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Alissa Bolger
Dr. Harvey
ENGL 2089
3 February 2015
One Must Revise, Revise Some More, Then Revise Again
Part I
Essays are probably one of the most hated and in some case feared assignments to
students everywhere. Some students would rather take an exam than write an essay. Writing an
essay can be hard for all students both mentally and physically. Mentally writing can cause the
student anxiety from thinking about the style of writing, word choice, and flow of the paper.
Physically it takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. So what is the best way to write an essay
without being completely drained physically and mentally? Wait and put it off until the night
before or start the day it is assigned and do little bits at a time, taking breaks every three or four
days? You have to pick the lesser of two evils; spend a little time each night or spend all that time
in one night. Prewriting and revising are the keys to a well written final draft and saves time in
the end.
Prewriting and revising go hand and hand in the writing process as whole. Prewriting has
found to be thought of as more important in longer essays. Halpern and Liggett preformed a
study and found that business people often spent a lot of time planning but very little revising.
With that, Sharon Pianko found that students that waited to start a writing prompt rather than
starting right away were in fact stronger writers. Waiting to start on a prompt allows for
prewriting to take place and helps the writer plan and organize their paper. If a writer knows that
a paper needs to be longer than ten pages, they will spend more time on the prewriting and

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rewriting parts of the writing process (Roundy and Mair). Doing this allows for the writer to
spend more time on organization, flow, and word choice to avoid repetition. Taking time to
prewrite can save you time in the end. Torrance, Thomas, and Robinson did a study and found
that prewriting has a positive effect on the quality of the paper.
Once the prewriting part is finished the real revising part begins. The word revision is
very confusing and kind of deceiving. It has a lot of different interpretations and parts. According
to Sommers, college freshmen see revising as the process of fixing word choice and avoiding
repetition. Finding and fixing the poorly written sentences is a key part of the revision process
but not the most rigorous or useful (Sharples). Both Sommers and Sharples agree that revision
has multiple parts and just doing one of them doesnt mean that you have completely revised
your paper. Students respond to the idea of revising, but their changes dont result in an
improved product (Beal). They are all parts of the process and work together to make your paper
better. Revision differs from person to person just like writing does. Charney says that different
writers have different ways of forming their points and flowing to the supporting information.
Every writer is different in everything they do in the entire writing process; different points,
different ways to make the same points, and different ways to make their point valid. This all
because everyone has their own way of writing as well as background knowledge that is
reflected in their writing.
Part II
At the beginning of this assignment as well as other writing assignments I knew that I
was going to need to be prepared and organized especially with four other classes and work
every day. To begin even before the assignment was assigned in class, I wrote it down in my
calendar from the syllabus as well as the other writing assignments for the class. I looked at the

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assignment sheet when it was assigned for homework. For a daily homework we had to make a
calendar for completing this assignment. So I sat down with my calendar with all of my other
things on it, broke down this assignment, and put the mini assignments with dates that would
work best for me with my current schedule. I started by giving myself homework every night
besides Fridays since I had to close at work on Fridays as another when I was helping a friend
move out all day. My first mini assignments were to summarize all of the sources given. After
that I starting looking for themes and similarities between the sources and grouped them together
making it easier for me when I actually sat down and started writing the real paper. Once I found
the themes, I chose the one I believed the strongest in and the one that I have the most experience
and found to be the most helpful and useful personally. My theme turned into my thesis and I just
went on writing from there.
For revision, my process looked a lot like that of the author of Shitty First Drafts. I did
a very rough looking draft to get all of my ideas out there so I wouldnt forget them. Once I did
my very first very rough draft, I did another one incorporating the sources in better, making the
paper flow, and changing the title to best fir my paper. When I had a confident enough draft I had
my family and friends read it and see what they said about, fixing small word choice errors,
fixing repetition, and fixing some missing word errors because my brain was moving faster than
my fingers. I had to redo my thesis three time to make more firm, clear, and more like an actual
argument instead of just a thought.
With this essay there were three sources that I didnt use. Those sources talked about
inexperienced writers versus experienced writers as a whole without talking about the writing
process including prewriting and revision. I only used the sources that talked about parts of the

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revision process and where error are made and a lot of the misconceptions most writers have
when given a writing assignment.
This essay and process made me change my whole process for the better and I feel a lot
better now writing and knowing the other people face the same problems I do when writing. For
this essay I have gain better knowledge of the revision process and applied it to this as well as I
will to my other papers. My prewriting and revision is now stronger than it was before and this
will only help me to become a strong confident writer with every essay.

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Works Cited
Beal, Carol R. (1996). The role of comprehension monitoring in children's revision. Educational
Psychology Review, 8(3): 219-238. Print.
Charney, Davida. Teaching Writing as a Process. Strategies for Teaching First-Year
Composition. Ed. Duane Roen, Veronica Pantoja, Lauren Yena, Susan K. Miller, Eric
Waggoner. Urbana, IL: National Council for Teachers of English, 2002. 92-96.
Halpern, Jeanne and Sarah Liggett. Computers & Composing: How the New Technologies are
Changing Writing. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1984. Print.
Pianko, Sharon. "A Description of the Composing Processes of College Freshman Writers,"
Research in the Teaching of English, 13 (1979): 5-22. Print.
Roundy, Nancy and David Mair. The Composing Process of Technical Writers: A Preliminary
Study Journal of Advanced Composition, 3 (1982). Online.
Sommers, Nancy. "Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers,"
College Composition and Communication, 31 (1980): 378-388. Print.
Sharples, Mike. How We Write: Writing as Creative Design. London: Routledge. 1999. Print
Torrance, Mark., Glyn V. Thomas, and Elizabeth .J. Robinson. The effect of outlining and
rough drafting strategies on the quality of short essays. Paper presented at EARLI SIG
Writing Conference. Utrecht. , E. J. (1994). Print.

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