The Process of Revision
In this lesson, you will see some strategies for objectively making revisions to a written document. You will also learn about and use conventional mark-up symbols.
Revision is the process of reviewing a written composition or other materials. After you have finished the first draft, you re-read it and make changes to it. During the process of revising, you add, delete, replace and reorder ideas and terms. In other words, the process of revision involves complex activities of re-reading, evaluating, and making changes to improve your work.
General Strategies for Revising
While revising, you have to be an objective reader, or uninfluenced by personal feelings. Certain strategies can help you look more objectively at your work. To put it another way, you need to transform yourself from a writer to a critical reader. Several general strategies have been suggested:
- Do not start the revision process immediately after you finish writing. Give yourself some time away from the material. A "cooling off" period enables you to take a fresh look at your paper.
- Read your paper through silently several times looking for places that make you hesitate or stop.
- Read your paper aloud. Reading aloud forces you to examine every word and sentence. Hearing your own writing helps you detect errors in content and organization. Keep the purpose and the audience in mind. When you revise, your role is that of a reader rather than a writer. Reading your paper from the perspective of the target audience can help keep your composition within the context of your audience's understanding.
- Let another reader tell you where the draft is clear or unclear.
Ask for feedback and articulate your ideas to the second reader because, in doing so, you will clarify ideas for yourself.