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From Tidewater Community College online writing center

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  1. 1. Tidewater Community CollegePhone: 757-822-7170Fax: 757-427-0327E-mail: writcent@tcc.eduWeb: Prepared by Julie Gehl
  2. 2. There Are Three Steps to the Revision Process:Reassessing EditingExamining your draft for: Proofreading your final draft andUnity correcting any remainingCoherence grammatical, mechanical, and format errorsEffective LanguageRedraftingRewriting to eliminate problem spotsand/or add material to clarify yourmessage
  3. 3. Editing ChecklistHave I eliminated all sentence fragments? (A sentence needs a complete subject, a completeverb, and a complete thought to be a sentence.)Have I eliminated all comma splices? (Two complete thoughts separated only by a comma.)Have I eliminated all run-on sentences? (Two complete thoughts without any punctuationbetween them.)Are the spelling and capitalization correct throughout my paper?Is the verb tense correct throughout my paper? (Verb tense should be consistent unless you aredeliberately using a flashback technique or are using transitions to guide your reader throughthe action.)Do all my subjects agree with their verbs? (Don’t forget that verbs in present tense changeaccording to the subject (“he/she/it” rule).)
  4. 4. Editing Polishing your draft to correct errors in English. Proofread to identify and eliminate any errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.Don’t begin the editing process immediately after redrafting; you’re too tired! Also, you’ll ghostwrite and automatically fill in the gaps because what you meant to say is too fresh in yourmemory. Put it away for a day or two.Use a proofreading checklist of grammar and spelling errors that you most frequently make. Beprepared to read your draft several times as you check for errors.Read your paper backwards! Start from the bottom of your paper, read the last sentence first,then the next-to-last sentence, etc. all the way to the beginning sentence.Team up with a classmate and become proofreading partners. After you have edited your ownpapers, swap and edit each other’s. He/She may find several error s you missed.Use a computer spell check to find spelling errors, but BEWARE!!If you write the sentence “I fell tired.” spell check will not pick up that “fell” is the wrong wordand that it should have been “feel.” It will only recognize that fell was spelled correctly.
  5. 5. Reassessing Examining your draft for: Unity Does every sentence in each paragraph relate back to that paragraph’s topic sentence?Does every sentence in the body of my paper relate back to my thesis?CoherenceDo all of my sentences communicate my ideas cleanly and smoothly?Do I make good use of effective transition words to guide my audience through my paper?Effective LanguageDo I use descriptive language, such as adjectives and adverbs that add interest and allowthe audience to “see” my point?Do I stay away from non-descriptive terms such as “thing, bad, sad, mad,” etc? (Invest in athesaurus!!)Do I refrain from using tired, overused language and/or phrases (cliches) such as “once in alifetime” or “new and improved”?Have I made sure to consider my audience’s experience level with my topic and providedsufficient detail to explain unfamiliar terms? Do I use language acceptable to an academicaudience? (No “bikini” language at the wedding!)
  6. 6. Redrafting Applying the knowledge you gained from answering the questions in your reassessment stage, and then writing a new version or draft of your paper. Re-order your sentences, if necessary, so that they are in a coherent order that is appropriateto the mode of writing you are doing. For example, a narrative should be written in chronologicalorder while a persuasive paper should be in emphatic order.Eliminate sentences that are not directly related back to your topic sentence or thesis (Unity).Regroup related sentences together and provide new transition words where necessary (Coherence).Eliminate language that is “deadwood.” Some words are like junk food; they fill up a paper, but theyhave no real value! Sometimes, simple is just better ; for example, change “at this point in time” to“currently.”Fill in the gaps created in draft one. Provide specific and relevant examples to support your topicsentence and/or thesis. General statements may be organized and coherent, but they do little topersuade, inform, or entertain your reader. Detail (not deadwood) adds interest.
  7. 7. Transitional Phrases To Illustrate or Show Cause & Effect Accordingly consequently indeed particularly After all for example in fact specifically As a result for instance of course therefore Because for one thing overall thus To Add, Restate, or EmphasizeAgain finally in conclusion on the whole Also first (second)in other words too And further moreover to sum upBesides in addition next To Show Time or PlaceAbove beyond lately soon until After currently now then whenAs soon as earlier once there whenever Before herepresently to the left to the right Below immediately where since To Compare or ContrastAlthough despite in the same way similarly And even though likewise stillAs however nevertheless though both in contrast on the other handwhereas But n spite of regardless yet