Berkeley HISTORY 2 - Selfeditingguide (2 pages)

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HIST 2B Prof Figliulo Rosswurm W17 Writing skills 5 things to look for do while editing 1 Introduction a The introduction should not use the words compare contrast similar or different You should be able to express your argument without resorting to these words b It should not use any form of to be am is are was were have been being c It should not use the passive voice 2 d It should not use I will argue or I am going to argue These are great ways to start practice theses but the final one should be re worded more formally 2 The use of the passive voice Read your paper backwards so you don t get caught up actually reading it and highlight underline circle all forms of to be in brightly colored pen Look for am is are was were have been being a Are there any paragraphs with a lot of highlighting Arguments that use to be frequently tend to be very weak and will drag down your paper s argument b Forms of to be are also used in the passive voice which is a weaker expression of argument In the passive voice the direct object acts as the subject and the real subject as the nominal recipent i e The gift was given by Judy to me In active voice Judy gave me the gift 3 Spell check by hand Computer spell checks often miss misspellings because the word is technically a word just not the correct one for example tea for the Computer spellchecks also miss capitalization mistakes 4 Check for grammar and flow a Read the paper aloud slowly If you feel weird reading it to yourself find a friend sit down and listen to it It should take about 10 minutes to read a 7page paper aloud While you re reading listen for these things ask your audience to do the same i Do you stumble over any sentences What s throwing you off ii Are the sentences hard to say without taking a breath They re probably run ons iii Do your sentences flow Or is there an awkward shift between sentences or paragraphs b Watch for words that are spelled similiarly but have different meanings for example their they re there or whether and weather c Tense consistency Do you switch between the past and the present History papers should be written in past tense d Circle and excise all contractions 5 Logic and argumentation development If possible let your paper sit for one day without working on it If that isn t possible at least let it sit for a couple hours and do something else in between Then come back and read it slowly a Does each point you make build logically on your previous one b Does your conclusion tie all of the points you proved with evidence in the body of your paper together back into your main thesis point



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