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Writing TipsWRITING TIPS
Revising the First Draft

 
 

Person writing an essay using reference books and a computerThe purpose of revising your essay is to make it clearer, stronger, and more convincing. At this stage you are solving the bigger, idea-level problems. Then you will move on to the smaller, word-level problems when editing. At this stage you may add, cut, or change whole sentences. You will be looking for ideas that do not fit or for ideas that are not as complete or specific as they should be. You also want to make your ideas flow smoothly from one to the next, so you will pay special attention to how the ideas are connected.

You shouldn’t do your revision immediately after writing your first draft. Take a break before reading it, so you can look at it with fresh eyes. Remember to read it aloud. You can even read it to a friend or colleague if you want some feedback.

When you are revising you will be focusing on unity, sufficient support and detail, and coherence.