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Revision Techniques: Using a Professor's Notes

Revision Techniques: Using a Professor's Notes

Author: Ms. K

This lesson discusses how to revise a paper based on a teacher's comments.

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Using Notes to Improve a Paper

Usually when you are given back a rough draft of an essay that a professor or teacher has read over you can easily correct your essay by looking at the notes provided.

  1. Read through all of the notes provided.
  2. Fix the simple errors: add a comma where recommended, fix capital letters as instructed, etc. However, remember some seemingly simple fixes will require more work on your part. If you are told to swap to ideas around, this could mean that you will need to swap the ideas, change a few transitions, reorganize your blueprint and perhaps reword parts of the conclusion... one change can affect many parts of a paper.
  3. Determine HOW to fix more complicated suggestions. For example, your professor may tell you that your explanation is weak. This means you need to reread and rethink the paper's explanation as a whole. This usually means more than adding one sentence; it means reexamining what you've written and looking for all of the places and ways you can increase the explanation.
  4. Determine if a comment made in one place can apply to other places in the paper.  If you are told to underline the title in the introduction paragraph, then you ought to do the same to the title every time it appears; just because the professor did not direct you to do it every time, does not mean you shouldn't.
  5. Reread the entire essay. Sometimes if you make a correction in one spot you can influence other things. Rereading the essay allows you to make sure that with the corrections you still have a cohesive piece of work.

Source: Made by Ms. K with image from

Using Notes to Improve a Paper - Audio

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Source: Made by Ms. K