One step in the writing process that some students pass over is revising their papers. This lack of revision may be due to time constraints and the cramming schedule of college or to just inexperience. There are other students who mistakenly believe that they can produce a perfect first draft. There may be many reasons why a student might not revise, but none of them are equivalent to a good grade.
Young writers may also think that revision only implies proofreading for easily spotted errors such as spelling, grammar, and the like. Of course, these things are important, but they should only be the first step in revising a paper. There are many other steps to go through in completing a revised version of a paper.
Take a Break
The first thing a student should do after writing a rough draft is to take a break from the paper. This could only be for an hour, or it could be for a few days. The idea behind this step is that the student will look at the paper more objectively than if they had just written it.
Ask Someone Else to Read the Paper
Another good practice to have when revising a paper is to have another person read it. That person should be another student from the class because they will have an idea of the assignment and will be able to see if it’s being addressed accordingly. The reviewer should give open, honest feedback and comments on the paper. The writer should be open to any suggestions, but shouldn’t become doubtful of his own abilities.
Does my Paper Make Sense?
The next step in revision is to make sure that the paper is logical and makes sense. Some questions students might ask themselves in regards to their paper are:
Do all my body paragraphs support my thesis?
Are the paragraphs ordered logically, either by time, space, or order of importance?
Have I used transitions to connect my paragraphs and thoughts?
Is there anything I can add or omit that will make my points stronger?
Did I finish with a strong conclusion?
Revising a paper isn’t as tedious as it seems. If students practice the revision process every time they write a paper, they will find what method works best and be able to improve upon what might have been only a mediocre paper.