Proofreading is the final stage of the writing process when the paper is evaluated for mechanical correctness, such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, omitted words, repeated words, spacing and format, and typographical errors. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other revisions and editing. Revising and Editing. REVISING During revising, the rough draft is evaluated for the larger issues of general content, organization, and tone, by adding, deleting, and organizing information as necessary.
Who is your audience?
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Why are you writing to them? What will they be looking for? How do you come across? Will your audience be able to understand what you've written? Are you objective enough? Have you included enough information? Do you have more information than you need? EDITING During editing , the paper is fine-tuned for specific content, as well as organization and style at the paragraph and sentence level. To edit, it can be helpful to answer the following questions: Content editing Have you done everything the assignment requires?
Are all of your claims consistent? Have you supported each point with adequate evidence? Paragraph editing Does your paper have an appropriate introduction and conclusion? Is your thesis clearly stated in your introduction? Is it clear how each paragraph in the body of your paper is related to your thesis? Are the paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence? Have you made clear transitions between paragraphs? Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence?
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Skip to main content. Main Menu Utility Menu Search. How to revise: Put your draft aside. Time away from your essay will allow for more objective self-evaluation. Get feedback. Since you already know what you're trying to say, you aren't always the best judge of where the draft is clear or unclear.
Let another reader tell you. Then discuss aloud what you were trying to achieve. In articulating for someone else what you meant to argue, you will clarify ideas for yourself. Construct a backward-outline of your essay. Identify the main idea s in each paragraph. Rank their importance in advancing your thesis. Consider connections between and among ideas.
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Rethink your thesis. Based on what you did in the previous step, restructure your argument: reorder your points, cut irrelevancies or redundancies, add complications and implications. You may want to return to the text for additional evidence. Now that you know what you're really arguing, work on the introduction and conclusion. Make sure to begin your paragraphs with topic sentences, linking idea s in each paragraph to those proposed in the thesis. Aim for precision and economy in language.
Read aloud so you can hear stylistic infelicities. Your ear will pick up what your eye has missed. An example of revision: In , E.
As you revise your own work, keep the following principles in mind: Revision entails rethinking your thesis. Because clarity of vision is the result of experience, it is unreasonable to expect to come up with the best thesis possible—one that clearly accounts for the complexities of the issue at hand—before beginning a draft, or even during a first draft. The best theses evolve; they are the products of the kind of precise thinking that is only possible to achieve by writing.
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Successful revision involves bringing your thesis into focus—or, changing it altogether. Revision entails making structural changes. Drafting is usually a process of discovering an idea or argument.
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Your argument will not become clearer if you only tinker with individual sentences. Successful revision involves bringing the strongest ideas to the front of the essay, reordering the main points, cutting irrelevant sections, adding implications. It also involves making the argument's structure visible by strengthening topic sentences and transitions. Revision takes time.
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