By Michelle Dutcher
How does revising make your material more useful and valuable to your readers?
It is impossible to make a ‘perfect article’ out of your first draft. Every writer must continually provide tweaks on his or her initial draft, which includes adding relevant details, correcting grammar, and enhancing structures. Through revisions, you get to provide the ‘best version’ of your piece and make it more presentable for readers.
Revising helps generate value to its readers. Below are four powerful revision tips that will strengthen your craft.
1. Stick to the basics
You should expect your readers to be proficient and well-versed with the basics of the English language–grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure. While you could convince yourself that substance makes up for most cases of lack of form, there are readers who will reject your work the first time they see that your “your” should have been “you’re.” These people choose to not go over the rest of your text since they were not impressed from the beginning.
Always check for chances of misspelling; you could utilize built-in spell checkers from Word or other platforms. You should also learn the different variations in the use of punctuation marks, since these could alter the meaning of your sentence. Knowing your target audience will benefit you since they prefer essays and articles to be written in the style of writing they are accustomed to (e.g., American, British, Australian). Also, avoid using words that appear as jargon to your audience; use understandable, yet effective words. If it cannot be avoided, then add supporting facts and details for them to have a clearer picture of your point.
2. ‘One shot’ is not enough
With tons of other papers piling up your daily tasks, you may be tempted to take a shorter route of simultaneously writing and revising rather than doing them separately.
The process of composing your initial draft is crucial, since you need to set the main ideas and sentences that would form the majority of your text. Revising, on the other hand, is more concerned with polishing and adding value to the text which you previously wrote. Simultaneously writing and revising limits your chances of effectively spotting an idea that needs improvement, grammatical errors that need to be corrected, or misleading sentence structures. And so, what you needed to do is allot time to do revision separately.
3. Add ‘meat’ to your text
A majority of readers want your valued opinions backed up by solid facts and claims from legitimate people. That being said, you need to source and cite from professionals who have made a positive contribution to their respective fields of specialization. Also, ensure that these specific details are applicable and relevant.
One example is when you are writing for individuals looking for jobs. Let’s say you have some experience from the recruitment processes. What you encountered is relevant for you to provide tips, however, revising by adding significant facts, like results from myriad of studies, researches, and surveys, can better your craft.
4. Maintain the unique content
Many writers tend to copy the main idea of a published work, and incorporate them into their own style of writing. However, while a lot of people favor the use of this technique, you should consider if your audience is fed up with the similar information.
What you could do is to try mix information you have read with your current understanding, research, and insights about the subject matter. Solidify your claim by adding few personal touches to your already combined ideas. This will make your statements appear more stimulating to readers, because you further add knowledge to areas they already know and give them different angles. By doing this, not only do you avoid being punished for plagiarism, but you also sidestep possible rejection brought upon by boredom and discontent.
Revising not only involves omitting and correcting mistakes, it also encompasses adding vital ideas that will strengthen your claim. While revising, you should be relaxed so you can find areas for improvement. Effective revising transforms the inner potential of your written work to actual, desired results. Without revising effectively, all that potential could go to waste. And you don’t want that to happen, do you?
Michelle Dutcher is a social media manager with four years of related experience. She furnishes quality content for her clients’ social media platforms, to better engage their consumers. Michelle loves challenges and setbacks, using those to further fuel her drive. During her down time, she serves as an essayist for paperchoice.org.