Helpful tips on how to revise a paper
Table of Contents
How to revise papers properly
One should never underestimate the importance of revision when writing essays. An important thing to take into account is that revision is not actually the same as editing. Revision entails improving papers in terms of logical structure, coherence, transitions, and content in general, whereas editing refers to brushing up the paper in spelling, punctuation, vocabulary choice, and grammar. Often the most obvious reason why students make mistakes in grammar and have flaws in the academic writing style is that they are not good at developing their ideas clearly. As soon as students master the skills of expressing and developing ideas, they have fewer problems with grammar and sentence structures. Therefore, revision is one of the fundamental strategies on the way to improving academic writing. With a proper approach to revision, one can learn how to express his/ her viewpoints and convey information in an understandable way.
A lot of students are so scared of the writing process that they overestimate the importance of revision and spend much more time on it rather than on writing. Such approach is also not the best one as such excessive revision does not bring the paper to perfection but sometimes leads to the complete alteration of ideas. Therefore, it is important for many students to know how to set the boundary between revision and rewriting.
Another extremity is when students refuse to revise at all claiming that it is a worthless and time-consuming process. However, rough drafts are not the final ones, so to make sure the paper deserves a good grade, you should revise it and proofread. For professional writers, revision is an inseparable process from writing.
Teachers should encourage their students to practice free writing before their rough draft even without spending much time on revision. First, it is important to gather ideas and once the draft is written students can switch over to extensive revision. The best option is to start with the general content and paper organization and then gradually narrow down to double-checking each paragraph and sentence.
It is recommended that before revising students should print out their papers, as it would be more convenient to make notes and necessary corrections right between the lines. After revision, one should turn to editing and proofreading.
Tips to revise your paper
Tip #1: Check the paper structure
First, check out whether the paper structure meets all the requirements. For instance, when you need to write an argumentative essay, provide the background for your work, include clear thesis, support your arguments, refute the arguments and sum up the paper with logical conclusion. In case you need to write an expository essay, there is no need to refute the arguments. All you have to do is to support your arguments.
Tip #2: Check the overall organization
This tip differs from the previous one. What is meant by the overall organization? Well, first of all, the readability of your paper. Make sure that readers will perceive the content with ease. Otherwise, you will have to look for the reasons why the content is difficult to comprehend and fix this issue. Below are possible mistakes, writers make while structuring their paper:
- paragraphs are too long
Make the paragraphs shorter. For instance, in case your essay consists of 600 words, you need to provide 60 or 80 words in each paragraph. Provide at least 100 words in the paragraphs in case your essay consists of 1000 words.
- paragraphs are too short
Too short paragraphs are as wrong as too long paragraphs. In case you provide too short paragraphs that resemble long sentences, the overall paper will seem to be weird. Such essays are not coherent and sometimes make no sense.
- subheadings are too long
In case your paper is long, divide it into sections. You may also include subheadings for better content perception. Readers’ attention will be grabbed by the subheadings and they will understand main points in your paper faster. Make sure that each subheading includes at least 50 – 60 symbols.
- subheadings that seem to be redundant
Use subheadings in case when your paper is long. When your paper has only 200-300 words, there is no need to use headings and subheadings. Short papers do not require subheadings.
- correct example
We recommend you to avoid the above-mentioned mistakes. As a result, readers will perceive your paper with ease and will want to continue reading it. Otherwise, potential readers will fail to understand your main points.
Tip #3: Provide strong evidence
When you are revising your paper, this tip cannot be ignored. Make sure you support all your arguments and claims with real and strong evidence. When you have finished writing your paper, check whether your evidence is weak or strong. Find the refuting argument or evidence to see which one is stronger. In order to make your evidence and arguments strong enough, keep on reading this article.
- Use reliable and credible sources.While presenting the results of the research work, you need to present the facts and details about the research. Indicate the time period of the research work. Name the involved individuals, and all the factors that had impact on the reliability of the research and its results. Under such circumstances, your evidence will become credible and trustworthy.
- Avoid contradicting arguments. In case you provide arguments that contradict each other, your evidence will automatically lose their power. That is why you need to be sure that all the arguments are in compliance with each other.
- Use only up-to-date data. Up-to-date information is crucial for writing professional papers. Upon paper completion, make sure that all the sources are credible and up-to-date. Some papers take a lot of time to be written. During the process of writing, you may find new unexpected facts. That is why check whether your information is up-to-date.
Read our article: “Formatting a paper”
Tip#4: Avoid redundancies
Sometime, enthusiasm can carry you away. As are result, you can end up writing too long and confusing sentences. Avoid such situation and revise such sentences. You can divide too long sentences into shorter ones or simple remove redundant phrases or words from the sentence.
Tip #5: When you revise your paper do not pay close attention to spelling mistakes
Remember that revision is only the first stage of paper improvement. When you are done with revision, you will still have to edit and proofread your paper. That is why so as not to waste your time spelling mistakes can be ignored at the stage of revision. This tip can be used only if you know that you will still have enough time for editing and proofreading. In case you are running of time, you should combine revision and editing. After you restructure certain statements, edit the text.
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Check also our article: “Effective editing”
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