On Revising an On Essay


As you revise your On Essays this week, always put your ideas and content first. If that’s not working, nothing you do to improve the essay on a sentence or even paragraph level will help. The ideas have to be there, as does illustrative supporting detail.

That said, as you work toward the final draft, think about how you might elevate your writing to the next level through careful and thoughtful use of diction and syntax. In particular, consider:

  • Stylistic use of punctuation (hello, semi-colons and dashes!): As writer Noah Lukeman observes, “Punctuation reveals the writer.” Look at your notes from the punctuation Prezi we had in class and find places where your writing can be improved―clarified and enlivened―by thoughtful uses of punctuation.
  • Emphasize ideas through syntax: Consider using the Image Grammar brushstrokes and rhetorical strategies such as anadiplosis, antimetabole, asyndeton, polysyndeton, anaphora, epistrophe, etc. (here’s that Prezi and here’s the red quarter sheet for your notebook if you didn’t get it.)


When you turn in your final copy, ditch the MLA heading. Instead, format your essay in the following manner:

  1. Include an interesting title at the top, either centered or left-aligned, using a thoughtful font type and size.
  2. Choose a font that works with your essay based on its content or style. Does your essay call for a sans-serif font like Calibri or a serif font like Garamond?
  3. Use single or 1.15 spacing. Double-space between paragraphs. Make the essay look appealing.
  4. At the end of the essay, include an Author’s Note. This Author’s Note (with an optional picture) is a brief description of you, the author. Include personal information that may (or may not) be relevant but interesting, as well as other previous or future writing. This Author’s Note should also be single or 1.15 spaced.
  5. Consider use of the drop cap to indicate section breaks where appropriate.

NEW DUE DATE: Monday, January 11 (if you need more time, that’s okay, but I need it by Friday at the latest).

Here’s a rubric. We’ll discuss this in class.

Other Stuff: Next week, we will work on rhetorical analysis and multiple choice review.


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