Useful Tips for Effective Revision

If it is the case you have allowed sufficient time for revision, it is a good idea to use this time both for working on your text and to take revision breaks. It is likely you will return to your work with a fresh mind-set if you are able to forget it for a couple of days. While the revision process is underway, leave your text to one side a couple of times at least e.g. once while the first phase of reorganization is in progress and again while you are attending to detail and polishing your work.  

There are a few questions you should ask yourself for the purpose of evaluation. Use the answers as part of the revision process i.e. to reorganize the order with a view to:

  • Drawing attention to the most important points
  • Adding any additional information
  • Eliminating anything that is irrelevant
  • Clarifying various sentences or sections of text.
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Identify Your Main Point(s)

What is it you want to say in your paper? Put another way, you should try to sum-up your central thesis statement or main point(s) as well as any supporting evidence you have chosen to support your thesis and various points. Imagine this is some other student’s paper. Is the thesis statement clear? Is it clear what this paper is about?  

Know Your Readership and Your Paper’s Purpose

What is it you are attempting to achieve in this paper? For example, are you trying to analyse a piece of reading, evaluate it, argue it, trying to apply it to a different situation, or do you have another objective entirely? 

Analyse Your Supporting Evidence

Is your thesis properly supported by the body paragraphs of your work? Have you provided sufficient evidence to substantiate any claims you have made? If you have taken quotations from a text to use as evidence, have you accurately cited these?  

Save the Best of Your Work Only

Are all your ideas relevant to your thesis? Does anything seem out of place? If this is the case, you should either remove that part or alter your thesis to match a particular point.

Tighten Your Language and Clean It Up

Are all the main ideas in your paper sensible? Are any of the sentences or ideas confusing or unclear? Try reading your work aloud so that you can hear anything that is unclear or awkward. Remove any words that are vague, incorrect or surplus to requirements.

Eliminate Any Incorrect Words and Grammar Mistakes

Can you spot any spelling, punctuation or grammar mistakes? Should you feel any part is wrong, mark it out, even if you are not sure how to improve it. Feel free to consult a tutor or a professional writer at if you want advice on correcting errors.

Make Sure Your Work is Reader-Centric Rather than Writer-Centric

Do your best to take a detached approach to what you have just written. Imagine, for instance, that you are evaluating the work of another person. What part of the paper is best and why? How can you improve this part even further? What part of the paper is the worst and why? What can you do to improve this part?