Reflect, Rethink, Rewrite

Due Date: Class 22.

Grade: 15% of your final course grade.


Writing is hard work. One of the goals of STS.002, as a CI-H course, is to help you develop your writing skills through the analysis, and re-analysis of your own processes of thought and composition. Hence this assignment, which asks you to return to one of the first two papers you wrote and engage critically in the acts of reflecting, rethinking, and rewriting.


This assignment has two parts:

Part I. Self-diagnosis (approximately 2-3 pp.)

Part II. Rewrite (your rewritten paper should be roughly the length of your original paper, and should not exceed 1,750 words).

Please submit both of these in one document if you can. Your grade on this assignment will take account of three factors:

  1. The thought and effort you demonstrate in the "self-diagnosis" exercise
  2. The degree to which your rewritten paper improves upon the original paper
  3. The overall quality of your final, rewritten paper

Part I. Self-Diagnosis

For this part, you are asked to go back to your last paper with fresh eyes. Begin by reading it over a couple of times. If you can, try imagining that you are someone else (i.e. not the same person who wrote the paper). Then answer the following questions to the best of your ability. Use full sentences whenever possible, and be sure to number your answers. Your answer to these questions need not be long—a couple sentences for each is fine—but they should be thoughtful and reflective.


  1. What part or aspect of your paper do you like best? Why?
  2. Provide an example of one of the stronger (i.e. better written) sentences or sections in your paper? What makes it well written?
  3. Provide an example of a poorly written sentence in your paper, or—at the very least—one that could do with a bit of improvement.


  1. What is the argument (thesis) set up in the introduction to your paper?
  2. Do you think your argument is interesting? Is it valid?
  3. Do you think you do a good job proving that argument? Why or why not?

Analysis and Evidence

  1. Go through each of the major body paragraphs in your paper, and state what each paragraph accomplishes (or fails to accomplish) in one sentence. For each paragraph, ask: Does this paragraph supports or illuminate your thesis?
  2. How many direct quotes from primary sources did you use? What role do they serve in your argument? (If you used fewer than three or four, consider using more in your revised version.) Select at least one specific quotation from your paper, and comment on how you used it. Did you provide sufficient context? Did you analyze it well? How did that particular quotation advance your paper's overall argument?

Part II. Revision

For this part, you will rewrite your paper. Plan to incorporate the most successful parts of your previous version, but don't be afraid to rewrite whole sections or paragraphs if necessary. You may even decide to reorganize the entire paper. Use the information you gathered in Part One to plan out your strategy. Given that this is a revision, pay particular attention to procedural details, like proofreading and ensuring that your citations are in the proper format (Chicago-style footnotes, please!!!)