When you finish writing your essay, you should revise it. Revising your essay means that you make changes to your essay to improve it. After you revise what you wrote, you may need to return to either of the previous stages (prewriting or writing) to make improvements to your writing.
Many people divide the revising stage into revising and editing. When they make this distinction, revising focuses on making changes to improve the clarity of your ideas and organization. Editing focuses on making changes to improve the clarity of your grammar. Revising ideas, logic, and organization should generally be completed before editing grammar and mechanics.
You should always read through your essay to identify mistakes you have made. Try to finish your drafting with enough time to leave your essay and then come back to it to make revisions. As you revise your own work, you may need to add, delete, or move text. Mark any parts of your essay that you want to ask a friend/tutor to help you with. You should also proofread for mechanical errors (spelling, grammar, etc.). You may be surprised how many errors you are able to identify on your own. Here are some strategies for proofreading:
If you are not writing for a test, have a friend or a tutor review your writing before you submit it to your teacher. Then use the feedback you get to make changes.
Peer review is an activity you complete by reading something that one of your classmates has written and giving them feedback about their writing. Peer review can be a very powerful tool for you as a reviewer because you get to see how readers experience writing. You can see how ideas need to connect logically and you understand how a reader feels when there is not enough support.
It can also be useful for you as a writer because you get an outside perspective on your writing and you can find out where your ideas may not be connected or supported well enough.
As you give feedback, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind.
As you receive feedback, there are also some guidelines you should keep in mind.
If your teacher gives you feedback on a draft before the final draft of your essay is due, make sure you use it to improve your essay. Ask questions about feedback that you do not understand. More than just improving your essay, understanding feedback from a teacher will improve your ability to write in the future.
Many teachers use symbols like the following to mark specific types of errors. If your teacher uses codes, make sure you clearly understand what the codes mean and how to fix the error.