Once you’re done writing your draft, it’s time for the final two stages of the writing process. First, you’ll need to revise (or edit) your writing for content and style; then, you’ll need to proofread (or copy edit) to make sure your draft is properly formatted, correct, and readable. Before you start revising and proofreading, though, it’s best to take a break. A break will give you a new perspective on your work, allowing you to see what you’ve actually written rather than what you think you’ve written.


Revision is looking critically at your content and style. You may find you have to rearrange, add, or cut significant content to produce a coherent and persuasive final paper. You may even need to go back and conduct more research to clarify information or fill in gaps in your argument. Use this checklist to help you revise your work.


Title & Introduction





Word Choice and Style



Start proofreading when you’re nearing a deadline or have exhausted your topic and completed the above checklist. Be sure to leave time for this final step to avoid obvious or embarrassing errors. Always proofread from printed copy; you’d be surprised how many errors you can miss on a screen. Reading slowly is important; do whatever you can to slow yourself down. Try printing your paper in a larger font size, so you can really see what you’ve written. Also, read your draft aloud to yourself; it’s a great way to find omitted or misplaced words. You may want to ask a friend or family member to check the draft for you, which can be helpful since other readers won’t be as close to the work as you are. Make sure, however, that you do your own final read-through. After all, you’re ultimately the one responsible for your writing.




Grammar and Punctuation