Revision is the process of re-envisioning an essay or other writing project. This means that it’s a chance to re-see your writing, look back at the big picture of your arguments and ideas in your essay, and make changes to form a new draft of the project.
Remember, too, that writing is a process, not a product, and thus should have multiple drafts. A draft is an essay or other writing project that is in development. This can be an early rough draft or a late published draft.
After you’ve finished one draft, you have to revise before you can edit and proofread. This is because if you revise well and carefully, you can improve your essay substantially by making your structure, focus, and clarity better, stronger, and more effectively presented.
Revision can help you get:
All of these improvements will lead you from your draft to a final essay that is much more convincing and interesting for your reader.
When you revise, you want to look at three elements:
There are some specific revision strategies that target each of those issues.
2a. Revising for Structure
When you revise for the overall structure, you are ensuring that your essay has all the important and required components present.
This means that you might ask yourself:
Remember that conclusions can summarize, expand the conversation, provide a solution to the problem, or look to the future of the issues. You’ll want to fit the kind of conclusion you use to the type of essay you’ve written.
Revising for these issues will ensure that you’re meeting the basic needs of your essay project and including all the necessary pieces.
2b. Revising for Focus
When you revise for the essay’s focus, you’re making sure that all of those structural elements—intro, thesis, body paragraphs, conclusion, support, etc.—provide support for the purpose of your essay.
To evaluate these elements, you might ask yourself the following questions:
Doing this kind of revision will ensure that all of the elements of your essay are put together well and work towards the overall purpose.
2c. Revising for Clarity
When you revise for clarity, you’re ensuring that all of the parts of your essay can be easily understood by your readers, and that they all communicate what you intend them to.
To evaluate for clarity, you might ask yourself the following questions:
A clear essay won’t confuse the readers or cause them to misunderstand your point. Clear writing won’t create multiple possible meanings, whereas unclear writing will make your reader have to work harder to understand you.
Since readers might not be able to process what you’ve written, unclear writing will inhibit your ability to meet the essay’s purpose. Therefore, revising for clarity will help ensure that your writing does what you want it to.
Source: This work is adapted from Sophia author Martina Shabram.