You’ve completed your paper review appointment and successfully downloaded your writing instructional specialist’s feedback. Now it is time to start the revision process. The following suggestions are designed to help you successfully apply that feedback and make the most of your revisions. Read through and find what strategies work for you!
It is important that you take the time to reflect on, not just read, your writing instructional specialist’s feedback. It can be easy to dive straight into your draft and start making edits, especially when you are low on time. However, when you do so, you often miss the chance to internalize feedback and discover opportunities for growth as a writer. We recommend reading through your specialist’s feedback in its entirety before starting revisions. This way, you have the opportunity to see what patterns emerge, what skills need development, and what future writing goals may be beneficial to set.
Revisions take time. In your paper review, your writing instructional specialist may ask you to reflect on reoccurring patterns in your writing, like the proper use of commas and semicolons. Other times, your specialist may challenge you to complete revisions that require additional thought and preparation, such as creating more concise paragraphs or providing additional analysis. To help streamline this process and avoid feeling overwhelmed, we recommend making a revision plan that includes the following: steps you will take, resources you will review, time you have available for revisions, and decisions on whether any comments require you to follow up with your course instructor. You don’t have to tackle your revisions all at once, but making a revision plan can help you advance your writing skills over time and have a thoughtful approach to revising.
In paper review appointments, we have limited time and are not able to comment on every instance where changes are needed. As a result, we focus feedback on reoccurring patterns in your writing—meaning that we highlight a few places where similar revisions are required before turning the revision process back over to you to apply our suggestions to the remainder of your project. This way, we can avoid sounding repetitious in our comments, and you are able to take ownership over the revision process. We recommend checking to see if your writing instructional specialist’s feedback can be applied to your project as a whole. You may find that your specialist has demonstrated a few revisions but has encouraged you to apply those suggestions throughout the rest of your paper. Our hope is that this pattern-focused approach will bolster your self-efficacy as a writer and contribute to achieving your writing goals.
We understand that sometimes you need further explanation in order to grasp what the writing pattern or concern is and what revisions are needed. We encourage you to reach out anytime with your questions and to share your learning process with us. Please let us know if there are additional examples or resources we can offer to help answer your questions. Send your questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help!
We strongly encourage you to make the most of our paper review service—that includes making follow-up appointments as you work on a project or toward a writing goal. Students who made three or more writing appointments per term showed statistically significant gains in grades, persistence, and retention (Irvin, 2014) and even increases in intrinsic motivation (Robinson, as cited in Irvin, 2014). Although three appointments are not a magic number that will transform your writing entirely, they may be the foundation you need to launch your growth and development as a writer. You can make two appointments per week and can schedule appointments up to two weeks in advance. So, if you have time before your project is due, plan ahead and schedule a follow-up appointment today.
We enjoy hearing about your revisions. In fact, it helps us to avoid repetitious comments and assist you in creating next steps to achieve your writing goals. Therefore, once you have reviewed your writing instructional specialist’s feedback and made revisions, be sure to jot down notes about your revision progress, including changes you made, resources you reviewed, and type of comments (e.g., visual, modeling, etc.) that were helpful to you. We encourage you to share those notes with us in your next paper review appointment through the appointment form. To keep your notes organized, check out our resource on writing feedback journals.
It is important to check in with your writing goals throughout the revision process. If you set a specific writing goal for your paper review appointment, you may start by determining if your writing instructional specialist offered any recommendations that impact your goal progress. Likewise, once you start the revision process, you may find that you have made significant strides toward your goal or established a goal that needs to be broken down into more manageable steps. In either case, you may want to establish new writing goals that support your continued growth and writing success. Check out our resources on setting and achieving your writing goals.
Note that these videos were created while APA 6 was the style guide edition in use. There may be some examples of writing that have not been updated to APA 7 guidelines.
Irwin, L.L. (2014). What a difference three tutoring sessions make: Early reports of efficacy from a young writing center. The Writing Lab Newsletter, 39(1–2), 1–5. https://wlnjournal.org/archives/v39/39.1-2.pdf