Rewriting

Creating a Revision Strategy

In addition to the personal revision checklist, you may want to create a revision strategy based on the amount of time you have to revise and what your paper is likely to need. A revision strategy is a systematic process of reviewing and evaluating your writing before you actually begin revising. You can use the Checklist for Personal Revision to guide your revision strategy or develop a checklist of your own that incorporates a revising schedule.

For example, if you expect to receive comments from peer reviewers a week before the paper is due, and you also know that the paper includes many typographical errors (“typos”) and mechanical errors, you may want to correct those while the paper is out for review. Of course, you will have to go over the paper after you have incorporated the reviewers’ comments to catch any errors you might have added, but starting the revision process early will probably prove beneficial as you move closer to your due date.

Your revision strategy should be closely linked to the writing schedule for your project. The overall success of your revision effort will depend on how closely you have followed this schedule up to the point where revision can occur. Even when your time is limited, you should always try to leave some time for revision. On the whole, papers that are revised before submission receive better grades than those that are not.

  • When editing, tackle big changes (moving paragraphs, deleting sections, adding new material) before making small changes (grammar, spelling, citation formats).

  • Many writers take multiple passes at a piece of writing, checking different aspects on each pass.

  • It can be helpful to create a checklist of aspects to evaluate and correct during revision.

  • Creating a strategy or schedule for revision can also help you manage this part of the writing process.

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