Revision

by Daymon

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On Halloween, we imagine ourselves differently. We paint our faces and become new characters. We mock the macabre and generally celebrate all that is strange and wonderful in life—particularly candy.

We see ourselves and others differently for a day. It is liberating.

Believe it or not, writing revisions can also be liberating. It’s an opportunity to look closely at your writing voice, to see your thoughts in a new light—perhaps with added depth and meaning.

What if you injected some humor in your writing here, like putting on some clown makeup? What if you delayed some revealing information over there, like the growing suspense of your favorite Halloween thriller?

There are many aspects of revision that simply ensure you have met the assignment requirements and presented a clear argument. You can find several of these revision strategies in the handout linked below.

But revision can also be an opportunity to re-see (re-vision) your words—and yourself—differently. Happy Halloween!

Click on the handout below (IF YOU DARE), and it will take you to our homesite, where you can checkout other resources to improve your writing skills and prepare you for academic, professional, and civic writing.

UIS The Learning Hub Handouts

Semicolons

Surviving Grammar’s Serial Killer

by Michael

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Since October is the designated month of fright, it’s fitting to include semicolons as part of this month’s web series’ entries. Although I am an English major, the little symbol that seems to have nonsensically grouped a period and a comma together still trips me up on occasion, too. After some serious reflection, I have come to the conclusion that – if equated to scary Halloween movies – the semicolon would be the quintessential slasher film killer Michael Myers, and those of us who are too fearful to include the grammatical mechanic in our writings are likened to the innocent Jamie Lee Curtis, doomed to run around screaming and hiding in closets in an attempt to survive. Unlike Jamie’s character, however, we’re not lucky enough to have a wire hanger to defend ourselves against grammatical error…C’est la vie. We do, on the other hand, have our very own resources to improve and learn about the absurd and unnaturally confusing semicolon so that you don’t fall prey to its evil ways.

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Commas

by Alec

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I received the feedback from my first college paper with the phrase “excessive comma usage” written at the end. The feedback raced through my head over and over again. How could a professor deduct so many points for such a small reason? That was just his opinion. Punctuation is subjective and decided by the author. I flipped back to the first page and began reading it out loud to myself. Surely, if I could prove to him that every comma was necessary, then he would consider raising my grade for the paper. I was quickly humbled as I stumbled over phrases, sentence after sentence. I realized just how distracting those commas were. There was a comma in almost every sentence, and I was clearly in the wrong.

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