A revision is a rethinking and reorganizing of your research paper at a macro level. Revisions are different from proofreading, in which you clean up smaller things like any errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
A revisions involves a big picture review of two things
Content refers to the various elements that are combined to create a fully realized research project.
Components of Research Contents
- research question
- thesis statement
- major supporting arguments
Reread your work and determine whether you made the best choices in each of these categories. Gather feedback from others, especially experts in the discipline. Sometimes revision leads to a total rethinking of the research project with a new topic and research question. No matter how far down the wrong road you go, it’s always a good idea to turn around.
Form refers to the chosen structure of your paper, the order of presentation, logical connections, use of examples, etc.
Researchers typically organize their presentation using one or more of the modes of writing. These modes include
- Cause and effect
- Process analysis
- Case study
- Classification and division
If sections of your writing seem disorganized, try using one of these modes to help get your ideas into shape. To learn more about modes, visit Modes of Writing by Jonna Schwartz.
During revision, consider whether you need to move paragraphs, add or remove examples, eliminate redundancies, provide transitions between paragraphs, strengthen your conclusion, etc.
Professional writers often go through many revisions before they are ready to submit their work for publication. Publishers then review the work and may accept it as is, reject it, or accept with revisions. Accept with revisions is a common outcome; the publisher will specify what needs to be revised, with the understanding that the paper will be published if the requested changes are made.