What are the benefits of revision?

Think for a moment about that word: revision. If you break it apart, what does it really mean? Of course, Re- means again, and -vision means sight, so when we revise anything — papers, an opinion, our plans — we are “re-seeing” it, or viewing it again, presumably with a different perspective or with new things in mind. Seeing things again is a good thing! It allows us to make the best plan, say, for a relaxing vacation. It allows us to be open-minded, reconsidering our own ideas in light of new information. Listen to Josh talk about his perspective on revision and what makes it so beneficial for writers:

The benefits of revising can be hard to realize, especially if you are still developing your revision process and figuring out what works for you. These writers offer a few strategies for understanding the benefits of revision, and we give you a couple exercises to do in response to their suggestions, below:


Take a moment to do one of the following exercises:

  1. If you prefer Zeinab’s insight, hunt for a paper that you wrote a long time ago and read through it. Then, write a quick reflection. What have you learned about writing since you wrote this paper? How have you grown as a writer?
  2. If you prefer Meaghan’s approach, find a paper you wrote recently and read it aloud. As you read, instead of marking things you might like to change, mark places that sound great! Reward yourself for the parts of your writing that have come together really well.

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