Have you ever begun work on some writing project and then decided to either revise or edit it? A piece of content that is not well revised or edited will look poor and ineffective in communicating its message, ultimately defeating the purpose of the write-up and causing the writer to fail in one aspect or another.

Revising and editing content is not the same; they are two different services. The difference between revising and editing a paper is as wide as the space between your two extended arms, and it takes a level of dedication to excel at both tasks. It must be pointed out that while revising is largely done by the writer, editing on the other hand is largely done by a third-party professional such as proofreaders and editors.

There is no particular model or guideline on how to properly or effectively create a compelling piece – even though there are general guidelines that have worked for hundreds of people across fields. Generally speaking, the stages of writing an assignment might involve

–          Developing your topic

–          Identifying your audience

–          Researching your topic for supporting materials

–          Interviewing sources

–          Summarizing your research

–          Prewriting your project

–          Drafting or writing the content

–          Revising/editing your written content for effective message points

–          Proofreading

In simple terms, revising means reconstructing and modifying your content to reflect your new thoughts and research facts as well as other inputs that are aimed at making your work better and substantive.

You cannot revise a paper until you have drafted or written something. Drafting means to draw up an outline or the skeletal framework upon which the paper is to be fleshed out, and this might mean jotting down topic ideas as they occur to you from the beginning. After you have fully recorded the main points of the topic, then you set out to collect research materials that should be used to flesh out the main points of the draft.

You will come across several references while researching materials, and these must be noted because you may have to refer to them later in your written piece. You must write with your audience in mind, establishing the purpose of the content from the start. Knowing the purpose of the content and the audience it is meant for will enable you to craft a good draft that might require very minimal revisions or editing.

For the first draft of your paper, the skeletal framework or outline of your paper might include an introduction, thesis statement, body, and conclusion – but there likely will be several subtopics and subheadings in each part of the work. The first draft is a work-in-progress, so perfection is not sought or achieved at this stage.

An excellent topic will make the work readable to people, and a catchy introduction will draw readers into the body of the work. The thesis statement will determine how the paper flows, and research materials must be applied in detail within the body of the work, using the thesis statement as a guide. The conclusion wraps up or summarizes the whole paper.

Points for revising a paper

Ensure that each paragraph contains points that drive toward the main thesis statement. The points must be logical with a natural flow, and every point well organized. Your essay must also be easy to read with effective transition words used to join sentences and make the piece interesting. Transition words include “also,””again,””therefore,””as a result,””however,””nevertheless,””in other words,” and “while,” among others.

Editing your paper

Editing requires that word choice is analyzed to ensure that it does not detract from the meaning of the sentence, and this is where you must fully understand the difference between revising and editing. Common slang, technical jargon,and useless colloquial words must be avoided where they do not confer relevant meanings or where they cause confusion. Clichés should never be applied to academic or professional writing; and spelling, punctuation, grammar, and other mechanical requirements of language must be well analyzed to ensure they aid your message and purpose of writing.


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