The Writing Process

Revising & Editing

Take an Aggressive
Fault-Finding Attitude

Consider whether you need to make major changes in your ideas, arguments, organization, logic.

Allow Incubation Time
It's difficult to thoroughly critique a draft shortly after writing it. Allow time before revising so that you will be more likely to approach your document as your reader would.

Assess the Communication Situation
Because new insights may have occurred to you when writing, evaluate how your perception of your purpose, audience, and tone has evolved. Have you changed your mind on any of these? Is your approach consistent?

Check Overall Organization
Readers generally expect you to sift through all of the facts and pertinent laws and state succinctly your interpretation and conclusions.  Does the overall organization of your document work well? Will the reader be able to follow the sequence of ideas?

Check Paragraphs
Are your paragraphs in a logical order and of appropriate length?

Check for Length
Have you cut out unnecessary substantive discussion?
Have you cut clutter, redundancies and windy phrases?

Check for Clarity

Check for Continuity


Read Aloud
Have you read your document aloud to help improve your voice and sentence flow?

Get Feedback
A part of making meaning, feedback is essential to creating exemplary documents.  Criticism of a document is just that. Good critical readers are not impugning your character or writing abilities. Instead, they are criticizing a manuscript, one particular event.

Revising & Editing Checklist