Once you’re done with your draft, it’s easy, right? You just need to read it, fix some minor spelling and grammar errors, and get done with it as soon as possible. Oops, wrong! There’s a whole other stage in front of you: the stage of paper revision.
What does it mean to revise a paper, anyway? This is a post-writing stage, which includes a detailed analysis of the first draft, and revisions that improve the structure, strength of arguments, and logical flow of the paper.
Read on; this article tells you about the crucial aspects to consider during this stage. We’ll learn about two important concepts:
- how to analyze a paper and
- how to revise an essay.
The process of analyzing and revising are not isolated. You will revise paper as you’re analyzing it.
Ultimate Tips for Analyzing and Revising the Draft
1. Stay Away from It for Some Time
Novelists usually leave the first draft to ‘sit’ for some time before they get back to it. That’s a useful tip we can translate to the college essay revision process.
Why does that make a difference?
When your goal is to analyze paper, you have to be neutral towards it. You need to approach it from a reader’s point of view. If you just finished your paper, you’re too attached to its ideas and arguments. You’re too excited about completing the first draft, so you’ll just want to wrap up the process as quickly as possible. As a result, you’ll end up with ineffective revisions.
My advice is to leave at least one day between the writing and analyzing stage. If we’re talking about research papers or other complex types of content, then leave at least three days. Don’t think about the paper. When you get back to it, you’ll be able to notice the major and minor flaws. You’ll get fresh ideas on how to fix them.
2. Analyzing the Point
Can you find the best point in your paper? Do you think the reader can find it just as easily? This is the first step of the analyzing process: make sure your main point (the thesis statement) is clear. Then, check if each argument is directly related to it.
Read the thesis, and then isolate the main paragraph sentences and the main statement of the conclusion. Do these parts make sense when you isolate them like this? If that’s not the case, then you need to polish out the arguments, so they will be more cohesive.
3. Analyzing and Revising the Logical Flow
The essay’s structure consisted of an introduction, discussion, and conclusion. However, each paragraph of the paper also consisted of its mini introduction, discussion, and conclusion. This is the academic structure that leads to a coherent logical flow.
Take a look at the isolated paragraphs. Does each one make sense? If not, fill in the gaps and get rid of the excess. Make sure each paragraph looks like a mini-essay that introduces and explains a point.
Then, analyze the way individual paragraphs are connected between each other. The introduction of each body paragraph serves as a transition from the previous paragraph to the main point. The conclusion serves to give hints to the point you make in the following paragraph.
4. Analyze the Evidence. Make Adequate Revisions
You need to support each argument with evidence. That’s the only way to prove the thesis statement. An evidence is usually provided through quotations from trustworthy resources.
Check the evidence in your paper. Does it make the arguments sound convincing? If not, revise keep revising paper to add more facts.
Let’s take this example of an argument: “The confederate flag is not racist. It is a symbol of Southern patriotism.”
This is a claim, not an argument. You need to support that claim with proper evidence to turn it into an argument. A link from debate.org is not enough since you’re presenting only one side of people’s opinions. You need to provide historical facts that prove this statement.
5. You’re Done with Revising Writing? Do It Again!
Trust me on this one: it’s important to repeat the process of analyzing and revising papers before you proceed to the polishing and proofreading stage (yeah, you’ll need to do that, too). Relax; it’s easy to analyze an already revised essay. You just need to check if the paper meets all standards of academic paper writing.
Hopefully, the tips above will help you to successfully revise essay. Now, you’re close to the end of the whole academic writing process.
List of sources:
1. Writing a Book: What Happens after the First Draft? The Creative Penn. Found at: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/12/07/after-first-draft-whats-next/
2. Invention, Drafting, and Revising: A Practical Approach to the Writing Process and Commenting on Student Work. Pearson. Found at: http://www.pearsoned.com/pedagogy-practice/invention-drafting-and-revision-a-practical-approach-to-the-writing-process-and-commenting-on-student-work/
3. Revising Drafts. The Writing Center at UNC – Chapel Hill. Found at: http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/revising-drafts/