What is revision?
Revision means that you’re working on the higher-order issues in your paper–content, organization, thesis, etc.
Make a revision plan- Take a look at the feedback from me on your graded papers (this means that you have to look at the marginal comments that don’t show up on your phone). Make sure that you understand all of the comments, and then make a list of the major things that you want to revise about each paper. Then, take a look at your schedule for the next two weeks. When will you take the time to work on these revisions? You will share the revision plan with me during in-class conferences.
Reverse outline- Write down the main idea of each paragraph in the margin of the paper. Then, look back at the paper and see if the order of your main ideas makes sense. Do paragraphs need to be rearranged? Then, look at the sentence level. Do any paragraphs have multiple main ideas? Do any sentences not contribute to the main idea of the paragraph?
Check your topic sentences- Does your topic sentence really communicate the main idea of the paragraph? Do all the sentences that follow the topic sentence suport it?
Check your introduction and conclusion strategies- Does the introduction draw the reader in? Does the conclusion help the reader understand why the paper matters?
What is proofreading?
You proofread only after you revise. Proofreading is about working on the lower-order issues in your paper–grammar, punctuation, word choice, style, etc.
Read out loud- Read your paper out loud or even better, have a friend read the paper to you while you follow along. You’ll catch things that you don’t when reading in your head because when you’ve worked on a paper for a long time, your eyes start to skim over things you may want to change.
Read backward- Start with the last sentence of your paper and read it, looking for sentence-level things that you want to change. Mark the changes. Then move to the second to last sentence and repeat. Continue until the first sentence of the paper. This strategy is useful because it lets you isolate each sentence and identify the changes that you want to make.