Revising (or “Re-seeing”) Your Essay

Revising an essay or article demands more than scanning for common errors.  As opposed to editing, which is one of the final stages in the writing process when the writer searches for typos and easily overlooked grammatical errors, revising asks a lot more of the writer.

Revising means to re-see the work in front of you, almost with new eyes.  It is an active process.  Writers turn on their sharpest, most critical eye at this stage and ask themselves these types of questions:

  • If I were explaining this point (issue, argument, etc) to someone who has never heard about it, what else would they need to know for my essay to make sense?
  • Does the information in my article work like building blocks – guiding my reader toward my point?
  • Is my first paragraph really useful, or did it only serve to get me to start writing?

Revision requires honesty about the writer’s drafting choices.  For writers who are just learning about their own strengths and challenges, revision will take time.  As writers become more comfortable with their own writing challenges, revision moves much more quickly.

Here is a video demonstrating the revision process. The topic of the paper is a popular teen icon, but as you will see, the revision process helps the writer convey ideas that go beyond the singer/icon herself.

Through Tutoring the Whole Writer, writers sharpen the skills they need to think critically about their own writing. Request a session to begin re-seeing your writing and to develop revision techniques that will serve you far beyond a single writing project.

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