JFK Library Learning Commons
Catalyst Building C451 and C452
|Successful writers use a writing process. This process consists of revising, editing, and proofreading to create writing that is clear, organized, and effective.|
A reverse outline is a great tool writers can use to look at the organization and focus of their draft. Here are some guidelines for how to create a reverse outline.
Have you been told your paper doesn't flow? Often, the problem is that your sentences are awkward. You might be trying to say too much, or you might not have said enough. Remember: you want to have one subject and one predicate in each sentence. Any more or less than that and you've got a problem.
The best way to find and correct awkward or run-on sentences is to read your paper out loud. You can only pause at punctuation, and you can only breathe at end punctuation (periods, question marks and exclamation points). If you're running out of breath, you may have some run-ons. Alternatively, if you're hyperventilating because you're breathing too often, your sentences are short and choppy. Make sure your writing sounds natural. If it doesn't sound right, it probably isn't right. Your paper should sound smooth, as if you were talking to someone.
In the writing world, we sometimes use the term sentence clarity, rather than flow, to describe awkward writing.
Click HERE for strategies to improve clarity.
Click HERE for good examples to help you combine short, choppy sentences.
Click HERE for a method to shorten up wordy sentences.