mcdonald_0We are going to be focusing on precise language today.

Sometimes communication can go wrong.

Don’t be like these guys. Be aware of how you can possibly be misunderstood. Use careful, specific language! Only be vague when you want to be.

Have you worked with another student on an essay before?

Higher Order Concerns

Higher order concerns (HOL) are pressing issues with a paper. They are important issues that can affect the meaning of a paper. A global error versus a typo.

Lower order concerns (LOC) are minor issues that do not really detract from the paper.

It is up to you to decide what you think is a Higher order concern.

Really Responding to Student Writing

  • Be a friendly reader
  • Be supportive
  • Point problems or issues
  • Do not rewrite
  • Be specific, use details
  • Make a mental checklist
  • Be aware of the draft
  • Focus on one or two things
  • Write full sentences
  • Positive and negative feedback

Finding and Replacing

There are many words that we use regularly which are vague and can be improved when we revise. Look for the words very, good, well, and a lot. You can do search by hitting control + f.



What to look for

Introduction. Does it get your attention?

  • Add a rhetorical question.
  • Begin with a story/anecdote to introduce topic.
  • Make your position/view clear.

Ideas. Are they saying what they intended to say? How can they say it clearly?

Language. Can you use more precise words to convey your meaning?

Read as a Reader.


Now that you have all this great feedback you need to revise!

Take the suggestions you received and what you came up with to improve your essay and use it. Revise your essay and make it better.

Use Chapter 11, “He Says Contends” Using the Templates to Revise to guide you in the revision process.