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Writing for College and Beyond

Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom


CJ Kent

Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom explains how the many skills taught in the Freshman Composition course apply at work and in life. The composition class is a pre-requisite and General Education course for most colleges and universities in the United States. It reaches students in every area of study. As people wonder about the value of a liberal arts education and question whether colleges and universities are truly preparing students for the workforce, Writing for College and Beyond challenges those arguments by pointing out exactly how classroom policies and writing assignments apply beyond school walls. Professors, lecturers, and graduate students teaching Freshman Composition courses will find this book helpful. Administrators who service the Freshman Composition population, such as Writing Center Directors, will also find Writing for College and Beyond: Life Lessons from the College Composition Classroom a wonderful aid.

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On Editing and Revising


To clarify the steps in fixing your writing, I like to distinguish between editing and revising. Editing is fixing spelling, punctuation, and basic grammar errors. Revising is reorganizing ideas so that they make more sense. Therefore, revising should come before editing when you are fixing your papers. There is no reason to fix the grammar of a sentence before you decide if you want to completely rewrite the sentence.

Revising and editing are both necessary to writing. Many writers will even argue that most of writing is revision. Plan on doing a lot of it. Your first draft will never be adequate at work. Get used to the time you will need to draft, revise, revise, revise, revise, edit, revise, and edit one last time before submission.

On Revising

Confusing sentences suggest you don’t know what you are saying or that you do not fully grasp the rules of syntax. Long-winded and disorienting sentences suggest you don’t know how to focus. Revising is when you improve how you present your information for greater clarity.

You might need to reorganize the flow of your narrative. Every paragraph should have the following five elements:

1. Claim. This is the focus of your argument within the paragraph. Everything you write in a paragraph must relate to the claim. ← 234 | 235 →

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