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Revision Goal 1: Establish and maintain a controlling idea or bottom line throughout the document in order to achieve the purpose established in your writing prompt.

1. Re-read your document. Find a sentence that you could use as the controlling idea or bottom line of your document. You may also write a new sentence if you wish.

Example: Thomas’s document jumps from one idea to another, but once he reads it again, he finds the sentence he wants to use as a controlling idea: “Telecommuting has economic benefits for employers and employees.”

2. Once you have your controlling idea, highlight all the areas in your document that are on track with your controlling idea or bottom line.

Example: Thomas finds a few sentences that are on track with his controlling idea, including these:

“Telecommuting allows a business to operate in a smaller space since some of its employees will be working from home.”
“Telecommuting gives people who are disabled or challenged or non-traditional greater access to employment.”

3. Integrate key words from your controlling idea into your supporting details. In addition, use transitional expressions to connect your thoughts.

Example: Thomas still has to make sure that the ideas in his document are connected, so he uses key words from his controlling idea as well as transitional expressions to connect his thoughts: “An economic benefit of telecommuting is that it allows a business to operate in a smaller space since some of its employees will be working from home. Similarly, disabled, challenged, or non-traditional employees benefit economically by gaining greater access to employment.”

Revision Goal 2: Understand and connect with the intended audience.

1. Re-read your document. Highlight sentences that demonstrate a lack of adaptation to the audience.

Example: Alicia reads her document and finds a couple of sentences that she realizes would make smokers angry and non-cooperative, definitely not the purpose of the document: “Smoking is bad for you. The management of XYZ company is no longer going to support it.”

2. Pay attention to the audience’s knowledge, needs, beliefs, and/or feelings.

Example: Alicia has to do a lot of work to revise the above sentence. Notice how the sentences below show empathy and respect for all involved while still maintaining management’s authority: “The management team at XYZ company acknowledges how difficult it is to quit smoking, despite the health benefits of doing so. As we evaluate the smoking policy and health care coverage in regard to smoking cessation programs, we will consider the rights and responsibilities of all employees — those who smoke, those who are trying to quit, and those who do not smoke.”


Revision Goal 1: Offer details that support your ideas.

1. Re-read your document. Highlight one or two ideas that can be further developed or expanded.

Example: Michelle finds this sentence in her document: “All presenters should know who their audience is.” She realizes that she needs to add details to her idea.

2. Brainstorm details such as reasons, explanations, facts, or arguments that can support each idea.

Example: Michelle brainstorms, focusing on reasons that presenters should know who their audience is:

“Make presentation on technology relevant to audience.”
“Assess what applications audience may already know.”
“Pay attention to diversity of audience; for example, seniors versus fifth graders.”

3. Now incorporate some or all of the supporting details you brainstormed into your document.

Example: Michelle adds minor details and uses transitional expressions to incorporate two of the supporting details she brainstormed into her document: “All presenters should know who their audience is in order to make their presentation relevant to the audience. For instance, in planning a presentation on emerging technology, the speaker assesses that a group of fifth graders will understand new, slang technology terms more readily than an audience of 60 to 80-year-olds will.”

Revision Goal 2: Use business concepts and terms in your document.

1. Re-read your document. Highlight at least two areas where you can include relevant business concepts or terms.

Example: Andre finds a supporting point in his document that he decides he can express in more business-like terms: “The people showed they were bored by not paying attention to the speaker.”

2. Brainstorm three business concepts or terms that you can include in your document.

Example: Andre brainstorms business terms that relate to the idea he presents in his sentence:

“Nonverbal behavior.”
“Audience, presenter.”

3. Now incorporate these concepts or terms into your document.

Example: Andre adds minor details to the business terms he brainstormed and incorporates the terms into his sentence: “The audience displayed numerous nonverbal messages–yawning, texting, and checking the time–demonstrating that they were not paying attention to the presenter.”