Once you have gone through your own early draft review, and peer reviews and and any other read-throughs and analyses of your draft, you may be ready for the final stage of revision. This is not simply editing — checking for misspelled words or missing commas.
To revise is to “re-see” your paper. To look closely and deeply at it to make sure that it is making sense, that it flows, that it is meeting the core assignment requirements. To revise also means re-envisioning what the paper can be. You still have time to make major changes, such as providing additions or deleting entire sections. Those are all wonderful things to do at this final revision stage in order to make your paper stronger.
- Carefully consider all feedback. Based on that feedback from readers, where can you make your essay more reader-friendly? Where does it need more effort and focus?
- Revisit the Assignment Sheet. If there are evaluation criteria, use them to evaluate your own draft. Identify in the paper where you are adhering to those criteria.
- Consider your Sources. Are you engaging with required source materials as much or as deeply as you need to be? Do you need more source support in the paper? Do you need to enhance your source integration (signal phrases, citations)?
- Revisit feedback on previous papers. Often, we make consistent errors in our writing from paper to paper. Read over feedback from other papers – even from other classes – and review your paper with special attention to those errors. There is still time to come talk to your professor about fixing them if you don’t understand how to avoid them!
- Visit the Writing Center. It never hurts to have an objective pair of eyes look over your work. Bring the assignment sheet with you so that the Writing Center tutors can see what the instructor’s requirements for the assignment are. Communicate to the tutor about your key areas of concern or areas of focus.
- Read your paper aloud – slowly. This will help you to hear any missing words or components. We often miss things when we only read because we read so quickly.
- Ask for Instructor Feedback. If there are areas of your paper that you are struggling with, talk to a professor and ask for some guidance.