Revision: A Multi-Step Process

Revision is not the end of the writing process but the beginning.- Donald Murray

The process of conceptual revision—rethinking and reconceptualizing a first version—is essential to the course. Conceptual revision means "re-seeing," a significant rewriting of a piece, the stage before line editing and grammar / spelling correction. Students will receive written instructor response, as well as peer feedback, on major assignments, so that they have guidance in revision.

For the revision process, a student may be advised to or may decide to:

  • Change voice as a writer;
  • Rewrite an introduction and / or conclusion;
  • Reorganize the structure of the piece;
  • Modify or completely change perspective or point of view;
  • Integrate additional necessary information from primary and / or secondary sources;
  • Delete extraneous details or information;
  • Correct erroneous information;
  • Identify and address a counterargument(s);
  • Add supporting visuals (e.g., photographs, charts, graphs and timelines).

Most students find that the multi-step process of successful revision takes as long as or longer than writing the first version. After the first step of conceptual revision, line editing and proofreading are the next steps.

By the end of the term, students will have written at least 5,000 words of revised prose for major assignments, in addition to shorter homework assignments.