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10. a. (6) The Revision Process

All good writers revise their prose before submitting it. Revise your paper at least twice before submitting it to your instructor. If you are using a word processor, you may find it useful to print out each draft and mark your revisions on the paper draft. Then enter them on your electronic copy. Before revising your first draft, put it aside for at least a day. Then come back and attack it, looking for every possible problem that you can find and solve by revision. Ask the following questions (and perhaps others, as well):

  1. Does my paper answer the question(s) that I posed before beginning my research and writing?

  2. Does my introduction adequately prepare the reader for what follows in the body of the paper?

  3. Does my writing flow smoothly and logically from sentence to sentence and from paragraph to paragraph?

  4. Is each fact, idea, opinion, interpretation, etc., placed in its logical location within the paper?

  5. Does the conclusion adequately sum up the facts and ideas contained in the paper?

  6. Have I proofread and revised for spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors?

  7. Have I followed all instructions from my professor about typing, margins, pagination footnotes, and bibliography?

  8. Have I numbered all of the pages?

  9. Have I followed all suggestions in this Guide with respect to writing style?

  10. Have I read my paper aloud, read it into a tape recorder and then listened to it, or had someone else read it aloud to me? (Listening often catches awkward phrasing or other problems.)
After answering the questions, revise to correct problems. Then, give your second draft to someone else to read. Ask that person to note any sentence or paragraph that does not seem to make good sense or communicate clearly what you were trying to say. Often a writer, knowing so much about the topic and being familiar with his/her style of thinking and writing, incorrectly assumes that others will be able to understand clearly what he or she has written. Also, ask the person to look for spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors. Then, revise your paper again. Finally, submit this third draft to your professor.

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