Revising Scholarly Manuscripts

Organization is the Key

Organization is the skeleton of a manuscript, its very structure. Get it right and the manuscript works. Get it wrong and it doesn’t.


In this workshop, you will develop and work from a “reverse” or “after-the-fact” outline on one section of a manuscript you bring.


To create the outline, you read your manuscript paragraph-by-paragraph backwards. As you read each paragraph, ask, does the paragraph have a single point? Is it expressed in a single sentence? Does the rest of the paragraph provide sufficient support for this sentence?


After making sure that the answer to each of these questions is “yes,” you identify a key or topic sentence for each paragraph and make a list of them. Then you ask, does every sentence contribute to your purpose? Do the points of the paragraph “add up” to your major point making your paper persuasive? Is the order of the sentences organized (both logically and coherently)?


As you ask each question, you make the necessary adjustments in your manuscript that markedly improve it.


What to Bring: Bring a laptop with a draft of about ten paragraphs that you would like to reorganize, preferably not from the methods section.


Join us and watch your manuscript come into focus!


What Participants Say


“I was able to quickly identify gaps in the organization of the paper.”


“Often, we edit at the surface level, but in this workshop, you revise at a deep level.”


“Are you stuck? Do you need a relatively painless way to jump-start a stalled piece of work? Try this technique to quickly and efficiently re-engage with your ideas.”


Workshop Format


This workshop is two hours long. If it is given on the same visit as Publish & Flourish, it should be given afterwards. Anyone is welcome to attend either or both workshops, which should be made clear in the publicity if both are given on the same visit.

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