One of the most important ways you can review a rough draft is to check the contents. All the good transitions, good organization, and clear sentence structure in the world can't help a report that doesn't have the right information. Information in a report can be "wrong" in several ways:
- It can be missing altogether: for example, imagine that somebody wrote a report on "virtual communities" but never bothered to define what that term means. It would be tough going from the start of that report.
- It's there but not enough of it: take the same example—imagine that the writer only made a few vague statements about virtual communities. What was needed was at least a paragraph on the subject, if not a full-blown 3- or 4-page section.
- It's there but at the wrong level for the audience: It's also possible to pitch information at the wrong level in terms of readers' knowledge, background, or needs. Imagine that the writer did include a 3-page section on data caching but written for the product developer (an "expert" audience) when the report was really intended for nonspecialists.
If you can get a sense of how information is inadequate in a report rough draft, you should be well on your way to knowing what specifically to do to revise. One useful brainstorming tool is to think in terms of types of content. Use the following questions and examples to review your rough draft for the types of information to add or change:
- Definitions—Are there key terms in your report that need to be defined? Is one of those terms so important that it needs a full section for adequate definition? Most terms can be defined in a sentence or two at the point they first occur, but some terms may be so important to the report and so complex that they need a whole section (one or more paragraphs) to define. (See the chapter on writing definitions.)
Differentiation is a powerful tool in calculus.It can be used for optimization, which refers to finding the absolute maximum or minimum value of a function over a given interval.Pressure ulcers are primarily caused by ischemia.Ischemia is characterized by the inability of blood to properly reach or nourish an area of the body.
- Description—Are there objects, mechanisms, places, animals, even people that need to be described? If you are comparing different models of some sort of new equipment, should you describe them physically first? Can you divide the thing into parts, components, or characteristics and describe each separately? Consider whether to work this description into the existing discussion or to make it its own separate section. (See the chapter on writing descriptions.)
A fusor is an inertial electrostatic confinement device that uses an electric field to heat ions to conditions suitable for nuclear fusion.It consists of two concentric, spherical grids inside a vacuum chamber. The inner grid is five times smaller in diameter than the outer grid. The device has a voltage between the two grids.
Some imaging studies show how the brain of a person with bipolar disorder may differ from the brains of healthy people or people with other mental disorders.The brain's prefrontal cortex in adults with bipolar tend to be smaller and function less compared to adults who don't have it.
Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, considered by some to be an alternative anticancer medicine.Annona muricata is a broadleaf flowering evergreen tree native to Mexico, Cuba, Central America, the Carribean, Puerto Rico and the northern South America including primarily Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecaudor, and Venezuela. The fruiting bodies of the soursop are characterized as dark green, prickly (or bristled) fruits that are egg-shaped and can be up to 30 centimeters long with a rather firm texture. The flesh is succulent, acidic, ashen and aromatic. The body contains an abundant amount of seeds and the average weight of 1000 fresh seeds is approximately 470 grams with average oil content of 24%.
- Process discussion—Are there processes in your report that you should discuss in detail? They may be either natural processes (those occurring in nature) or human-controlled processes (those that are initiated, controlled, or performed by people). Again, as with description, you may be able to work this extended process explanation into the existing discussion, or you may want to put it in a separate section of its own. (See the chapter on writing process discussions.
The physiologic response to stress is the way the body attempts to protect the person and maintain balance of the being (homeostasis).A theory known as the General Adaptation Syndrome explains the physiologic response to stress with three phases: alarm, resistance, exxhaustion.
- Applications, uses—Do you discuss technlogies or scientific concepts that could be elucidated by exploring teir applications? Consider this example:
Fusors are used to generate Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), an isotope used for medical purposes.Mo-99 is a light-emitting element (isotope) that is administered to some 55,000 Americans every day for the purpose of diagnosing and staging a multitude of diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Over 80% of nuclear diagnostic procedures require Mo-99.
- Comparisons—Would comparison to similar or more familiar things be helpful?
Would analogies help—extended discussion of similarities between your topic and something familiar (for example, by comparing a computer to a typewriter)? Are evaluative comparisons needed in your report—in other words, comparisons that lead to a decision or recommendation? (See the organizational approach to comparisons.)
Calculus is the mathematical study of change.In the same way, geometry is the study of shape, and algebra is the study of operations and their application to solving equations.
- Division into categories—Are there subcategories associated with your topic? Would discussing them improve your document? Consider an extended discussion of the categories—with an introductory paragraph that explains the principle of the classification then separate paragraphs on each of the categories. (See the chapter on writing classifications.)
- Division by analysis—Very simimlar to division into categories is division by analysis. Analysis is not the best word here, but it's the best we got. Consider this example:
Calculus is the mathematical study of change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape and algebra is the study of operations and their application to solving equations.The four main principles of calculus are (1) continuity, (2) limits, (3) differentiation, and (4) integration.
In this example, principles of calculus are not the same as categories of calculus, whatever those might be. Here's another example:
One of the important elements of velocity is vectors.Vectors can be divided into two key components: (1) vectors and (2) scalars. Each of these holds different information and need to be considered when analyzing velocities.
There are several risk assessments in place to identify those most vulnerable.One such tool is the Braden scale which uses six areas of assessment: (1) sensory perception, (2) moisture, (3) activity, (4) mobility, (5) nutrition, and (6) friction and shear.
- Division into categories—Would it help readers to understand your discussion better if you divided the topic in one of several categories (for example, by discussing types of computers as tablet, laptop, notebook, or subnotebook)? (See the chapter on writing classifications.)
There are several types of the bipolar disorder, diagnosed by using guidelines from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).These are the five basic types of bipolar disorder: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BS-NO S), Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia), and Rapid-cycling Bipolar Disorder.
- Location within a category—Would it help readers to understand your discussion better if you located the topic in one of several categories (for example, by discussing whether some new computer model is a laptop, notebook, or subnotebook)? (See the chapter on writing classifications.)
Pluto is the largest object in the Kuiper belt and the tenth-most-massive body observed directly orbiting the Sun.Discovered in 1930, Pluto was originally classified as the ninth planet from the Sun. Its status as a major planet fell into question following further study of it and the outer Solar System over the ensuing 75 years. Starting in 1977 with the discovery of the minor planet 2060 Chiron, numerous icy objects similar to Pluto with eccentric orbits were found. The most notable of these was the scattered disc object Eris, discovered in 2005, which is 27% more massive than Pluto. The understanding that Pluto is only one of several large icy bodies in the outer Solar System prompted the International Astronomical Union to define formally in 2006 what it means to be a "planet." This definition excluded Pluto and reclassified it as a member of the new "dwarf planet" category (and specifically as a plutoid). Astronomers who oppose this decision hold that Pluto should have remained classified as a planet, and that other dwarf planets and even moons should be added to the roster of planets along with Pluto.
- Causal discussion—Should you include an extended discussion of the causes of some situation related to your topic? Should you include an extended discussion of the effects (consequences, results) of some situation related to your topic? If you use the extended approach, see whether you can separate the discussion of each cause or effect into a section of its own. (See the chapter on writing causal discussions.)
For the most part, people are resilient and can adapt to stressors.When stress poses a threat to a person's sense of well being, it can cause physical, psychological, or physiological effects.
- Examples—In technical discussions, examples are almost always in order. Examples can be worked into the existing text, or you may want to see about creating a separate section for extended discussion of an example.
Differentiation is a powerful tool in calculus and can be used for optimization.For example, if you were trying to maximize the volume of a box with a given surface area, you would easily be able to find the appropriate dimensions using optimization.
- Analogies—Analogies, as mentioned above, are extended comparisons. You compare your technical topic to something very familiar (for example, a computer to a typewriter—although how familiar is the typewriter any more?).
The influenza A virus particle or virion is 80–120 nm in diameter and usually roughly spherical, although filamentous forms can occur.In appearance, a flu virus somewhat resembles the medieval mace—a ball of iron studded with spikes. These spikes are two surface proteins called hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA).
- Restatement—For on-the-spot clarification of technical ideas, you can use the "in other words" technique. For example:
The integral (the product of integration) is a mathematical object that can be interpreted as the area under a function.In other words, the integral is the limit of the summation of infinitesimal pieces of area under the function which is being integrated.
- Historical background—Can you discuss the history, people, events related to your topic? Would this discussion help readers better understand your discussion or help you better achieve your writing purpose?
Lysergic acid diethylamide is categorized as a typical hallucinogen and causes effects similar to mescaline, psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms) and ibogaine.It was first accidentally synthesized in 1948 and was manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in a fungus that grows on rye and various grains called ergot.
But see the indented paragraph under Location within category for an example that also functions as historical background.
- Content based on typical reports—One other way to brainstorm about the contents of a report is to review the typical contents of the type of report you are writing. For example, if you are writing a laboratory report, there are certain expected contents—make sure you've included them, or at least the ones that apply.
- Additive content—All of the content types you've seen above involve some specific logical relationship between what precedes and what follows. Additive logic involves a far looser logic. For example, if you are discussing the planet Neptune, you can discuss its distance from Earth, then its size, then its orbital chracteristics. There is no logic connecting distance, size, and oribit other than their relationship to Neptune. Using more additive detail means adding more of this kind of content—for example, Neptune's albedo.
Neptune is the eighth and outermost planet in our solar system.It is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third-largest by mass.
The planet is named after the Roman god of the sea.