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Revise, Revise, Revise

posted Aug 24, 2012, 2:19 PM by David Burkhart   [ updated Aug 24, 2012, 2:19 PM ]
Many students and beginning authors fail to understand that a completed book or other type of writing requires revision before it can be published. There is no writing until revision. That's my firm belief after grading at least 900 essays a semester. 

Writing a first draft may be a rough draft, depending on the conscious effort the writer puts into his or her preparation to write. An essay that springs forth from writing any old thing that comes to mind, will require more revision than a text that has been thought through and organized from a list or an outline. Pre-writing helps a writer "see" what comes next, helping to keep content in order and making transitions between paragraphs easier.

Students who fail to refer to writing handbooks and lack punctuation skills often confuse "style" with correct grammatical writing. They are prone to tell their instructor how they express themselves in an dependent manner regardless of their lack of clarity. Many students who have florid writing styles often get caught up in a swirl of colorful phrases neglecting to express valid points. They may add that others like their writing.

Without rambling further, it is fair to restate. Essays that receive "As" require multiple drafts or revisions. Style has nothing to do with typos, misspelling, and lack of understanding of punctuation and overuse of "to be."

Readable writing takes time. Too bad that many potentially good submissions fall short because the author refuses to reread and rewrite more than once. Some writers simply do not read their own work.