some of the revision techniques discussed on pages 60–62

NADE.6424.cp03.p071-119.vpdf 2/20/04 2:45 PM Page 77
motionless and ready to spring on any unsuspecting student who tried to
sneak into class late.” But the sentence is richer and more interesting when
the descriptive elements are embedded, eliminating what would otherwise
have been a clipped and predictable subject-verb pattern.
Once you have a draft of the essay, you’re ready to revise. The following
checklist will help you and those giving you feedback apply to description
some of the revision techniques discussed on pages 60–62.
Revise Overall Meaning and Structure
❏ What dominant impression does the essay convey? Is the dominant
impression stated or implied? Where? Should it be made more obvious or more subtle?
❏ Is the essay primarily objective or subjective? Should the essay be
more emotionally charged or less so?
❏ Which descriptive details don’t support the dominant impression?
Should they be deleted, or should the dominant impression be
adjusted to encompass the details?
Revise Paragraph Development
❏ How are the essay’s descriptive paragraphs organized—spatially,
chronologically, emphatically, or by sensory impression? Would
another organizational pattern be more effective? Which one(s)?
❏ Which paragraphs lack a distinctive focus?
❏ Which descriptive paragraphs are mere lists of sensory impressions?
❏ Which descriptive paragraphs fail to engage the reader’s senses? How
could they be made more concrete?
Revise Sentences and Words
❏ What signal devices guide readers through the description? Are there
enough signals? Too many?
❏ Where should sentence structure be varied to make it less predictable?
❏ Which sentences should include more sensory images?
❏ Which flat verbs should be replaced with vigorous verbs?
❏ Where should there be more or fewer adjectives?
❏ Do any figures of speech seem contrived or trite? Which ones?