Revision (Writing Centre)

Why Bother with Revision?  

It’s not uncommon for a student to work for hours on an essay but spend only minutes editing his or her work. This might sound a bit like your approach, and that’s understandable. After all, why shouldn’t your first draft be good enough to hand in if you were thorough and concise as you wrote it?

Well, we know that even the best authors in the world take editing seriously, and the structure, substance, style, and impact of their writing benefit from it. In short, you should always do your best to revise and proofread your work. When you can, have your papers peer edited too.

Below, you can find tips on global revision, peer editing, and proofreading.

Global Revision

What to Examine
Relevant Strategies
Cohesion and Unity
  • Review your thesis.
  • Check for topic and concluding sentences.
  • Decide if each paragraph supports your thesis.
  • Confirm that each paragraph centers around one main idea.
  • Look for redundancy (repeated words/ideas).
  • Check for wordiness.
  • Remove extraneous points.
  • Cut out unnecessary phrases.
Structure and Organization
  • Recreate the outline.
  • Look at the shape of your essay.
  • Step away from your essay before rereading it.

Peer Editing

It’s always productive to have your paper read by a second set of eyes. That could mean having a parent, peer, colleague, or Writing Centre tutor examine your essay. We would encourage you to take advantage of our services at the centre for quite a few reasons: tutors are trained to help you with academic writing, they have the time to focus all their attention on your work, and they can help you identify broader trends in your writing.

Book an appointment here


What to Examine
Relevant Strategies
Spelling Mistakes
  • Review commonly confused words.
  • Use spell check.
  • Keep track of common errors you make.
  • Read your work out loud.
  • Take advantage of Grammarly.
Grammatical Errors
  • Familiarize yourself with common grammar mistakes.
  • Read your work out loud.
Word Choice
  • Look up unfamiliar words.
  • Avoid using terms you are not comfortable with.
  • Only use conjunctions, transition words, and introductory phrases when they serve a purpose.