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Gordon DesBrisay, History Faculty

Quick Edit

Do you have any advice for a student who has only one hour to edit a paper?

Read your paper and proof it, with that skeptical reader in mind. (The skeptical audience). The skeptical audience, who needs to have the nuts and bolts of the argument laid out for them, who's not going to grant you any passes on shorthand, who needs to have every sentence make sense, [with] no snags to catch their eyes. Attend to those writerly mistakes and slips. The thing I write in margins all the time is 'lapses of sense and style'. 'Style' being the mechanics and the general flow of it. The 'sense' being, "This doesn't mean what you seem to think it means. Those words don't actually do the work that you're asking them to do." That's what proofreading is about.