Chapter 14: Revising, Editing, and Proofreading

Writing > Revision


Congratulations! You're at the final step of the writing process: revision.

Think about the word "revision" for a moment. It literally means to "look again" at something from a fresh and critical perspective.

Revision involves editing and proofreading. It's important to understand the difference between the two terms:


This part of the revision process involves modification to a text's structure, format and contents. The goal of these changes is to offer a strong thesis, logical organization, and smart and unpredictable ideas.


This part of the revision process involves error correction. Here, writers seek out mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Strategies Common to Both Editing and Proofreading

It's also important not to skip or rush through the revision process. The best writers in the world make mistakes in their texts when they forget to revise.

Allocate time before your text is due to edit your work. This is because one strategy that is common to both editing and proofreading is to set your work aside for a few days. If you can't afford a few days, set it aside for a few hours. And, if you can't afford that because you're in an examination room, zone out for 15 minutes before starting your revision process. When writers set their work aside, they tend to review it with a fresh perspective when they begin revising.

Consider the technique that you use. Many people find it useful to read aloud when no one is around. If someone is around, silently mouth the words.

Historically speaking, what were your areas of opportunity? Return to previous texts that you received feedback on and try to avoid replicating the same mistakes.

Peers are a resource. Ask a friend, colleague, or instructor to look over your work for you and provide feedback on how well they understand your message and on the types of errors that occur in the text.

Click on the cards, below, to separately examine recommendations related to editing and proofreading:

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