Arcs of Coherence

How do I build coherence and connections beyond the length of a sentence? What is the difference (is there a difference?) between revising and editing?

Here is a final paragraph (319 Words). Let’s call this version 1

Connecting to the natural world from a young age has proven through strong correlation to have positive impacts on an individuals self understanding, commitment to social justice, self reliance, environmental concern, moral development, a greater sense of community, agreeableness and openness, and one’s sense of compassion and altruism. The connection to nature helps you develop into an active member of society. Being an active member of society does not only give you the ability to benefit yourself and ones around you, but globally can make the world a better place. The connection to nature on a larger scale can help the world become a better place in many ways, if more people developed this connection you would see more environmental care, which on a small scale could just be less litter, but this also means more environmental activists, and a greater ability to conserve land. With more people connecting to nature you would have a more accepting society, with better morals and activism in their area. This will result in a lowered division of classes, and more acceptance and help to the needy. This would happen through the virtue of compassion and self understanding instilled on a larger scale through the connection to nature. What the connection to nature essentially does is summed up well by Henry Thoreau when he states “to affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts”(Thoreau). The connection to nature gives you a more developed ability to make a difference in the world around us, which is, the highest of arts. Making a difference is something everyone can take upon themselves no matter how small, which will gradually lead to a global change. The ability to take this upon oneself is a virtue that everyone has the ability to develop, and the connection to nature is the tool that can bring it out upon anyone willing, up to the global scale.

Here is a revised version of the final paragraph. This version is broken out into four segments (160 Words). This is version 2.

Connecting to the natural world from a young age has a positive correlation with self understanding, self reliance, moral development, and environmental concern.

Spending time in nature also contributes to the social good: such as becoming an active member of society; committing to social justice; building greater sense of community, sustaining agreeableness, openness, compassion, and altruism.

These positive correlations, on a larger scale, can help the world become a better place. When more people have access to positive experiences in nature there is a greater probability of a more accepting society.

As Henry David Thoreau suggested as early as the nineteenth century, nature can motivate us to improve not only ourselves but also the world around us. For Thoreau, “to affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts” (). He understood that making a difference is one of the greatest arts we can contribute to the world, a virtue that everyone has the capacity to develop.

Here is an edited version of the final paragraph (167 words). This is version 3.

Connecting to the natural world from a young age has a positive correlation with self-understanding, self-reliance, moral development, and environmental concern. Spending time in nature also contributes to the social good: such as becoming an active member of society; committing to social justice; building greater sense of community; and sustaining agreeableness, openness, compassion, and altruism. These positive correlations, on a larger scale, can help the world become a better place. When more people have access to positive experiences in nature there is a greater probability of building and sustaining a more accepting society. As the nineteenth-century writer Henry David Thoreau suggests, nature can motivate us to improve not only ourselves but also the world around us. Thoreau says in Walden, “to affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts” (90). He understood what every generation needs to learn: that making a difference is one of the greatest arts we can contribute to the world, a virtue that everyone has the capacity to develop.

*Below is the source of the quotation: Henry David Thoreau. “How I lived, What I lived For.” Walden. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1971.

“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour. If we refused, or rather used up, such paltry information as we get, the oracles would distinctly inform us how this might be done” (90).