Dr. Smith/English 100
Revision Workshop Guide (Comparison/Contrast Essay)
Directions to the readers: This workshop is to help with revision of content, organization, and word choice only. Take a sheet of paper and write your name at the top of it and then answer the following questions about the essays of two other writers in the class. DO NOT answer the questions with just “yes” or “no”; explain your answers fully, so the writer will have a chance to use your insights to help improve his or her paper.
1. Is there a title? Is it interesting? If either of these answers are in the negative, suggest a title to the student after you read the entire essay.
2. Does the introductory material work well as an attention-getter for you as a reader? Does the writer lead you into the topic, rather than just immediately dropping you into his/her thesis?
3. Read the first paragraph of the essay and then pause. What do you think the main idea of the essay is? Underline the thesis. Does it introduce the two things that will be compared? Does it or the next sentence give you the points of comparison that will be used in the body of the paper. Provide information on how to make any of these things in the introduction better/more effective.
4. Now read the body paragraphs of the essay. Does each body paragraph have a topic sentence that relates directly to the thesis given in the introduction? Read only the topic sentences of the body paragraphs in order. Do they give the general outline of the following paragraphs on their own? Do the topic sentences match the points of development given in the introduction? Are they in the
5. Look at each of the body paragraphs individually now. Does each paragraph have primary support (general details of the story in order of occurrence) and secondary support (specific details that really explain what went on)? Is each paragraph about the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph?
6. Is the essay sequenced in an easy-to-follow order? Which type of organizational format did the
writer use? Did you ever get lost somewhere because of things that appear to be out of sequence or
not really explained or not really relevant to the essay? Does the writer use transitions to jump from
one idea to another (especially between body paragraphs)?
7. Go to the essay and mark three places with a plus mark (+) where you think the writer used effective, detailed information to support the main idea. Write a comment next to these places that tells the writer what support is effective.
8. Go to the paper and mark three places with a check mark where you think the writer needs to provide more developed and effective details to support the main idea. Write a comment next to these places that tells the writer what kind of details are needed to make the support more effective.
9. What do you like best about the entire essay?
10. What two features need the most improvement? Give some recommendations to the writer about how he or she might improve these things before the editing workshop.
**Give the paper and your answers/comments back to the writer. When you return the paper, discuss questions #9 and #10 with the writer.**