Re-Vision = Re-seeing = Seeing it all again
        Step-by-step guide

Revision is NOT about tightening up your rough draft, correction mistakes, checking spelling or pumping up your vocabulary. It is not punishment inflicted on you by a grammar obsessed English teacher. It is NOT the last thing you do. All writing is revision.
Revision is about reassessing what you have produced with new ideas, and making choices about what to do next. Revision may involve changing your thesis, restructuring the essay, or adding or deleting evidence or examples. Revision most certainly should involve a thorough questioning of thesis, organization and support.
The ingredients of a good essay are: A first draft, a bit of distance from it to make your reading more clear sighted (it makes you more like your reader than the writer, permits you to see what an outside observer would notice in the way of inconsistencies, areas that need more detail, etc.); comments by another reader (ideally both an instructor and peers); and your own reflective choices about how to change what you have done into a smooth, clear, interesting paper.
Step-by-step guide:
1. Read without making any changes or pauses to give yourself a sense of how your essay reads.
2. Read aloud (to yourself or to a friend). What sounds good probably is. Note areas that sound like they need work.
3. Ask big questions of the draft. Ask these questions on a printed copy of your draft, or on a separate sheet of paper. Questions to consider include:
 A. Am I conveying something significant to my readers? (Significant means: interesting, other-than-obvious.) What job do the details I use perform? (Details in and of themselves aren't worth much, but can convey a wealth of descriptive, emotional and persuasive force).
 B. What is my thesis? What am I trying to prove? What's the purpose? How could I prove it or strengthen it?
 C. What are the strengths of this draft? (You don't want to undo your best work, although you may have to change it to fit everything else.
 D. What are the weaknesses of this draft?
 E. Does this draft fulfill the requirements of the assignment? (Always go back to compare what you've done with what was requested)
 F. Does the organization make sense? Is it effective?

Start to work on major revisions. Again, I strongly urge you to make revisions on paper, not on the computer screen. Computers only let you see one paragraph or so at a time, and it's easy to get lost in revisions, losing the overall sense of the essay.

Never start your major revisions with the first paragraph. Introductions and conclusions are the most difficult part of any essay. It is almost always best to postpone working on them until your last task. Think about what paragraphs, sections or examples you might want to take out, or add to your draft. Find ways to apply your answers to step 3, in order to improve your draft. Do not be afraid to change things! Be messy! Significant major revisions are a requirement for a successful essay. Don't be afraid to radically alter your thesis. One of the most important elements in revision is the ability to delete. Don't fall in love with your writing too soon, Your instructor looks more favorably on efforts to improve with thorough revising than a timid attempt to save what you did the first time without many changes.
5. Think about the structure or organization of the draft. Write in the margins of each paragraph a few words summing up the main idea of the paragraph (maybe it doesn't have one yet!) Ask yourself if your paragraphs seem to flow logically. Make sure each paragraph has a clear main idea. Ask yourself if any point is repeated, or never developed or refined.
6. Enter all your changes: your draft should be a real mess. Read your revised draft out loud to yourself again. Make sure all the revisions flow together. If not, go over the draft and smooth things out again.
7. If you are not satisfied with the draft, write a paragraph to yourself about how the process is going and go through the entire process again. Keep working on major revisions until you are satisfied.
8. NOW move on to minor revisions. Worry about grammar, punctuation, subject-verb agreement, tenses, spelling, etc. Have someone else read it if possible.
9. At least one hour later, proofread your paper. Remember that running the essay through a spell-checker doesn't guarantee against spelling mistakes. A good trick is to proofread backwards; start with the last sentence of the last paragraph and work your way back to the beginning. This will help prevent you from missing typos due to your familiarity with your writing.

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