Exercise Add Examples to Make Dull Copy Come Alive

Shelley, a high school teacher, intends to distribute a brief explanation of how she will be calculating grades to her students. Think back to your years in school, and recall the various ways your teachers assessed your performance. Take Shelley's first draft and revise it to add specificity through numbers and examples that illustrate her points.

To: All Students

Your grade this year will be calculated based on your overall improvement. I will use a variety of tools to assess whether you understand the material. All measures are important, and I will look for your successful completion of all of them.

There are many ways this message could be revised to add specificity. Here's one good alternative. Compare the decisions you made with Shelley's second draft:

To: All Students

Your grade this year will be calculated based on your overall improvement. I will use four measures to assess how well you understand the material. All four are important. Each will count toward 25 percent of your grade. They are:

1. participation in class discussions

2. pop quizzes

3. tests

4. reports

Note how the revised version lists the four measures and describes how the total grade will be calculated. Shelley's former draft was nonspecific and vague.

How did your revision compare?

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