AP Revision: Reverse Outline

AP Revision: Reverse Outline.

I’m working on a Writing exercise and need support.

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1) First, save a new copy of your draft. You will want to be able to make large-scale changes without fear.

2) Next, write a Reverse Outline for your essay. To do this, go through your current essay draft and, one paragraph at a time, write a brief summary of each. This doesn’t have to be a perfect-looking outline, but paragraph summaries should include a) main ideas/points covered, and b) any key details or evidence that you use to support and develop those ideas.

3) When you’ve finished, you should have a complete Outline of your essay as it is. Go over this and look for opportunities to revise. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Structural changes (moving paragraphs/points/ideas, deleting things that don’t belong, etc.)
  • Development changes (adding more evidence, detail, explanations of key terms or concepts, etc.)
  • Logical changes (addressing counterarguments, filling in gaps, recognizing and addressing challenges to the solutions you’re advocating for, adding more scholarly or credible back-up for your arguments)

4) Make those substantial changes in the new file that you saved in Step 1. Use new font colors, bolding, highlighting, comments, Track Changes, or whatever else you want to mark where the changes have been made. By the end, this should be a colorful and/or marked-up draft!

The Submission

You will submit (in one document, if possible):

  • Your Reverse Outline
  • Your changed draft (yes, the whole thing!)
  • A brief (250-500 word) Reflection that explains what you changed, why you changed it, and how this experiment has strengthened your essay. (You are also welcome to explain what you won’t keep, if you think the original version of something worked better.)

AP Revision: Reverse Outline