It is easy to know excellent and lousy research papers and other forms of content. How? By recognizing which are well-written and well-revised and which are not. In other words, the difference between papers and novels that sell well and get popular and those that do not is due to how well the words, sentences, and many other parts turn out. While there are many other aspects, one aspect that makes good books readily accepted is revising.
Along with rewriting, to revise a paper or essay is a common task for professionals in the field. Many people, of course, write a book with a good story and then get overwhelmed with incessant corrections from editors and publishers, which makes them abandon the book or project. Many fail to understand that writing is like polishing a diamond or sharpening a sword – it is a process.
To improve your final writing, you need to know what is “revising a paper.” It is a bit much like improving oneself. Without that, you probably should not pursue a writing career.
Some steps to solid paper revision and what to look for when revising a paper
Don’t know how to revise a paper? Here are the five steps to revising your paper the professional way:
- Identify your main point
What is the main idea of your paper or book? What exactly is the main thesis or summary? Understanding what your book plans to achieve or preach through its words is essential. This main part should be summarized, along with everything (like the evidence supporting your idea). When people read your summary, they learn about that topic and its supporting ideas.
Here are some questions to help you get the main idea of your essay:
- What makes the essay matter?
- What surprises me in my article?
- What fascinates me the most when reading through my essay?
- What does the reader gain from this?
- Let your content flow
Every writing piece is a journey, and writers take readers on different journeys to different worlds. A movement from one step to another characterizes this journey. The journey here is the order of paragraphs, which reforms how you build your content and idea.
You are good to go if you possess a clear outline right from the start; if not, you need to develop one. Do not change your content flow unless you need to. Most times, when checking or building the flow of your content, you need to check how each sentence and paragraph relates to the main idea.
When reading the content, the critical thought from all parts should be checked and identified along with the following:
- Do these key thoughts follow themselves logically?
- Are there any unconnected thoughts that need to be deleted?
- Are there any ideas that need to be included?
Content needs to be consistently good to keep the reader attracted and always ready to focus on what is coming next. This is precisely why you should eliminate unneeded content.
- Add substance
Every writer knows there is no pure writing; it has been edited in many ways, whether by addition or subtraction.
The steps before this feature a form of pruning, with a goal and focus on defining the message that needs to be passed across. This is not always an attractive phase; no one wants to delete the content they put down in the heat of the moment and be left with mechanical content.
This step will help you make your usual words clear, paint the picture you are after, and introduce substance to your natural words.
Substance refers to content that clarifies and solidifies the position of the writer. It also makes the content much more believable and reliable. Examples of substance are case studies, statistics, facts, and expert quotes. It could also be specified content such as reviews and information on how to do something.
After this step, you are assured of one thing – your content has become reliable and trustworthy. The next thing to do is to make it a pleasure to read.
- Proofread and edit
This is a very tricky aspect. Why? Because you might not know when you are done proofreading and editing. It usually looks like there is something else to edit, no matter what you do. So, when you revise your paper and ask, “what is left?” you may not be able to answer.
To go through this stage with ease, here is an example of a research paper revision checklist:
- Read aloud to pick out unclear and confusing statements.
- Deliver your points with the shortest words possible. In other words, remove fluffiness.
- Using writing tools for revising a research paper for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors is a good idea.
Revising a paper is so necessary that it must be addressed during writing. All content must go through revising; else, it might never reach its potential. The steps in this article will surely be of help!