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Writing Center: Revision

A guide to information to help you research and write more effectively.


Once you have finished your first draft, it is time to revise what you have written.

  • To determine what needs to be rewritten, first get a fellow classmates or friend to read over your work. As the writer of the paper, it will be harder for you to distinguish where your essay has gone astray from the argument. So, another person reading over your workcan help you to catch mistakes you may not have noticed otherwise.
  • After getting their suggestions, read over the draft for yourself. During the revision look only at conceptual concerns. Is my thesis clear throughout the paper? Do my topic sentences match my main ideas? Do not worry about grammar or spelling yet. Look for problems with your argument.
  • After an initial reading of your essay, go back over each paragraph by yourself and correct whatever conceptual errors are apparent.
  • Once you have looked at each paragraph intently, read the essay completely through again to see if your argument is conistent throughout the essay

Revision may require rewriting your paper multiple times, but do not get discouraged. Each time you rewrite your essay you are improving your argument and essay.


Things to Consider


When revising make sure that your argument is clear and follows a logical progression. Your argument should follow closely with your thesis statement.


Remember that an essay is an expression of YOUR thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It is important that the reader hear your voice in your essay. Voice is your own personal style that you add to writing. Voice can be shown in a multitude of ways from the structure that you use to the words that you choose to communicate your argument with. For example, some writers may write with a lofty vocabulary while others use plain layman's terms. The important idea behind voice is to make your essay your own.


The most important aspect to consider when writing will always be the audience. If the audience does understand what you are writing, they will lose interest in what you are saying. Always keep your readers' interest in mind. During the revision process, it is important to have other people view your work because they can give you direction on how to become more aware of what your readers will like and will read.