Breath of Clarity

Revision Strategies

While revising in the past, I have learned it is helpful to have a system. It is useful to fall back on the system in moments of difficulty during revising. It helps me feel less overwhelmed during the process which empowers me to be persistent in devoting time and attention to my paper. In order to create my report draft, I started with all the information from the sources that I gathered and wrote based on relevancy to my argument. It ended up being significantly more words than outlined in the assignment description. So, I have been circling through the draft cutting my paper down for days. Focusing on eliminating less necessary content has helped me grow a better understanding of my argument and make my logic more concise. Now that I have noticed the benefits of the technique, I plan on continuing to revise my paper by cutting it down even after I have reached the word count I have been aiming to hit. It will help me tighten my argument so that the audience will not be distracted by material that is off topic. I have also combined cutting my word count down with using a lot of headers to divide the paper into many sections. It supported me in organizing my ideas and making sure there is not any information in my report that does not relate back to the thesis statement.

Going forward, my plan for revising is to focus on my transitions between sentences. I need to clarify how the second half of a sentence connects with the first half of the proximate one. I also want to read my paper out loud so that I can notice the syntax. I sent my paper to a professional who is familiar with my topic to make sure that I am understanding the content correctly. I also plan on treating the peer-review feedback as a checklist so that I truly end up implementing it.

Comment by Will Mangum:


An efficient system to analyze a bigger project like this one is always necessary. I agree that when things become tedious, it always helpful to look back on a list or system that you have created to remind yourself where you are going and what have you accomplished so far. It is interesting because I am having the opposite issue where I tend to underwrite assignments and end up with too few words. Organization and structure are two key areas of revising that I think are overlooked slightly. Putting a paragraph in a different section can change the way the paragraph is portrayed. Great job outlining some strategies to edit and revise!

Comment by Danette Jewell:

Hi Mary,

It sounds like you have a good plan for revision. It can be nice to start with too many words because it can allow you to have a really great paper as you eliminate unnecessary or wordy portions. Sometimes I wish I worked that way, I often have the opposite problem where I can be a bit too efficient at getting to the point with papers. When writing longer papers, I usually have to back and fill in sections to meet the word count. I usually make an outline before beginning my paper and continue to build the sections until it communicates the message properly and meets all the assignment requirements.

A lot of folks have mentioned listening to their papers in addition to reading them out loud. I have never done that before, but I might try that this time to be able to really listen to how the sentences and sections flow and fit together,