I would like to start off by defining and giving a meaning to the term revision. According to Zinsser (2001) revising is the process of looking at something keenly: with a view of correcting it so that it can be clearer and more coherent. Revision is about making better arguments, analyzing the evidence provided to determine if it is sufficient. It may also involve reorganizing your thoughts to achieve the purpose of your writing.
One of the techniques that I have used in the revision of the researched argument is, reading the paper out loud. It might seem overly simplistic, I know. But just by hearing the flow of my paper it enables me to know how best I can phrase my argument by doing away with what I find unnecessary. Another key technique for revision is printing a hard copy of the paper that you are meant to revise. There is a whole world of difference between reading from the computer screen and reading from a hard copy. The advantage with the hard copy is that it enables you to notice some structural mistakes and one can easily jot down important points in the margins of the paper. I have found that holding a hard copy of my paper is so enjoyable, it has made revision a lot easier than I had imagined.
Getting a second reader is another great strategy and this works well when you find someone who can honestly share with you what they didn’t like about the paper or where they got confused. I would suggest someone who is bold enough to tell you what you may not like to hear. However, this didn’t go so well with me the last time I tried it. I thought the person I had given my paper to read was way to critical, he didn’t find anything good with my work that was discouraging. But even with his critical and dismissive response I learnt something that has made my paper better.
Finally, my revision tips may not work for everyone but I am challenging you to give them a try. You will be amazed by how much you can cover and how easier you work will be.
Zinsser, W. (2001). On writing well: The classic guide to writing nonfiction (25th anniversary ed., 1st HarperResource Quill ed.). New York: Quill.
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