When you finish writing your essay, you should revise it. After you revise it, you may need to return to either of the previous stages (prewriting or writing) to make improvements to your writing. You also may need to do additional drafting.

Quotes about drafting

"The second draft is where the fun is. In a first draft, you get to explode. The objective (at least for me) is to get it down on paper, somehow. Battle through the laziness and the not-enough-time and the this-is-rubbish and everything else, and just get it written. Whatever it takes. The second draft is where you go and gather together the fragments of the explosion and figure out what it is you did, and make it look like that was what you always meant to do.

So you write it. Then you put it aside. Not for months, but perhaps for a week or so. Even a few days. Do other things. Then set aside some uninterrupted time to read, and pull it out, and pretend you have never read it before -- clear it out of your head, and sit and read it. (I'd suggest you do this on a print-out, so you can scribble on it as you go.)"

- Author Neil Gaiman (2008) 

"My first draft was a haphazardly mowed path through a dark and scary overgrowth of trees and weeds; it took a dozen more drafts to prune and trim, plant new things, string up some lights—so I could arrive at something of a garden."

-Author Emily X. R. Pan

"First drafts are like practicing dance moves in your room alone in the dark; it doesn't matter what it looks like because it's just for you."

-Author Jen Wang

"I think and think and think, and then the first draft pours out on to the page, ready to be expanded in the direction I actually meant for it to go."

-Author E. K. Johnston

(Source: Bustle)

Many people divide the revising stage into two parts: revising and editing. Revising focuses on making changes to improve the clarity of your ideas and organization. Editing focuses on making changes to improve your grammar. Revising should generally be completed before editing. 

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself while you are revising an essay.

Revision questions

  1. Does the introduction provide the general information a reader needs in order to understand the topic? 
  2. Does the introduction end with an effective thesis? Does it match the style of the essay? 
  3. Do each of the body paragraphs begin with an effective topic sentence? 
  4. Are the body paragraphs sequenced in a logical order? 
  5. Look at each body paragraph. Do the supporting sentences support the topic sentence? 
  6. Look at each body paragraph. Are the supporting sentences sequenced in a logical order? 
  7. Look at each body paragraph. Is there enough development? Are there more details or examples that would help the reader? 
  8. Look at each body paragraph. Does the concluding sentence close the paragraph logically? 
  9. Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis? 
  10. Does the conclusion paragraph have a suggestion, prediction, or opinion at the end? 


You should always read through your essay to identify mistakes. Try to finish your drafting with enough time to leave your essay, and then come back to it later to make revisions. As you revise your own work, you may need to add, delete, or move text. Mark any parts of your essay that you want to ask a friend/tutor to help you with. You should also proofread for mechanical errors (spelling, grammar, etc.). You may be surprised by how many errors you are able to identify on your own.  

Here are some strategies for proofreading:

  1. Start by simply reading through your essay for typos. This is an easy way to clean up your mechanics and present a more professional essay. 
  2. Look through your essay to check for basic grammar errors. For example, you might check to make sure that every sentence has a subject and a verb (and that they agree). 
  3. If you are not writing for a test, try reading out loud. This may help you identify more errors. We often notice that something doesn't make sense when we hear it.
  4. Read the essay backward (paragraph by paragraph).

Get feedback and make changes

If you are not writing for a test, have a friend or a tutor review your writing before you submit it to your teacher. Then use the feedback you get to make changes. If your teacher gives you feedback on your draft before the final paper is due, make sure you use it to improve your essay.


Exercise 1: Give Feedback

Read this student's essay. What feedback would you give the student? Don't just look at superficial concerns like spelling and grammar. Consider the ideas and organization of the essay.

Prompt: In order to solve your school’s recent litter problem, the school director asked students to take better care of the campus, but the litter problem continued. The director’s reaction is to cancel all extracurricular activities until the problem is resolved. Do you agree or disagree with his reaction? Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.


      It must be hard for school leaders to take care of all the matters about this school. Taking care of campus is a shared responsibility that students should have a lot of commitment to. I think that the measures about canceling extracurricular activities until students understand this responsibly are correct because of 2 reasons that i will share latter.

      Students must understand that there It is a serious matter. When a consequence happen a a reaction for an action we can know if this action was good or bad. Sometimes as children we don't know much about what have good or bad consequences. With the time we can gain that knowledge as we have experiences that show us the results of some actions. We will confirm that the first action was good because it had a positive consequence, and vice versa. Sometimes students don't understand how serious an issue is until we they see consequences, in this case it was negative so they will understand things better.

     When a bad behavior continues a good thing is to be firm in the consequences for that action. If a little child always bother the dog, there is going to be a point when the dog will bite him. Most likely after that experience of learning the child will never bother the dog again. It is just a on example of how experience with consequence helps us learn and sometimes we need that experience to change our behavior. Being firm at the solutions for bad actions will create a learning experience so a bad behavior doesn't be repeat again.

    There are different things that school leaders can do to correct this behavior and I think their resolution can work because of the reasons mentioned before. In addition to that, this resolution would be much more effective if they include additional methods of communication and set rasobambe goals with students. Communication about what is allowed, not allowed and remembering students their rights and responsibilities may leave things clearer. Effective communication is the key for all the social problems and for sure can be applied to the school environment. In the end what we need to do is to use communication effectively and we can avoid problems in a lot of aspects of life. 

Exercise 2: Revise

Use the example essay from the previous exercise.

  1. Based on the feedback you gave, revise the essay. For example, you could alter the topic sentences, add more development, change the order of supporting sentences, or add something that is missing.

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