The first round of our Writing Madness bracket has concluded, which left us with eight writing issues that won’t be participating in the next round of voting. The Learning Hub’s writing staff have picked four of these eight, and over the next week we will be presenting them along with specific resources to help you overcome your frustrations with them. This time? Revising/Editing!
In high school, when I thought of revising and editing I often thought of them together. In fact, it’s no coincidence that they’re listed together in our Writing Madness bracket for March. They’re the things we know we’re supposed to do after writing to make sure that we don’t sound silly, right? Technically, yes, but as the presence of “Revising/Editing” in this challenge suggests, most of us have a complicated relationship with the post-drafting process of writing. It might even be news to some readers that revising and editing are two very different things. Although this short writing won’t do justice to the handouts, let’s go over the different between the two.
Revising, in an academic setting, is the process of taking a second look at your paper on the global level. What we mean by “global” is ensuring that all the major components that need to be there are there. This, for example, includes ensuring that you have met the assignment criteria, that the core parts of your argument are present, that you’ve presented those parts in an organized and patterned manner, and that your overall presentation is clear for your audience. These pieces often serve as the backdrop of your paper and are the things that your audience will, most likely, never truly appreciate. They will, however, know something is amiss if they are gone or haven’t been properly checked.
Editing, which we often call proofreading, is the process of making your work neat and consistent at the sentence level. This includes, but is not limited to, spelling, punctuating, citations, and formatting. Editing is important because it ensures that the work you have created meets some form of writing standards, set by you or your professor, so that your audience can appreciate a distracting-free read.
In the handouts attached you can explore the details of each of these processes and explore strategies for you to implement them into your own writing process. Although we often think of Editing and Revising as frivolities that would be nice if we have time to do them, they are often the difference between your audience thinking about your topic or thinking about your errors. Which do you think your audience prefers to be thinking about?
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