How to Revise your Writing (Worksheet for Revision)

After you have completed the invention and planning stage as well as created the first draft of your document, you are ready to begin revising. The term revision literally means to re-see. The stage of revision in the writing process may be revisited several times.

After a writer has created a draft, he or she can then review the draft to see how it may be strengthened. A writer may make global changes or local changes in the revision process.

Global Revision 

To revise globally means to look at the document as a whole. Any global changes that are made may significantly alter the original draft. Global changes made during revision might include the following:

  • Accuracy of scientific or technical content
  • Change in organization of paragraphs
  • Change of thesis
  • Deletion of sections or paragraphs
  • Addition of sections or paragraphs
  • Addition of support (documentation, examples, illustrations)
  • Change in design
  • Sharper focus on audience and purpose

Local Revision 

To revise locally means to look at the smaller structures within a document such as sentences, word usage, or grammar and mechanics. Any local changes that are made may strengthen sentences, tone, or clarity of writing. Local changes might include:

  • Proofreading for grammatical aspects such as subject-verb sentence structure, run-on sentences, improper use of modifiers
  • Proofreading for mechanical errors such as punctuation, spelling, capitalization, abbreviations
  • Tightening sentences through known-new strategy
  • Reviewing vocabulary
  • Reviewing for consistency in headings and titles

Questions and Sample Answers for Revision

Q. Has the informational content been conveyed accurately and completely?
A. I included definitions of terms related to the turfgrass industry. I double-checked these terms for accuracy.

Q. Is the main idea or thesis of the paper clearly conveyed?
A. My thesis statement is stated at the beginning of the paper. I suggest a method for golf course maintenance that I believe works best among the newest developments in golf course maintenance.

Q. Does the paper address the requirements of the assignment?
A. I have followed the instructor's assignment description for this class project.

Purpose/Key Point
Q. What purpose does this paper serve?
A. My paper provides a review of recent golf course maintenance method. My purpose is to both inform and persuade.

Q. Have you clearly expressed the purpose in your paper?
A. No. I review golf course maintenance research and suggest one method that is better than others, but I do not directly state that I am trying to persuade the audience. Perhaps I'll include a sentence in the beginning of the paper that suggests I would like to strongly suggest that one method is better than others, and that I'd like to convince them of this finding.

Q. How well does the paper address the primary and secondary readers?
A. The paper is addressed to my instructor. Initial readers are my peers. Secondary audience includes the President of Ames Country Club. I have addressed the audience by including a letter of transmittal at the beginning of my report.

Q. Have you addressed the information desired by the audience?
A. I included information about various methods of maintenance, and for the President of the Coutnry Club I included a section about cost.

Q. Does the organization work for developing ideas?
A. The sections of history, current methods, new methods, best method dragged out too long. It might be better to organize the paper by first discussing the best method and describing why this method is better than others.

Q. Have sufficient examples been included to support your main points?
A. I included History from 1970-1995, and current methods include lawn pro chemical treatments. New methods include manicuring techniques.

Q. Has documentation been used correctly?
A. I used the wrong style of documentation and have not included in-text citations. My bibliography is not yet complete.

Q. Is your overall design effective?
A. I used proper format for a report, including a table of contents, double-spaced pages, 1-inch margins, and titles.

Q. Are visual illustrations and data displays effectively shown in the document?
A. No. I have not included tables, illustrations in text. I put them at the back in an index. I think it will be better to place the tables and graphs close to the text that discusses them.