High price of multitasking


Now that you have read about the revision process, let us apply what you have discovered to your critical analysis essay!

Using the strategies and revision steps you have learned about, along with any early feedback you may have received from your instructor, revise each section of your essay. Remember that revision is very important, so be sure not to rush this activity! Work in a word document; save it and copy and paste below. As a reminder, use the following general revision tips:
Large-Scale Revisions
Is your thesis statement clearly stated?
Do your major points support your thesis statement?
Have you summarized opposing viewpoints?
Have you summarized potential objections?

Small-Scale Revisions
Are your sentences grammatically complete with a subject and a verb?
Do you vary your sentences in style and length?
Have you used punctuation correctly?
Is your language specific enough or too vague?
Is your tone appropriate?
Do you understand the meaning of the words you have used?
Are there any homonym errors (like its versus it’s, or their versus there)?

Get some distance from your paper. Set your draft aside for a while, preferably overnight or longer. When you reread it, try to assume your audience’s perspective by reading your work with fresh eyes.
In order to get the distance that you need, you will have to give yourself plenty of time to revise. Do not wait until the night before a paper is due to attempt revisions. Instead, try to finish writing your draft at least a few days before the deadline so that you have time to re-read and make the necessary large-scale and small-scale changes.
Optional: Print out a hard copy of your draft. It is often difficult to catch grammar and spelling errors when you read your paper on a computer screen, and it is just as hard to get a good sense of the whole of your paper to see where and how your draft needs re-organizing. Revising a hard copy allows you to spot these problems and to make notations directly on your draft as you read it.
Read your paper out loud. It is often easier to hear the parts of your draft that need clarification or correction than it is to see them. Reading your paper aloud with a pen or pencil in hand will help you locate the sentence-level changes that need to be made and the places where your writing is confusing or unclear.

instructor feedback
For this week, we’re back to having further comments on Turnitin, so make sure to look there for additional feedback.

Overall this submission has some good ideas, but is too focused on informing and arguing instead of analyzing like we need it to be.

There is a good, evaluative and analytical thesis statement here at the core. We see it at the end of that first paragraph, where you talk about how Willingham is making the case that multitasking can have serious effects. There’s an odd word choice with “accurate” and the thesis is clunky, but it does give us a core to work with. We can see in the rest of the essay that there’s some engagement with the text too.

The issue is that it’s mostly written as an informative/argumentative essay. You’ve fallen into that common trap of writing too much about the topic and not enough about the essay. We need to see the focus on what Willingham is doing and writing. Look back at what we’ve been discussing: tone, style, word choice, audience, etc. The focus of the body needs to be on that: on telling us what Willingham is doing and how that proves his point.

This does mean that there needs to be a major rewrite to be on the right track. There’s some potential with the evidence you’re using, but you have to show us how that shows that Willingham does a good job. Make your focus about the article and his writing, not about multitasking and its effects. It’s a tricky switch to make, but necessary for success.

There are also quite a few awkward phrases, not helped by relying on “the author” a bit too much. It’s odd, because we do frequently get Willingham’s name mentioned, so I’m not sure why there’s so much stepping back. It reads uncertain, and it’s adding to some of the confusing phrases and the off focus.

Again, this is going to need a major rewrite to really get where it needs to be. Refocus around your thesis. Make it so that every paragraph is working to prove that point you’re making: that Willingham is successful in his point. Changing the word “accurate” to something more evaluative will probably help, and you’re going to need to tweak the phrasing on that thesis even as you build from it. But you’ve got that core; it’s just going to need you to rewrite around it in order to achieve success.