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Revision Strategies

Revision Strategies

Author: Mackenzie W

Understand the strategies used during revision.

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, everyone. I'm Mackenzie, and today we're learning about revision strategies. Do you have a hard time rethinking your own ideas? In this tutorial we'll discuss an explanation of revision strategies, and we'll learn about some specific strategies for revision.

We'll begin with an explanation of what revision strategies actually means. When we use revision strategies we're using tactics to help us to revise our writing. When we revise, we're trying to revision the ideas, support, and organization that we've included in our writing. We're trying to strengthen it to improve it to make it sound exactly the way that we want for our ideas to be communicated in the writing.

There are different tactics and approaches we can use-- different revision strategies-- to help us to do this. It's up to you to figure out which revision strategy works best for you. Some of them will work better than others. But it's also important to keep in mind that it's good to try different revision strategies, even if they don't work as well for you as others, because it helps you to avoid writer's block, and it helps you to generate new ideas.

Let's now discuss some strategies to help us to effectively revise our own writing. Our first idea is to use time as a strategy. What this means is that we need to give ourself a certain amount of time to not work on the writing before we revise the writing. We need to be distanced from the writing so that we can think more objectively about it when we revisit it. We could give ourselves one or two days to be away from the writing and then revisit so that we can revise, but sometimes just a few hours without looking at the writing helps us to clear our brain to think more critically about the writing.

The next strategy we can employ is to read our writing out loud. That helps us in a variety of ways. First, it helps to distance ourselves from the writing. When we read out loud we're not only seeing the writing, but we're also hearing the writing. Hearing it from an outside perspective helps to give us a different perspective on the ideas we're presenting in the writing, and we can think more critically about them.

It also helps us to listen to the flow of the writing. We listen to the way that the writing sounds. And if something doesn't sound quite right, we know that we may need to revisit that idea. A similar strategy is to revise our writing on a piece of paper, rather than looking at it on a computer screen. If it's printed out on a hard copy, a piece of paper, we can then distance ourselves because we're not only looking at it on a screen, but now we have it in front of us on a piece of paper. That's a little bit different than looking at it on a computer screen.

We can read through it, we can physically see the piece of paper in front of us, and we can make notations or marks. We can cut things out, we can add things, we can write ideas right on the paper itself. That helps us to understand our ideas a little more clearly as well.

We can also ask ourselves questions as a strategy for revision. We'll first think about the thesis of the paper because that guides the rest of the paper. It's a good starting point. We ask ourselves, do I still agree with the thesis? This is important to ask yourself because after having researched your topic and explained your topic or your thesis in the paper, you may no longer agree with the thesis.

Or we ask ourself, have I supported my thesis well enough? We can look at each of our body paragraphs and the support within those paragraphs to decide if the thesis is well supported. And we ask, do I need to change my thesis? Maybe it's not the body paragraphs themselves that need revising. Maybe it's the thesis itself.

Then we can ask other questions about the paper. Have I fulfilled the requirements of the assignment? If it's a writing assignment, look at the assignment itself and decide if there are things you need to change. Do I need to think about my tone, voice, word choice? Is my writing sounding the way that it needs to sound so that I can communicate my ideas the way that I meant to communicate them?

Now we think about our audience. How is my audience going to react to what I've written? If my audience is being very critical of me in what way will that influence how they interpret what I've written? And are there any counter arguments I need to think about with regard to what I've written? Do I need to address them? Those might be some other ideas for you to include in your revision of your draft.

One last strategy for revision is to summarize your work to explain it to someone else in a short, condensed form. Albert Einstein has a famous quotation that says, "if you can't explain it simply, then you don't understand it well enough." And that relates here. If you don't understand your ideas enough, you may not be able to summarize them and explain them to someone else.

The other reason why summary works really well for revising is because it helps you to generate other ideas that you might not have thought of otherwise. When we're explaining something to someone else we have to figure out how to explain it so that that person can understand what we're talking about, and that's the goal of our paper as well. So that really helps us to generate ideas, to make sure we're explaining them in the best way possible. That's the goal of revision-- to make sure that our ideas are communicated in the way that we have intended for them to be communicated so that the audience can understand where we're coming from.

In this tutorial, we discussed an explanation of revision strategies, and we learned some specific strategies for revision. Try to rethink your own ideas. I'm Mackenzie. Thanks for listening.