AI-generated image of three students looking closely at writing. The lighting is dark, casting heavy shadows on their clothing. No student is actually looking directly at the writing, and the pencil isn't actually held with a hand. The AI tried, it really did.

Tools of Revision




Revision is not complicated to me. Revising and rewriting have always been practically the same thing ever since I first started writing. In Nancy Sommers’ Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers, she interviews several student writers and experienced writers. She has them write three essays and rewrite them twice, which four types of revisions being categorized separately.

I am fascinated by the personal uses of words for revision by the students in this reading. Some of them did not prefer to use the word ‘revision’ because they saw it as something their teachers used. It is interesting to notice just how many student writers refer to revision as anything but revision. Even more interesting is that most of them don’t even use the word rewrite either. One student writer claims, “Reviewing means just using better words and eliminating words that are not needed.”, one student writer claims. I go over and change words around.”

Revising texts is something that more writers have a problem with than they think. Growing and adapting is difficult the further you get into writing. Changing one’s writing techniques is needed to properly revise a paper. However, students, more often than not, will run into an issue where revamping a paper is extremely difficult. The fear of failure is a powerful fear. It has kept many from embracing their mistakes in their writing, and it prevents proper revising from taking place. In my previous post, I talked about our identities and experiences shaping our writing. It is often the case that personal experiences also shape our insecurities with our writing mistakes.

Our personal motivations also stump our revising processes. Charles Bazerman and Howard Tinberg’s “Writing is an Expression of Embodied Cognition”, makes a good case for this. “The emotional engagement of scientific writers for their subject may entail careful attention to evidence and reasoning grounded in prior work in the field,” makes it clear that the proper emotional investment in one’s writing motivates them to pay close attention to the words they rewrite.


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