over the rubric it is indeed essential.
The rubric for a paper is a professors way of guiding you through the paper, it can essentially be a step by step guide to an “A” paper. As you probably know from high school writing they generally tell you the topic or rules for the paper, the format, the length required, and other general requirements such as sources. It is always a good idea to thoroughly look over the rubric before even starting your research for the paper, that way you know what is expected of you ahead of time; including how many sources you will be needing to pull creditable information from.
From personal experience I know that it sounds repetitive and a waste of time to double check the rubric so many times; in all honesty though you would be amazed at the little things you could miss by not constantly going over it. After finishing writing the entire paper before turing it in it is vital to look over the rubric one last time to make sure that you have throughly hit every request the professor has made on your paper.
Also, a rubric can be like the warranty information always included on that little slip of paper. For example, if your writing an argumentative essay and one of your counterarguments seems too weak, you can refer back to the rubric to see if you need it. Just like the warranty on a toy will allow you to replace it if its broken, the rubric will help guide you through the issue and replace the broken sections.
So, whenever you are given a rubric take full advantage and use it as your toy’s little instruction sheet. Read it as a step-by-step guide that will help you form and write your essay. Refer back to it whenever you have issues with what your writing and go back to the rubric whenever you finish the essay to make sure that you’ve covered what the professor wants because the worst feeling of all as a child is breaking that toy you spend your hard earned money just because you didn’t read the instructions, and now as a college student you’d feel terrible getting a nice goose egg on an amazing paper just because you didn’t look over the rubric.

Being Your Own Critic

Being your own critic. It is not just about beating yourself up over small mistakes that you have made or even being the perfect editor.  It seems like such a basic and common skill but it is quite a challenge to read what you wrote and say you made a mistake.  Just like any other skill being your own critic is a skill that takes practice to master.  In writing, being your own critic plays a critical role.  There are many aspects to it too, for example, you must be able to proof read, edit mistakes, rearrange thoughts and much more.  Being able to edit and reread your paper is an easy and effective way to save your grade from careless mistakes.  With just a few simple steps you will be able to avoid losing points on your papers.

One of the easiest ways to revise your own paper is by proof reading it yourself.  Sometimes when  taking a second look at your paper you may find some sentences that do not make sense.  I cannot begin to fathom the amount of times that I had a good idea in my head but in writing look like a scrambled mess of words.  Also, you may find some common errors in spelling.  You may have used the wrong word in place of another, like, “whole and hole” or “there, their, and they’re”.  Errors like these can misconstrue your sentence or ,perhaps , even your entire paper.  Another easy way to save your paper from the plague of errors is getting someone else to proof read it.

When editing your paper you must remember a few things like who is your audience and the format of the paper.  To ease the editing process, just put yourself into your teacher’s shoes.  Think about what your teacher would like, in other words, follow the rubric.  Make sure that your paper meets the rubric’s requirements.  When rereading your paper scrutinize every little detail that has the possibility of losing points.  This is a very simple way to edit your paper.

Another easy way to self critique your paper is by creating your own checklist of proofs before your turn in your paper.  My own personal check list includes, looking over the rubric, does my paper convey my point clearly, and what grade do I think I will get on this paper.  You can add your own proofs if you feel that you are not particularly strong in one field, like quotes.  If you know you are not good at fitting quotes into your paper you know what to look for in your paper and get help to remedy it.

These are just a few things to look for in your writing.  If you follow these to heart you are most likely to do well on your essays and papers in college.  Remember your professors can either be your greatest resource or your worst nightmare, depending on how you use them.  Being your own critic is not only a writing a skill it is also a life skill.


Revision Experiences

Finally the time has arrived for you to head off to college.  A lot of emotions are probably running through your head, such as, excitement, nervousness, and anticipation, but stay relaxed.  College writing is not as difficult as people may make it out to be, with the proper revision after each of your papers you will see a big difference in your writing.  There are resources around campus that can help you with revision, but utilizing them is a key.  It took me a while to figure out how to use the resources around campus, but once I put them to use it made a big difference in my writing.

The most helpful resource you can use around campus is the writing center, which is located  in the library.  The writing center will read a rough draft of your paper and try to lead in you in the correct direction.  The writing center will  not write your paper for you though, so do not expect them to do your work.  I heard about the writing center when I first arrived to Longwood while I was attending  New Lancer Days.  I didn’t think much of it, because I thought I would never use it.  The first paper I wrote in college was the same way I wrote in high school. I waited to the last minute and wrote the paper without planning or revising at the end, and I received a very bad grade on that paper.  The next time I had to write a paper, I took a rough draft to the writing center and had them read it for me and give me suggestions.  After I received their suggestions, I revised my paper a little and then turned the paper in.  I received a much better grade when I used the writing center as one of my resources for help around campus.

The writing center is a very big resource for help when revising your paper, but it is not the only one you should use.  To have a successful paper you must revise your paper more than once.  Another resource you can use is a friend in the same class or that has taken the writing class, or you can request a tutor for your class.  After you write your paper you can take the paper to a friend or tutor and have them read over your paper.  You can do this before you go to the writing center or after.  Having input from a couple different resources can help you in writing your papers.  Like I said earlier, once I finally utilized one of my resources around campus, I started to use others.  I asked a friend and later on received a tutor, and asked the two of them to read over one of my papers and tell me their suggestions.  I did this and used the writing center as well, and received the my highest grade on a writing assignment so far.

Many incoming freshmen come in with the idea that college writing is overpowering and can not be conquered, but without the proper use of your resources around campus, it can turn in to something that is difficult.  The resources are there for students to use, why would you no take advantage of this opportunity.  It took me receiving a bad grade to finally utilize these resources.  You do not have to make the same mistakes as me, use the your resources on the first paper you write, rather than receiving a bad grade.  These resources are not hard to location, you just simply go to the library for the writing center, ask a friend, or request for a tutor.  I have used these techniques on almost all of my papers since I received my bad grade, and have received a higher grade on each one of my papers.  So do not be nervous when it comes to college writing, you have resources around you to help, you just have to take advantage of these resources.



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Hi, I am happy to go to Longwood University