Blog #6: Revisions by a MESHUGGINA

We’ve been focusing on revision of our ten page papers in class this week.

I’ve asked myself 4 important questions during this process.

1. “Why does this topic matter?”

2. “Is my voice shining through? How’s the balance of my voice and my sources’?”

3. “Have I used enough gesture words in paper?”

4. “Have I used any tired phrases?”

I’ve adjusted my paper to reflect the answer to “Why does this topic matter?” At first when I attempted to answer the question, I used the word “cherish” five times in a matter of three sentences! My editor, Ashley, noticed my attachment to the word and advised me to cut it down to using the word twice. This is what my paper reflects: “As marriage mentor and author Ramona Zabriskie writes, every American woman needs a person to “cherish” unceasingly. She explains that such a “priceless gift” is not for simply anyone; not for the random person on the street nor even for a close family member.  Zabriskie explains that to fully “experience the closeness of cherish,” a lady must chose a life partner. It’s “the real why” women get married. Likewise, Zabriskie argues that every man wants to find his “quest” to “conquer” and prove his manhood. She maintains that a man’s “quest… is utterly tied to his identity.” He needs that “damsel” (34-42). So it’s not as if marriage has lost its appeal, because statistics show that 90% of all Americans get married at least once in their lifetime (Wolfinger 2).

In addressing the second question of “Is my voice shining through? How’s the balance of my voice and my sources’?” I was very proud with my first rough draft. However, there was room for improvement and I have worked on fixing my paper to “shine like the top of the Chrysler Building!” It’s even complete with musical references and popular culture hints. Two sections that I feel really exemplify my voice would be,

1. The lead, “On one of the most important days of Kris’ life, his friends and family gathered around him to celebrate. As they looked over photographs from his wedding day, they smiled. Kim was very beautiful and had been a gorgeous bride. Kris held up his glass of wine and made a toast. While his wine sloshed in his glass, his dad gave him a pat on the back as a gesture of encouragement. Kris recounted how, 72 days earlier, he had married one of the most beautiful women in the world, and how at that very moment he knew he had made the right decision. That right decision was not marrying Kim but coaxing her into signing a prenuptial agreement before they tied the knot.

Prenuptial agreements, also called prenups, are very common nowadays. They serve as contracts to divide property ahead of marriage, as a plan for divorce. As described in the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, prenups can be as common as wedding cake (“Divorce,” St. James).”

2. A fragment from the “Changes in Society” section that reads, “As women felt compelled to act on their rights for independence, the sudden outbreak of AIDs tamed the divorce rate back down in the early 1980s (“Divorce,” St. James). While yes, it would be wonderful to tame the divorce rate again, I’m not a fan of the AIDs method.

Americans wanted monogamous relationships again to diffuse the rampant disease. And just as fast as divorce had lost its “stigma,” marriage found it and claimed the “stigma” (Wolfinger 2) as its own. While couples were still pairing off, a societal standard had drastically changed. Instead of marrying their partner, Americans decided that they needed to test drive their loved one first; to test for compatibility, if you will.”

When I was hunting for gesture words, I found five specific places (on the one page I was searching alone) where I needed to include better hints to my readers. I know that I need to include gesture words because they show the reader that my paper is part of a bigger conversation.

Now, I have these phrases in my paper to show that my topic is part of a larger conversation… “Most Americans tend to…” and “However, I would argue…” and “Some people would argue …” and “As the popular belief …” and “Many researchers…”

Lindsay, our teacher, asked us to chose a random page in our paper to check for tired phrases. The very first sentence on the page that I checked read, “The fact that there are thousands of books on coping with divorce is a sign that divorce is prevalent in today’s society.” I had two tired phrases in one sentence! I revised the sentence to read, “There are thousands of books on coping with divorce which is a sign that divorce is currently prevalent.” My goal with changing this sentence is to eliminate tired phrases from my paper!

Happy editing folks,

❤ Siarra

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3 thoughts on “Blog #6: Revisions by a MESHUGGINA

  1. Hi, So I have been following your blogs and your paper, and I am still kind of up in the air as to what your topic or argument or exploration is on, prenups or the divorce rate? I hope this doesn’t offend you or upset you, I may be misreading it or reading right over it and it could be right there, but I have also only read the first few paragraphs of your paper, so it may get clearer as the paper goes! However, I love the revisions you are finding in your paper, it is so easy to put those “tired phrases” in the paper without knowing you’re doing it. It’s just what you think to write! So having to go back and look for those is tedious and you don’t realize how often you do it! I went over my paper a million times looking for these and it gets difficult to pick them after a while they all blur together it seems. I agree with Ashley, your peer partner, on having the word “cherish” too many times, how it is trying to prove a point, your reword is MUCH better and more to the point. Did you find this experience easy or hard to go through?

    Word Count: 210

    1. The first two paragraphs in my paper are my lead, just like with everybody else’s paper. They reflect a short story that introduces pre-nups and divorce. The reason I started my paper with a short story on pre-nups is because they are a shocking marriage practice that proves how marriage has changed over the years. There are 9.5 pages after those two paragraphs that speak to divorce rates. My paper is on the reasons for the high divorce rate. I list three main points with about five subpoints for each. My paper very plainly reflects that my topic is on the high divorce rates.

    2. Also, I found the experience of editing easy and hard. Easy because it was just a quick, two second fix. But hard because I liked it the way it was… Granted my paper is better for the adjustment, it’s just that “breaking up is hard to do” (Ballenger).

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