Below is an example of a first-year college student's work with the Relaxation or "Corpse" Pose for Revision. She completed this work as a low-stakes exercise, applying the method to a longer project in genre analysis. Kylie Leydon is a student at Salem State University.
For steps in teaching this exercise (or using it on your own writing), see the post from November 1, 2018.
This conclusion is way too short. I used the terms “I” and “you” too often. I need to sum up my ideas better. Maybe relate it more to the concept and main ideas of this assignment- it is too brief and not formal enough for a college assignment. I need to relate back to the idea of Genre and my coupons…how did I learn from it? I need to write more- perhaps details and examples- on my analysis section. This is my weakest paragraph I think. More “formal” words are needed to my piece. Don’t talk like you are to friends- you are passing this in for a grade. Conclusions are the most important pieces of an essay. Make it count. This part of my writing is “jumbled” and thrown together almost out of a last resort to get this over with. Pay more attention to summing up your ideas. I need stronger sentences to sum up/ conclude my ideas. Formality and organization is key in a rhetorical analysis, so I must take time to review this work. I want to achieve a good grade, so I need to start putting in better work and pay more attention in focusing and expanding on my ideas.
Second to last paragraph:
What even is this topic sentence “Genre is often viewed differently for each person?”…. Were you seriously going to turn that in? Again, I need to make this formal. Even though it is a letter to the future students, it states right in the directions that it is formal. In this paragraph I need to look back on the rhetoric of my genre more. I need to make sure that I am looking at the questions in the prompt and answer them more properly. I need to use better language and expand my ideas while maintaining formality and professionalism. I need to ensure that the quote fits where I placed it as well. I feel like I kind of just threw it in there as a last resort to fulfill this requirement and I feel that I can expand my ideas more. I feel that I am either using too many short, choppy sentences or too many long sentences lacking voice. Sentence structure is key in any essay and it is important to keep interest. Review the concluding sentence as well and see if any transitions can help with this section of my writing as well. I feel like the length of my paragraph is strong although the content could use some revisions and work. This is the finale before the conclusion…end on a strong finish.
Third to last paragraph:
I need a strong conclusion that links my main idea to my paragraph. I am simply just going into my requirements and answering questions on the prompt instead of forming coherent paragraphs and sentences. I need to focus more and use the skills I have to form the quality of paragraphs that I am capable of writing. I do like the detail of the first sentence and I may decide to keep this but I feel it needs to be in the content and body of my paragraph writing. I also feel that I can eliminate some “flowery” words and add some colons like we learned in class to make my words mean more and get to the point quicker. I can eliminate some words that actually take away from my piece like “ultimately”, “things”, and even “some” to strengthen my vocabulary and purpose behind writing this analysis. I need to stay on topic and be more concise. Stop starting your sentences off with the same few words and use variation to make your ideas have more meaning. Gain a unique voice and do not try to fulfill a genre simply by filling in what ever you feel. Stop sounding like a robot. Your sentences have no meaning when you are answering every question on the prompt. Focus, focus, focus!
I know it’s okay to not be the typical “five paragraph essay” but it does certainly feel weird. Since it is not set up like one, I feel like I need to make my intro stronger or perhaps break it up. Intros are not supposed to be really long but what if it’s on a letter? Is that ok? Something about my first sentence doesn’t feel right to me. I keep reading it and keep wishing that it wasn’t on my paper every time. I’m going to change it. I need to introduce my preconceptions first I think. I can take out unnecessary phrases such as “as I am a commuter student”, “the first thing”, and “I would mock the genre of coupons as I find them ironic”. Looking back, I question what I was thinking when I thought that it was a good idea to write that on a paper that I was going to turn in. Maybe I’m going into too much detail in the first paragraph and I can fuse some of the sentences into other ones? I don’t know. I need to reduce the number of times I say the word “I” and look for other words to avoid during formal essays. Do not use words that you would when talking to friends and instead replace them with words you know are formal enough for a college professor to read. Not a super awful paragraph but some revisions and editing will improve the content of my genre analysis piece.
What I learned from the Relaxation Method and how I plan to implement:
I always dread the editing and revision stage to any one of my projects or assignments. I often find it hard to remove or change information because I feel that I already said everything that I could possibly say. I also find my audience very close. I feel that by re-reading I can only find the bad within my writing and never the good. It is almost as if when I read some parts that do not sound pleasant, I wish that it was already turned in because I really do not want to have to look at it again.
This corpse/ relaxation pose was very different and was certainly a first. I knew that my analysis piece was worse than my creative piece so I wanted to work on that. I noticed myself calling out my lack of formality on my essay and the need to better organize and expand on my thoughts. I found that I had a lot of unnecessary words and phrases as well. I will include more clarity on the genre assignment perhaps and even relate more back to the genre of coupons that I chose. I am going to vary my sentence structure thus incorporating more voice into my writing and I am going to ensure that all my sentences are in the proper place backed up with explanations and details.
I find that I will do this exercise more often. It is a great way to write down initial thoughts on your work from end to start then actually let the ideas slide away as you push the papers on the floor out of thought. It is like gaining a clean slate every paragraph and is an overall great activity to constantly be aware and conscious of your words in the moment. I was not preoccupied with prior thoughts and it felt good to let it all go.