Chapter 7: Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting

Chapter 7:
Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting
Topic Sentences
– Does each topic sentence raise one separate and distinct thesis
– Is each topic sentence clearly linked to the thesis with a
reference to the general subject or to your attitude about the
– If your thesis lists points of development, are body paragraphs
arranged in the same order as the thesis points?
The Body
– Does each body paragraph provide specific detail and examples
for each thesis point?
– Have you provided enough specific support for each thesis
Does each sentence of each body paragraph support the topic
Chapter 7:
Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting
The Conclusion
– Is the first sentence of the conclusion a broad, thesis-level
– Is the conclusion short, with no new information introduced?
– Is the last sentence final-sounding and does it adequately
complete the essay?
Checking Coherence
– In the introduction, is there a clear transition between
introductory material and the thesis?
– Have you used transitional words or transitional topic sentences
to link the second and third body paragraphs to the rest of the
– Have you used transitions within the paragraph effectively?
Chapter 7:
Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting
The Top-Down Technique
– The first proofreading should go from the top of the essay
down. As you proofread, make sure the connections between
ideas are smooth and solid and that the sentences and
paragraphs flow smoothly into one another. Check for parallel
structure, clear pronoun reference, and appropriate transitional
expressions. After correcting errors, move to bottom-up
The Bottom-Up Technique
– This technique is more labor-intensive and more focused than
top-down proofreading. When you read from the bottom up,
you are no longer reading your essay as a single piece of writing
but as disconnected sentences that do not flow into each other.
Chapter 7:
Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting
• The Targeting Technique
– If you have an error that you usually make while
writing, check for that error. These are common
errors and ways to correct them:
• Subject-verb agreement: Make sure the subject agrees with
the verb. A singular subject needs a singular verb, and a
plural subject needs a plural verb.
• Comma splices and run-ons: Check long sentences and
commas. Make sure that two independent clauses have
periods, or are joined with a coordinating conjunction
(FANBOYS = for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).
• Other comma errors: Check each comma for appropriate
placement. To find information on commas, see Chapter 22.
Chapter 7:
Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting
• Pronoun agreement: Check for plural pronouns, such as they and
their. Make sure that they and their refer to a plural antecedent.
• Sentence fragments: Use the bottom-up technique to check if
each sentence is correct. Check for the subject and verb to avoid
creating fragments.
Proofreading the Word-Processed Essay
– Spelling and grammar checkers on your computer can be
helpful, but they will not eliminate all errors from your
– Read your writing to make sure it is correct.
– The following is an example of correctly spelled words that
do not make sense in a sentence:
• Weather or knot ewe use a spelling checker, you knead to proof
Chapter 7:
Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting
The appearance of your writing is quite important.
– Handwritten Documents: Paragraphs and Essays
• Paragraphs and essays should be written on lined 8 ½ x 11-inch
paper in blue or black ink. Write on only one side of the paper.
• In the upper right-hand corner of the page, write your name,
date, and any other information regarding your class, such as
your instructor’s name, class’s title, and the assignment.
• Write the title on the first line of the paper, but do not use
quotation marks or underline it. (Quotation marks and
underlining are used for published work.)
– Handwritten Documents: Essay Tests
• If you are not required to use a “blue book” or write on the test,
use lined paper and write on only one side. Use blue or black ink.
• If you misspell a word or make a mistake, draw a line through it.
Chapter 7:
Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting
Word-Processed Documents
– Setting Up the Word Processing Software
• Select a font and font size that are easily readable, such as Times
New Roman in 12-point size. Do not use bold or italic font.
• Margins should be one inch all around the document.
• Double spacing should be used.
• The document should be left justified (it should line up on the left
side of the page).
– Formatting the Document
• Put your name, date, and any other class information in the
upper right corner.
• Center the title. Do not underline or place quotes around the
• Indent each paragraph.
Chapter 7:
Revising, Proofreading, and Formatting
Word-Processed Documents
– Printing and Presenting Your Document
• After the document has been proofread and revised,
print it on good quality paper.
• Your instructor may ask you to staple or place a paper
clip on the upper left-hand side of the document.

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