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University Writing Center

COM 10: Revision Strategies

Dynamic PDF: Revision Strategies

What is Revision?

Revision is the process of returning to a completed draft in order to improve it in some way and produce the best writing possible. When writers revise, they usually focus on concerns such as the need to add or delete ideas or paragraphs, clarify information, reorganize ideas, and make stylistic changes.

Why Do We Revise?

When writers work on the first draft of a project, they usually focus on getting their ideas on the page. The result is a draft that, while complete, may contain ideas or organization that could be improved. When writers engage in a thorough revision, they may substantially change aspects of a draft in order to achieve the goal of a coherent and polished final draft that is ready for publication or evaluation.

Strategies for Revision

  • Once your first draft is finished, take a break and return to the piece with fresh eyes. You may be surprised how a break from the draft can give you a different view of your writing, especially if you have been preoccupied with getting your ideas onto the page.
  • Ask a trusted classmate or friend to read your writing and give you some feedback. You are not required to take their suggestions, but it is important to remember that the goal of writing is to communicate ideas to your readers.
  • If your draft feels disorganized, make an outline from your existing paper. Once you complete this outline, you can see how the sections of your draft fit together and decide if you should reorganize them.
  • Print your draft and read it aloud to yourself. If the words sound unnatural or awkward when you hear them, you could focus on rewording those passages to improve their flow and clarity.
  • Visit the University Writing Center. The writing consultants at the UWC can help at all stages of the writing process and have experience helping writers improve drafts.

Other Useful Resources for Revision:

Office Phone

(615) 904-8237


Walker Library, Room 362



The Writing Center

Box 70

Middle Tennessee State University

Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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