For most writers--both
college and professional--the writing process is more accurately labeled the revision
process. Creating a written text is a process of revision. Writers revise to make
their meaning clearer and stronger. To do this, they must be able to see their
paper as it currently exists and form a "vision" of it in its new form.
This is revision. Revision, after all, literally means "to see again."
How do you "see
again" your paper?
- Create distance
in time between you and the paper. Putting the paper out of mind and out of
sight can give you a fresh perspective when you look at it again.
- See your paper
through someone else' eyes by enlisting the help of a reader, such as a friend
or roommate, a tutor in the Writing Center, or your professor.
- Transform the
appearance of the paper. If you have been working on the paper on a computer,
create a printed text to read (or vice versa). If you have been working with
a printed text, recast the paper in a different font or print size.
Revision is an
in depth activity in which the writer activity re-engages in all aspects of
the written task. These activities will help you enter the intellectual and
creative process that is revision:
- Reread your
paper assignment carefully and critically.
- Test your thesis
statement: is it valid? does the paper support it?
- Reread the
sources required of you to respond to the paper assignment.
- Do additional
reading and research.
- Have someone
else read your paper and discuss it with you.
- Eliminate material
in the paper (whether words, sentences, examples, or complete sections).
- Expand on ideas
that seem rich.
- Provide more
detail and supporting evidence.
- Rearrange the
material you have presented in your paper.
- Reexamine your
conclusion. A strong ending does not merely summarize; it synthesizes the
- As your revision
nears completion, run a spell check on it.
- Proofread the
paper for typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors.
- Reread and
proofread your completed, new version from start to finish as a complete composition.
- Revise again