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3.4: Revising

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    Some say your first draft\(^{68}\) shouldn’t be your final draft. Some say that no draft is ever perfect, but sometimes, a writer can hit the nail on the head the first time. So, think of revision in this manner: You have to have content to work with before you revise. After you have completed drafting your ideas and have established what you consider to be a complete product of the thoughts you intend to convey, then dive into the revision process. Revising is more than correcting spelling errors; it’s finding clarity of thought. It could even be finding new thoughts you didn’t have before you started the paper. You might find yourself getting rid of extra fluff.


    1. Read carefully over your draft several times, with a different purpose in mind to check a specific problem each time. Look first for content (what you said), then organization (your arrangement of ideas), and finally style (the way you use words).
    2. Listen carefully. Read your paper aloud for confusing statements or awkward wording. Try reading it backward, even. This might seem REALLY nerdy, but it will help you! Listen for the paper’s flow and pay attention to details one idea to the next. Each idea should come to some sort of conclusion while introducing the next idea, and each idea should relate to the one before it and the one after it.
    3. Take time between readings. Allow yourself time to finish a paper so you can put it aside and read it fresh when you go back to it later, to be more objective.
    4. Ask yourself these questions:
      1. Are you saying what you mean to say?
      2. Will your audience understand it?
      3. Does it accomplish the purpose of the project or paper or activity/assignment?
    • How do you revise your work? What’s your process?

    After drafting and revising for a project, ask yourself the questions in #4 above.

    \(^{68}\)“Basic Writing/Print version.” Wikibooks, The Free Textbook Project. 9 Sep 2008, 16:02 UTC. 11 May 2016, 17:39 <>. Licensed CC-BY-SA.

    This page titled 3.4: Revising is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sybil Priebe (Independent Published) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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