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Revising is not the same as editing. When you edit, you mainly check for errors in conventions. When you revise, you check how you have presented your ideas. You make changes, deletions, and additions. When it is time to revise a piece of writing, follow these guidelines to ensure you carefully look at each trait.


bulletThe paper has a clear purpose or makes a point.
bulletEach paragraph relates to the paper's main idea.
bulletEach paragraph contains clear, relevant details and examples in every that develop and support the main idea.
bulletThe writer sticks to the main idea and leaves out details that do not matter.
bulletThe paper contains enough information to cover the subject.
bulletThe title, if there is one, relates to the main idea of the paper and "hooks" the reader.


bulletThe lead grabs the reader's attention, making the reader want to read more. It also gives a sense of the main idea.
bulletThe organizational pattern makes sense. It is easy for the reader to follow along.
bulletThere are no gaps where something seems to be missing.
bulletEach paragraph talks about only one idea.
bulletThe ideas are linked together with smooth transitions.
bulletThe conclusion ties everything together with a final point or summary.
bulletThe reader isn't left "hanging."


bulletThe paper sounds different from everyone else's. It's unique.
bulletThe paper sounds like the writer.
bulletThe writing shows how the writer feels and thinks about the topic.
bulletThe paper has personality.
bulletThe paper is convincing, not "fake."
bulletThe paper is fun to read.
bulletThe paper is lively, or exciting in some way.


bulletThe words paint a picture in the reader's mind.
bulletThere aren't any words that are repeated too often.
bulletThe language is natural, not overdone.
bulletThe writer used strong action verbs to add drama to the paper.
bulletThe writer has used specific nouns to identify people, places, and objects.
bulletThe writer has used descriptive adjectives to help create a mental picture for the reader.
bulletThe writer has used similes or metaphors to explain anything unusual to the reader.
bulletThe writer has avoided vague, boring, overused words, slang, and clichés. He/She has tried something new.


bulletEach sentence is a complete thought that makes sense. No words have been left out.
bulletAny fragments used are intentional and add to the message of the paper.
bulletNot all sentences are the same length.
bulletNot all sentences have the same structure.
bulletNot all sentences begin the same way.
bulletThe paper is smooth and easy to read.


bulletThe paper isn't one or two huge paragraphs. Each new idea has its own paragraph, which is indented.
bulletSimilar ideas are in the same paragraph so there aren't too many paragraphs.
bulletThere are no spelling errors.
bulletCapitalization is used correctly.
bulletSentences are punctuated correctly.
bulletThere are no grammatical errors. The reader doesn't have to stop reading to mentally correct mistakes in the paper.



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This site last updated 14 November 2007.

External links last verified 2 September 2007.

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