Writing is not easy to do. Worse, after writing a long essay with many paragraphs, the last thing you want to do is to look at it again! It’s important for writers to read (and re-read) their work because the first draft is rarely perfect. Revision and editing are two important stages in the writing process.
Revision is the stage where you change or adjust the larger ideas that you have written about. Here, you may also change or move sentences to help your ideas flow together more smoothly.
Editing is the stage where you make the grammar, punctuation, and sentence-structure as accurate as possible.
Here are a few tips to revise and edit your own writing successfully!
1. Take a break. Have you ever written or said a word so many times that it doesn’t look or sound right anymore? Your writing is the same way! After you write something, leave it alone for two days to forget about it. When you return, you will be able to read it with “fresh” eyes and catch any problems or mistakes.
2. Read it aloud. Try reading what you wrote out loud. If your sentences or words don’t sound right, maybe they aren’t right! Hearing your own writing might help you identify parts that don’t exactly sound like regular English.
3. Analyze the parts. Even if you already did, create a brand new outline based on the information that you wrote. What was the thesis in the introduction? What interesting fact did you use in your conclusion? Are there transitions? When outlining, you may see that one idea does not fit in as well with the others. That’s when you know to look at it more closely!
4. Print it out. It’s always easier to revise on paper than it is on a computer. You can circle, cross out, rewrite, and more. These markings help your brain process the changes. If you revise or edit on a computer, you might forget what the original error was.