Investigative Journalism Article Revision - Roll the Dice

No draft is ever perfect. Revision is an opportunity to revisit our writing and make it stronger, clearer, more concise. The writer Ernest Hemingway “rewrote the first part of his novel A Farewell to Arms at least 50 times and rewrote the ending of the novel 39 times”; “Hemingway revised so much not because he was a bad writer but because he was a good writer.”

Roll a . . .

Complete . . .

Start by correcting the surface errors and run your draft through Grammarly to check for spelling, grammar, and mechanics

Let’s boost our vocabulary. Read through your writing and circle all the words that are repeated often and or seem vague. Use an online Thesaurus to change up five or more words to boost your vocabulary.

Move your last paragraph to the first paragraph and see how it changes your writing starting with your ending point first. Read through the draft and decide whether your end is really the beginning. Then, write a compelling conclusion.

Color code your evidence:

  • ❏  Underline relevant, well-chosen facts in blue
  • ❏  Underline concrete facts and statistics in red.
  • ❏  Underline testimony from the text in green.

Look through your color-coding. Put a next to any ideas that could use more support. Now take the time to add support and elaboration where necessary.  

Include a story or anecdote. Personalize this topic to develop ethos and pathos. If you do not have a personal connection, find testimony or a quote from someone who does have person connections to the topic.

Create a T-Chart on a separate paper. For every paragraph:

  1. In the left column, write the main point (or points) in a few words.
  2. In the right column, write what each paragraph is doing—for example, argument/claim/thesis, context, evidence, support, transition to new topic, recap, significance.
  3. After you’ve finished, look at your outline and consider:
  • Does every paragraph relate to your paper’s main topic or thesis?
  • Does each paragraph have a topic sentence that clearly states the main point of the paragraph as you’ve summarized it in your outline?
  • Is the evidence presented in a persuasive order (for example, strongest first?
  1. Edit as needed to improve the readability and impact on your readers.