Chapter Overview


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Revising and editing a text

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Revising and editing text

​​In a nutshell

After you have finished your drafting stage, the next step is revising and editing. This stage is equally as important as drafting because it is where you perfect your writing. As a writer, you will be more effective if you understand the difference between these two steps and how they work.

When you should revise

Your work should be revised once you've written a substantial draft. In order to make your writing as effective as possible, it takes time to evaluate, change and polish. If possible, take a small break after drafting to be able to see revisions from a fresh perspective. If you don't have time, try to look away from the page for a few minutes, so you can approach the text with fresher eyes.

Types of revising 

The type of writing you are doing will affect the way in which you revise your draft.

Type of revising


For content
Try to write as best as you can when drafting and include as many details as possible. The decisions you make during revision will depend on whether something should be kept or removed. Ask yourself:
  • What belongs?
  • What is missing?
  • What doesn't add value?
For organisation
Make sure your draft is organised. Do you have a logical flow from one paragraph to another in your draft? Ask yourself:
  • Does the writing flow effectively?
  • Does it have a clear beginning and end?
  • What can be changed to make it flow better?
For coherence
Sentences and paragraphs are bonded to create coherence. This is commonly achieved through discourse markers such as "however" and "in addition." The reader must also understand your message for it to be coherent. Take a look at your draft from the reader's perspective to ensure that it is cohesive. Ask yourself:
  • Are any references unclear?
  • Do you explain key details?
  • Do you use effective discourse markers?

How to edit 

Editing and revising are similar and work well together. A mistake or misconnection will be heard faster than it will be seen by your eye. Therefore, read your work aloud and look for key details.

Key details to edit

Paragraph and sentence structure
Review your paragraphs and pay attention to the sentences. Ask yourself:
  • Do your paragraphs follow "PEEL" (Point, Evidence, Explain and Link)?
  • Are your points developed and effective?
  • Is there a detail missing?
Be sure that your writing is written in an appropriate style for the purpose of your work and adheres to the appropriate grammar rules. Ask yourself:
  • Is your work grammatically correct?
  • Are you using too many commas in a sentence?
  • Do your sentences make sense?
Check that punctuation is used correctly. Ask yourself:
  • Does every sentence have a full stop?
  • Are commas and colons used correctly?
  • Do you have long sentences that could be clearer with better punctuation?

Note: Make sure you check your work for words that are often used incorrectly, such as:

  • your and you're
  • their, there and they're
  • its and it's
  • whose and who's
  • to and too

Want to find out more? Check out these other lessons!

Editing your writing

How to proofread an essay

Planning your writing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


  • Question: What should I look at when editing my work?

    Answer: Key details to look at while editing include paragraph and sentence structure, grammar and punctuation.

  • Question: Should you revise and edit your work?

    Answer: This stage is equally as important as drafting, because it is where you perfect your writing.

  • Question: When should you revise and edit your work?

    Answer: After you have finished your drafting stage, the next step is revising and editing.



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