# 8.6: Slash and burn

• Alexandra Glynn, Kelli Hallsten-Erickson & Amy Jo Swing
• North Hennepin Community College & Lake Superior College

Finally, in revision, you need to be willing to get rid of things that aren’t working. It might be language. It might be the introduction or conclusion. It might be a whole body paragraph. Go through your draft and circle anything you question or seems inconsistent. Be willing to jettison those parts if they don’t support your thesis, create engagement for your reader, or are unneeded or uninteresting.

Let’s look at an example.

## Revision: How this all works

Let’s look at the sample essay from Chapter Two: A Writing Process for Every Writer again.

## Sample first draft

I was a 35 year old single mother of two girls when I decided to go back to school. I wasn’t fired or downsized or anything like that. I just knew that because of the fact that I was working hard and barely making enough to make ends meat that I needed a change. Working parents can go back to school if they follow some simple tips.

A working parent should follow some tips to make their college experience easier. Here are some things I learned. Set aside time each day to work on classes. For me I had a break between my campus classes and I could study and do homework then. That helped allot. Then I would work after the kids went to bed on online classes since deadlines were at midnight. If I needed more time to study or do other stuff, I would wake up before the kids and do it then –with lots of coffee to help! I would also work on weekends while kids were at playdates or birthday parties or when they had a weekend with there dad. I also used the learning center. I am not great in math and the tutors there really helped me. Sometimes I would go 2-3 times a week right after class to get help. By the end of the semester, I didn’t need to as much. I also asked my kids to help out. They are 7 and 4 and can at least vaccum, pick up toys, and stuff like that. Jaylyn even made her own lunch before school.

Working parents face many challenges when they go back to college. From needing to work less to childcare issues. I needed to find a way to cut back on my hours at work to be able to go to school. Luckily, my boss was willing to do that. He let me go from 40 hours to 30 and change my schedule, but then our budget was really tight. I also had to worry about childcare. My oldest daughter was in 2nd grade and could do an afterschool program, but my youngest was in daycare and adding extra hours was expensive. I really had to think hard about whether or not I could go back to college.

I was able to overcome the challenges and go back to school. Like I said earlier, my work was willing to be flexible so I could attend morning classes. My kids and I made a bugdget and talked about how we could cut down on a few things to save money. I was also able to get some grants and loans to pay for college. The best thing was that I was able to take some of my classes online, then I could work at night after the kids went to bed, and I had more time to work and also be with my girls. Their was also the issue of childcare. I really could not afford to pay more than I was. Actually with reduced pay, I couldn’t even afford to pay what I was already paying. Then an angle appeared. My Aunt Joyce, who just retired, said she would take Bailey two days a week! That allowed me to cut down on daycare hours and make our budget a little better.

Going to school when you work and have kids is tough. Really tough, but you can do it if I could do it. I’ve been in school two semesters now and was on the honor role both times! With a little help and believing in yourself, you can go to college too!

Now let’s do some work on revising it—asking critical questions and looking closely at the essay. This should include some feedback from others too.

Revising the first draft Need title (peer reviewer suggested something about Working Parents)

I was a 35 year old single mother of two girls when I decided to go back to school. I wasn’t fired or downsized or anything like that. Maybe too informal? Rewrite: I was not fired or downsized. Maybe talk about what my job was? Some of the peer reviewers asked that. I just knew that because of the fact that wordy—rewrite this—just because I was working hard and barely making enough to make ends meat meet—cliché? Maybe think of a new way to say this? that I needed a change. Need transition here—kind of abrupt Working parents can go back to school if they follow some simple tips. Thesis doesn’t mention challenges and overcoming them. Need to add that. Even though working parents face real challeneges, they can overcome them and be successful.?

Need something here A working parent Working parents should follow some tips to make their pronoun errors—make it parents/their college experience easier. Here are some things I learned. Set aside time each day to work on classes. For Awkward me example, I had a break between my campus classes do I need comma here? Check with writing tutor and I could study and do homework then. That helped allot a lot (maybe find a better word). Then I would work after the kids went to bed on online classes since deadlines were at midnight. If I needed more time to study or do other stuff, I would wake up before the kids add time? and do it then –with lots of coffee to help! I would also work on weekends while kids were at playdates or birthday parties or when they had a weekend with there their dad. I also used the learning center. I am not great in math and the tutors there really helped me. Sometimes, I would go 2-3 times a week right after class to get help. By the end of the semester, I didn’t need to as much. I also asked my kids to help out. They are 7 and 4 and can at least vaccum use spell check!, pick up toys, and stuff like that too informal?. Jaylyn even made her own lunch before school. Need ending sentence. By following these tips, I was able to make school, work, and home work smoothly. Is this the best place for these tips? Peer reviewer mentioned that this might be better as the 4th paragraph.

Need traditions here I was able to overcome the challenges and go back to school. Like I said earlier, my work was willing to be flexible so I could attend morning classes.add the details here-- My kids and I made a bugdget budgetand talked about how we could cut down on a few things to save money. Examples? Like we decided to only eat out once a month instead of once a week and the girls agreed to $3 allowance instead of$5. I was also able to get some grants and loans to pay for college. The best thing was that I was able to take some of my classes online, is this comma right? Check grammar site then I could work at night after the kids went to bed, and I had more time to work and also be with my girls. Their peer reviewer said it should be There was also the issue of childcare. I really could not afford to pay more than I was. Should I say how much? Actually with reduced pay, I couldn’t even afford to pay what I was already paying. Then an angle whoops—angel! appeared. My Aunt Joyce, who just retired, said she would take Bailey need to get the girls’ names in earlier in the paper two days a week! That allowed me to cut down on daycare hours and make our budget a little better. Do I need a transition sentence here?

Going to school when you work and have kids is tough. Really toughfragment— but I like this. Figure out punctuation, but you get rid of yous because my instructor doesn’t like second person can do it if I could do it. I’ve been in school two semesters now and was on the honor role both times! With a little help and believing in yourself, you can go to college too! Kind of short conclusion.

Additional notes: Now we might also think about adding some sources. Look in library databases and credible online sources. For example, one might add into the margin of one's draft a note to considers source about students who juggle school and work and family:

https://www.cpcc.edu/spark/archives/parents-in-college-must-juggleresponsibilities#!

Make sure to paraphrase this one.

Here’s another one about challenges and strengths of single parents in college: dus.psu.edu/mentor/old/articles/070207lt.htm

Use direct quote from here.

After all the review, we are ready to re-draft. This might not be the final draft, but the essay is much stronger than the first draft.

Rewrite of first draft

Making College Work for the Working Parent

I was a 35 year old single mother of two girls, Jaylyn (7) and Bailey (4), when I decided to go back to school. Unlike some workers in the last decades, I wasn’t fired or downsized; I just knew that because I was working hard and barely making enough to take care of my family that I needed a change. I wanted a career that I liked and that made a good wage. I knew it would be difficult, but I also knew I was not alone.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Over 20% of 2-4 year college students are parents and about 3/4th of those work” (Wol). Even though working parents face real challenges, they can overcome them and be successful.

As many students know, working parents face many challenges when they go back to college including income, work schedules, and childcare. For example, I needed to find a way to cut back on my hours at work to be able to go to school. I was working 40 hours a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday as a clerk at a small auto parts supply store. This schedule left me no time to take classes except at night or on weekends, which would leave me no time to spend with my children. I also had to worry about childcare. My oldest daughter was in 2nd grade and could do an afterschool program, but my youngest was in daycare and adding extra hours was impossible. She already had to go to daycare five days a week for over 9 hours, and I was spending over $700 a month on childcare. If I had to cut hours at work and pay for college, I could not afford to pay that much for daycare. These challenges were almost overwhelming and again, I was not alone. According to the Office of Community Work-Study, Center for Service and Learning, at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, “Financial difficulties are a great concern of many single parents… In addition to paying for tuition, there is often stress related to future college loan payments. Another financial issue for these students is child care. Finding child care during the hours needed to work and go to classes can be difficult and very expensive” (Tehan). Like other working parents, I really had to think hard about whether or not I could go back to college. Once I made up my mind to do it, I was able to overcome the challenges and go to college for a degree in nursing. First, I was able to change my work schedule. Luckily, my boss at the auto parts store let me go from 40 hours to 30 and change my schedule to work afternoons, so I could attend morning classes. The best thing was that I was able to take some of my classes online, so I could work at night after the kids went to bed, and I had more time to work and also be with my girls. Second, my kids and I made a budget and decided to save money by eating out once a month instead of once a week. My amazing daughters also agreed to lower their allowance from$5 to $3 each week. I was also able to get some grants and loans to pay for college. Third, I still had to tackle childcare: I could not pay$700 a month when I was cutting my income. Then an angel appeared. My Aunt Joyce, who just retired, said she would watch Bailey two days a week! That allowed me to cut down on daycare hours and make our budget a little better.

Once I was able to overcome challenges to start school, then I had to make college work. Being successful as a working parent student takes some work, like time management, using college tutors, and having kids help out at home. Working parents needs to set aside time each day to work on classes. For example, I had a break between my campus classes and I would study and do homework then. Then I would work on online classes for 2-3 hours after my children were in bed since deadlines were at midnight. If I needed more time to study or complete homework, I would wake up before the kids and do it then –with lots of coffee to help! I would also work on weekends while kids were at playdates or birthday parties or when they had a weekend with their dad. In addition, I used the college learning center. I am not great in math and the tutors there really helped me. Sometimes I would go 2-3 times a week right after class to get help. By the end of the semester, I didn’t need to as much because I was understanding the material. I also asked my kids to help out. They started helping with chores like dusting, vacuuming, and picking up toys. Jaylyn even made her own lunch before school. By following these tips, I was able to make school, work, and family run smoothly.

Going to college while working and raising a family alone is tough, really tough. However, if I can do it, any single parent can. I’ve been in school two semesters now and was on the honor role both times! Even know it’s difficult now, my family and I know the future holds some wonderful things: a better job and a better life. By overcoming challenges, any parent can go to college and succeed.

Work cited

“Revision Quotes.” 2018. Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/revision. Accessed 22 April 2018.

Tehan, Lisa. “Advising the Single-Parent College Student.” The Mentor. 7 Feb 2007.The Pennsylvania State University. dus.psu.edu/mentor/old/articles/070207lt.htm. 17 April 2018.

Wol, Garang. “Parents in College Must Juggle Responsibilities.” Spark Online. Central Piedmont Community College. www.cpcc.edu/spark/archives/...ponsibilities#!. Accessed 16 April 2018.