Chapter 6. Review the Draft for Organization and Logic

Review your draft for its organization and logic to make sure that you do not waste time editing a fatally flawed document. Use these three techniques:

  • 6.1 Test organization by answering three questions.

  • 6.2 Use sentence outlining techniques to improve organization.

  • 6.3 Test logic by answering five questions.

If you followed the analytical steps so far, your document most likely has good organization and logic. Nevertheless, review the draft to make sure. A review requires a quick read through the document and is worth the effort.

Also, you can use the three organization and five logic questions to review other authors' documents. Because you know the techniques in analysis, you can suggest specific techniques to correct specific errors. With rare exceptions, poorly organized documents have the same cause: The author either skipped or took shortcuts in analysis.

Time spent repairing errors can range from several hours per page to a couple of minutes per page depending on the type of error. Repairing organization errors may require hours per page because you must go back to analysis. You need to use sentence-outlining techniques to carefully extract and analyze the points to determine relevance, put the points in order, and recompose the draft. On the other hand, repairing most logical errors takes little time—minutes per page. Errors in fact involve a few minutes gathering more information.

Review the draft before you edit for coherence ...

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