Breath of Clarity

Editing and Revision

Editing and proofreading are the same. It is the process of fixing small, surface-level errors in writing. When I edit, I am looking for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, formatting problems, typos, and word choice. Though these elements are superficial ones, it is still critical to spend time correcting them as not doing so will damage my ethos and will decrease the efficacy of my argument because my reader will be distracted by them. That said, we are more comfortable with editing because it is still useful in improving communication of the purpose but does not force us to completely tear the piece apart. Editing without revision is the misconception of a job well done. It feels good, but good ideas can never be discovered if they’re buried when the revision process has really just begun (Skye 2016).

Revising, in contrast, encompasses going beneath the surface and making deep, structural changes. Revision is reconsidering my arguments, reviewing my evidence, refining my purpose, and reorganizing my presentation (UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center 2021). Sometimes it involves revising the thesis to match what I’ve discovered while writing, coming up with stronger arguments to defend my position, coming up with more vivid examples to illustrate my points, shifting the order of my paper to help the reader follow my argument, or changing the emphasis of my points. Other times, it entails adding or deleting material (UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center 2021). Revising is difficult, particularly because it often involves taking apart something I’ve worked to build. Though it’s painful to do, it’s critically necessary. Writers must be willing to sacrifice their favorite bits of writing for the good of the piece as a whole (UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center 2021).

Revising is a struggle because it is both frustrating and magical considering it is essentially long suffering that solves things (Skye 2016). As proper creation comes from ripping out pages in laboratories and dungeons (Skye 2016), it is a perfect example that illustrates conversion of the opposites. Revision is a struggle because the more writers realize the worth of their ideas, they realize their ideas deserve to be properly revised (Skye 2016) and then do not know when to walk away and feel a sense of completion. Revising is mastering the idea (Skye 2016), and mastery comes with many lessons that are not always pretty. At the same time, since revision has the possibility to turn pens and pencils in wands (Skye 2016), the struggle is meaningful. It removes the pockets of confusion (Skye 2016) even though, in order to do so, initially involves facing the pockets of confusion. Ultimately, it transforms writing into a movement that will help revise point of view and fulfills the seeking we writers have to revise what we see and feel (Skye 2016).


Skye, Obert. 2016. “The Magic of Revision.” YouTube, April 29, 2016. Audio, 12:13.

UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center. 2021. “Revising Drafts.”

Comment by Jarrett Vigil:

Hey Mary,

I like how you mentioned “Revision is a struggle because the more writers realize the worth of their ideas, they realize their ideas deserve to be properly revised”. This stood out to me because when I revise my writing I like to go over the framework and structure to make sure that it all aligns and makes sense. Sometimes in my writing I can get carried away in detail and detract from the subject. During the revision process I have the opportunity to revise these issues if they occur and make sure that I am staying on track. There are times that I find myself straying from the path in my writing so it can definitely be a pain to try to reword/rewrite detracted areas to get them back on pace with the original idea.

My Comment:

Hey Jarrett,

Yes, good point that staying on the subject’s track is a way to respect the worth of one’s ideas. While drafting, I am noticing I have a tendency to discuss issues that are about my general topic but detract from my specific thesis statement. It is important for me to maintain focus in my report in order to build credibility and support the audience in staying engaged. The last thing I would want to do is overwhelm the audience to the point where they cannot handle reading the report all the way through. Revision is so much about the organization of ideas. I decided that I am going to break my report up into a lot of subsections to help me ensure there is a logical flow between concepts that are all linked to each other and clearly relate back to the thesis statement.