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Paper Reviews: How to Revise Across Multiple Appointments

How to Revise Across Multiple Appointments

We encourage students to make regular paper review appointments with our writing instructional specialists. Our specialists make every effort to demonstrate how to enhance the clarity and quality of a student’s current paper; however, we also focus our comments on reoccurring patterns in students’ writing in hope of helping them to advance their writing skills across projects or over time. 

Below is a list of strategies to revise across your paper review appointments. Consider these tips after you have completed a few or even several paper review appointments with us.

  • Think like a writing professional. Review your writing instructional specialist’s most recent feedback (i.e., your last two to three paper reviews) before you draft and revise your current project. Consider what questions or concerns they might raise as you make a plan for revision.  
  • Create a list of your most common writing missteps. We all have common mistakes we make in our writing. Consider getting organized and creating a checklist that details the writing patterns you need to keep in mind. Print a copy and keep it close to where you most frequently write.  
  • Do focused read-throughs.  Once you have your common writing missteps list, set aside time to do a focused read-through of your current project using one of the items on that list. Highlight any place where this pattern applies and then revise with your concentration on this area. Repeat the process as necessary with other items on your list.
  • Keep a revision journal. A more advanced option than having a common missteps list would be to keep a revision journal. Revision journals give you the opportunity to not only identify these reoccurring patterns in your writing but also document how you revised to address the concern and any helpful resources you used. That way, you don’t have to memorize the revision you made; it is clearly listed in your revision journal.  
  • Keep a writing goal journal. Similar to a revision journal, a writing goal journal allows you the chance to identify writing skills you aim to develop and establish clear steps for meeting that goal. We encourage students to review their writing goals frequently—even setting a specific writing goal for each paper review session. Check out this writing goal journal template for an example.