Revising Techniques: Look & Look Again!

Revising Techniques: Look & Look Again!

Author: Jill Walter
  1. Explain what to look for when revising a paper (e.g. adequate support, effective and varied transitions between ideas, a clear beginning and end, clear logic, etc.).

  2. Explain how studying professors’ notes can help to revise a paper.

  3. Explain how to use a revision checklist to edit for grammar, mechanics, style, tone, purpose and focus.

  4. Explain other choices for revising a paper.

This packet should help a learner seeking to understand how to revise a paper and who is confused about what revising technique to use. It will explain how to edit for correctness after writing the paper.

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What to look for when it comes to revising your writing...


Though we like to believe our words are “golden,” we must still go back and take another look.  You’ll be surprised what you find…

Look at:

  • Sentences? – Are they complete? Accurate? Detail-filled?
  • Paragraphs? – Are they adequate sentences (do they fulfill the assignment)?  Strong topic and concluding sentences?  Supporting details/examples/evidence that tell the reader enough information?  No extra information that isn’t needed?  Ideas aren’t repeated over and over again?
  • Word choice? – Do you get the point across?  Are your word choices powerful?
  • Flow/transitions? – Do you paragraphs work together like pieces of a puzzle?  Do your sentences do the same?  How does it sound when you read it? 
  • Intro/conclusion? – Do they serve their purpose?  The hook?  The thesis?  Are they there?  Do they work for the writing?  Does it leave the audience thinking?  A beginning, middle, and end exist in the writing?
  • Grammar? – No run-ons or sentence fragments?  Good use of punctuation and capitalization?  Sentences make sense?  Errors don’t get in the way of the meaning of the work? 

Source: Jill Walter

Take feedback and make it work for you!

Talk to your friends, your family, your teachers - - get their eyes!

The best way to revise to get as many eyes on your writing as possible.  Ask friends, family, and others you respect and can be honest with you to read through your work.  Many times teachers will ask for a rough draft to be turned in or even offer conference times or office hours before a final draft is submitted for grading.  Take these opportunities!  

When a teacher or professor provides feedback on the rough draft, you will have a better idea of what their view is of your writing and craft.  Be sure to read through the comments carefully.  It is easy to get upset when the feedback isn't always positive, but remember that the goal is to improve so you won't be upset with your final product.  Work to avoid feeling frustrated about the comments and take that energy to revise and work through your work in order to impress your audience with your final draft.  

Often times, teachers and professors will use an editing/revising marks page.  Be sure you understand what these marks are.  If not, always ask!  


Source: Jill Walter

Revision Strategies

In order to best revise on your own, use a checklist to guide your thinking. Use the following questions to allow you to plan, reorganize, highlight, and refocus your revision plan. Have your writing next to you and be sure to write, mark-up, and cross out whatever you are thinking (and however you are answering the questions) right on the draft itself.

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Source: Jill Walter

21 Steps to Essay Revisions

Follow these steps in order to work your way to a strong essay.

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Source: Jill Walter

Revision Techniques to Consider

Listen to learn more about revision techniques.

Source: Jill Walter

Helpful Revision Resources

Purdue Online Writing Lab



Drew University On-Line Resources for Writers



The Editing and Rewriting Process


Source: Jill Walter