Owning Bits

Writing Assignment 9: Rewrites

Summary: In this assignment, you have the opportunity to improve your research papers.

Purposes: To give you the opportunity to correct problems with your research papers. To give you the opportunity to apply more of Williams's principles.

Assigned: Tuesday, 2 December 2003

Due: 8:00 a.m., Thursday, 11 December 2003

Turning it in:

Background: I had hoped that the many stages involved in writing your research papers would lead to excellent results. I am confident that each of you can write well, apply the principles of editing that we have discussed in class, find and cite authoritative sources and appropriate cases, transition smoothly between and withing paragraphs, provide a clear and compelling point, and argue that point successfully. However, some of your essays need some more work to reach that standard.

In order to help you achieve these goals, I have made some comments on your essays and in this assignment. I hope that you find these comments useful.

The Assignment: Rewrite your essay. You should consider and probably incorporate my comments. However, you should not limit yourself to the corrections I have suggested. You should think carefully about the overall structure of your essay, the point of each paragraph, the flow of ideas, and the language you have used to convey your thoughts.

You will not have another chance to rewrite your essay for a better grade!

Some Details: In addition to addressing global issues, like structure and point, you should also make sure to treat the following details correctly.

Editing Sample: In addition to your revised essay, you must turn in a one-page example that shows that you've carefully thought about your writing. In particular, you must pick one paragraph from your essay (other than one we dissected in class), mark all of the characteristics that Williams might criticize, and rewrite that paragraph.

I would, of course, prefer that you follow this process for every paragraph in your essay. However, you need only show me one such paragraph.

FAQ (or Some Facsimile Thereof)

I seem to have earned an A or a B (or at least you wrote that on my paper). Do I have to rewrite my essay?
No. In fact, I would prefer that you not rewrite your essay.
If I earned an A or a B I turn in an editing sample to increase my grade?
Sure, as long as you make sure to include one well-written long sentence. If you do so, I'll increase your grade by one third of a letter grade.
Suppose you wrote Rewrite on my essay and I don't rewrite the essay. What will happen?
You will earn an F on the essay. In your final evaluation for the class, I will recommend that you be required to take a designated writing class. Your essay will not appear in Owning Bits.
What will happen if I turn my revised essay in late?
See the previous answer.
What should I do if you haven't evaluated my essay yet?
Make sure to get me your essay today. Wait until Thursday to see what I say then.
Some instructors limit the grades on rewrites. Do you?
There are times that I limit grades on rewrites. In this case, I will not place an upper limit on your grade. If your rewritten essay is outstanding, you will earn an A on it.
Suppose I do everything that you suggested. What grade will I get?
If you incorporate all of my comments and strive to reach the goals outlined herein, you are likely to receive a passing grade.
I don't seem to have a point. What should I do?
Talk to me as soon as possible.
How many people have you asked to rewrite their essays?
None of your business.



Monday, 1 December 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]


Disclaimer: I usually create these pages on the fly, which means that I rarely proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details. It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.

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