Revising does not always mean rewriting the entire paper, although it generally calls for, at the least, cutting and pasting. In her text, Work in Progress: A Guide to Writing and Revising, Lisa Ede explains the importance of revision by analyzing the word. She notes that "[r]evision combines the root word vision with the prefix re-, meaning "again." When you revise, you "see again": you develop a new vision of your essay's shape or of the most emphatic way to improve the flow of a paragraph to help readers understand your point" (160). It is now the writer's responsibility to "see" the paper through the reader's eyes, and make necessary changes to accommodate the reader.
The first step in the revision process is to make sure that the body of your paper demonstrates your thesis. For beginning writers it might be helpful to write the thesis on a note card and hold it beside every paragraph as you ask; "How does this paragraph develop these ideas?" If you can answer that question immediately, and you have evidence within the paragraph that proves the idea, then you have a solid paragraph. If you cannot, then you may need to redirect the paragraph or adjust your thesis.
The next step will be to look at organization. How is the paper connected? Does the development follow a logical flow? For example, if you are discussing effective leadership skills, does the paper provide transitions between these skills? Examine carefully the "readability" of the paper.
If you haven't created your introduction and conclusion, now is the time to do so. Your introduction should "pull" your reader into the piece and lead into your thesis.
Your conclusion should bring the paper to a close. You do not need to restate the thesis, but you certainly want to give your main ideas closure.
See examples of an introduction and a conclusion in the MLA formatting section.
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