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Stage 4. Revise Your Writing

Revising involves re-seeing or re-visioning your writing from the perspective of the audience.  At this stage, you should focus on main ideas and not correcting errors, which is done later during editing.  After revising, your writing should be clear and thorough.

Before you revise, you should take a break from your writing so that you can read it over with renewed perceptiveness.  Setting your writing aside for a full day is best.  If you only have few hours, then commit to taking a break for one hour.

Several strategies of revising are available to the writer, including reverse outline, revisit the assignment instructions to use as a checklist, MEAL Plan, and peer reviews.  Additionally, integrate the following techniques when revising – taking a break, printing a hard copy and marking-up, and using Turnitin.

Revising  

Revising Your Writing (Walden University).  Comprehensive archive of resources to revise your writing.  The website also provided links to numerous webinars and podcasts.

Reflective Writing and the Revision Process: What Were You Thinking? (Writing Spaces.org). Chapter in Writing Spaces; Readings on Writing, Volume 1, a peer-reviewed open textbook series on writing.  The essay explains how reflective writing involves thinking about your own thinking as an effective revising process that helps writes gain critical distance and provides a mechanism for writers to re-think and re-see.

The 5 Rs of Revision (WriteCast Podcast, Episode 14) (Walden University). WriteCast: A Casual Conversation for Serious Writers is a monthly series of academic writing podcasts.  Download a podcast app to your smartphone.  Use iTunes Podcast Player for Android and Podcasts for iPhone.  You can also stream podcasts directly and listen to them on your computer.  Click Walden Podcasts to learn how to listen and view the complete episode archives.

Final Revisions Checklist (University of Texas – Austin). Provides a checklist to help recall revision tasks for an essay.

Revision for Cohesion (Purdue OWL). Provides a focused discussion of revising for cohesion that focuses on topic sentences that begin each paragraph and main points within a paragraph.

Steps for Revising Your Paper (Purdue OWL). Provides a series of questions to evaluate your draft. 

Revising Your Draft (Harvard). Provides steps for revising along with an example.

Revising Drafts (UNC – Chapel Hill).  Provides strategies to revise effectively.  

You've Reached Great Heights: Developing Revision Strategies for Condensing Your Work (Walden University).  The blog posted by the Walden Writing Center provides tips for revising your writing.   

Reverse Outlines

Reverse Outlines: A Writer's Technique for Examining Organization (University of Wisconsin – Madison).  This section of the Writer’s handbook discusses reverse outlining, which allows writers to read a condensed version of what they wrote as a way to examine the logical sequence of the main points. 

A Bird’s Eye View (Walden University).  The blog posted by the Walden Writing Center that provides a revision strategy for improving organization. 

MEAL Plan

Revising Paragraphs Using MEAL Plan (Duke University).  Evaluate the components of each paragraph using Main idea, Evidence, Analysis, and Link back to the larger claim (MEAL Plan).  After accessing the Duke Writing Studio website and click on the “Paragraphing: The MEAL Plan” link in the middle of the page to open the MEAL Plan handout. 

Peer Review & Feedback

Peer Reviews (University of Wisconsin – Madison).  Provides a guide to conducting a peer review.

Using Peer Review to Help Students Improve Their Writing (The Teaching Center, Washington University).  Although written from the instructor’s perspective, the webpage presents a strategy for conducting peer reviews helpful to students and faculty.

Peer Review for Initial Drafts (Teaching Center at Washington University).  Discusses ways to provide useful peer review comments.

What To Do With Negative Feedback (WriteCast Podcast, Episode 15) (Walden University). WriteCast: A Casual Conversation for Serious Writers is a monthly series of academic writing podcasts.  Download a podcast app to your smartphone.  Use iTunes Podcast Player for Android and Podcasts for iPhone.  You can also stream podcasts directly and listen to them on your computer.  Click Walden Podcasts to learn how to listen and view the complete episode archives.

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Stage 3, Draft ß Stage 4, Revise à Stage 5, Edit

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