Revising your paper is an essential part of the entire writing process and it will often be the difference between a well-written paper and a stellar academic paper. Revision is the process of looking at your paper with a fresh and critical perspective. It’s an opportunity to find ways to improve your paper by rewriting, removing, or moving text so that your paper expresses your argument in a more clear and effective way.
Here are 5 useful tips that should motivate you to revise your academic paper drafts:
Setting your paper aside for a day or even a few hours should work just fine. Just try to return to your academic paper with a fresh set of eyes so that you can be honest in your critique and not feel too lazy to edit and revise your material as required.
Make sure that your thesis takes a specific position and doesn’t merely generalize or summarize your topic. As yourself these questions: Is my thesis effective? Do I still agree with my argument? Does my thesis make a contribution to the field?
All academic writing should have a clear purpose. Reread your introduction to see if it clearly states what your paper is about and why you have written it. Your introduction should state why your paper is important. If you can’t express this to yourself, you will have a hard time conveying it to your audience.
Your argument should follow a pattern and logic that guides the reader to your conclusion. Check for transitions and make sure that each of your points connect with one another and clearly support your argument. You may consider rearranging your points to establish relationships that are clearer.
Make sure your conclusion effectively ties the entire paper together by showing how your arguments are related to support your central argument. You don’t want your paper to end slowly. You want to inspire further discussion on your topic, thus making your paper that much more memorable.
The important thing with all of these tips is that you remain honest and critical throughout. You should allow yourself enough time to make changes. It’s interesting how something could sound so well when you are first writing it but then sound completely wrong when you read it later on.
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