Why It Matters: Revision

woman writing on her tablet

Why is it important to learn about revision?

Novice writers sometimes think that by deleting a few words or fixing some spelling errors as they draft, they have engaged in revision. But true revision involves looking at a draft anew and rethinking it. It pushes writers to re-engage with content, structure, and style. It is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but the reward is worth the effort.

Revision leads to better thinking, as writers challenge their own ideas, weigh the evidence they have included, and scrutinize their own logic. Revision leads to better writing, as writers reflect on their composing practices, learn to identify their strengths, and find ways to overcome their weaknesses. Finally, revision leads to better outcomes, as readers recognize writing that has been carefully considered and re-considered. That recognition brings higher regard from readers and, when those readers are professors, often leads to higher grades.

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