Lesson Plan Title: 5 Ways to Revise
Grade Level: 9-12
Duration: 100 minutes
Description: Some writers say that real writing only happens in revision. Now that students have generated material for their persuasive essays and reviewed it in groups, it's time to start re-writing their work. The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to five different ways of revising their persuasive essays.
Student Objectives: Students will overhaul their essays by passing through them with five different types of revisions.
1. Paper and pen
Set Up and Prepare: Instruct students to bring a clean, typed, double-spaced copy of their persuasive essay to class (2nd draft). Make sure students have reviewed their essay in groups before they begin revising.
Step 1: Ask students to clear their minds and read their papers as if for the first time. Instruct then to search for what's missing. Have them make a list of what they've discovered in the process about their topic and what they still need to research. Are there ideas that seem more important on this reading that now require further support? Have them underline sentences and passages and take copious notes in the margins.
Step 2: Have students read their essays for meaning. Ask them to pretend like they didn't write the paper. Would they always understand what the author is trying to say? Tell them to underline words, sentences, and paragraphs that seem confusing or assume too much of the reader. As an exercise, have students write a complete sentence summarizing the main point of each paragraph. Is each point clear? Do the points add up to mean what they writer intends?
Step 3: Instruct students to read their essays and pay close attention to order. Remind them that persuasive essays may take different forms, depending on the strategies employed by the author. As an exercise, have students graphically outline the structure of their essays on a separate sheet of paper. Make sure they are able to identify the thesis and supporting arguments in the essay. Have them look at their outlines and reconsider the order in which the arguments are presented. Ask students to rearrange their outlines to find a better order for their arguments.
Step 4: Have students read their essays for voice. What type of voice do they hear when reading the essay? Is it clear, consistent, and engaging? Are there places when it breaks down or falls flat? Is it the right voice for their argument? Does it always help to convince the reader of the writer's opinion? Or are there places where it works against the writer's intentions? Is the essay too formal, or sound too intellectual? Or is it sloppy, not formal enough? Is the voice always appropriate for the subject matter? Have students write all over their essays, scribbling in the margins, re-writing sections as they go.
Step 5: Ask students to read their essays for accuracy. Are there enough facts to support their arguments? Are all the facts, figures, and quotations correct? Make sure they check and double-check all of their research. Have students write a works cited page in MLA format. Ask them to check all of their citations.
Assess Students: Were students stimulated to find new ways to re-write their essays? Did they cover their essays in copious notes and make elaborate outlines?
Lesson Extension: Since revision is writing, students should now formally re-write their essays based on what they discovered in class.
Evaluate Lesson: Did the lesson keep students engaged in the revision process at all times? Were there types of revisions that were easier for students to complete? What was the most difficult revision for students to complete?
Assignments: Students should compose a typed, third draft of their persuasive essay and bring it to the next class.