Is Revising an Essay Important?

by Jake Shore

High school teachers and college professors assign numerous kinds of essays, and the ability to construct a clear, argumentative thesis statement and support your argument with poignant claims and evidence is at the heart of well-written essays. Writing an informative and well-thought-out essay includes several steps, and while some may feel that the completion of the first draft means the essay is finished, the revision process is among the most important steps to completing a successful essay. By examining the strengths gained by properly revising an essay, you will realize why revision is important.

Editing

A writer must learn that only the most essential, clear, well-developed portions of a first draft should carry over into the second draft and beyond. By deleting overstated, unclear and unnecessary sections of the essay, only the fundamental marrow of the argument remains, causing the essay as a whole to be strong. Once you’ve proven a claim with sufficient evidence, move on to the next point, and if there is any excess, delete it.

Essential Focus

While revising, it’s essential to search for the main idea of your argument and to extract the essential focus of the holistic essay. Despite the fact that you will begin writing your essay with a thesis and idea of how it will develop, you will usually finish the first draft in a place that’s somewhat different than where you intended. By reading and re-reading your first draft, you’ll discover that what you’ve proved in the body of your paper is slightly different than your initial thesis and that by tweaking your thesis slightly it will form your essay into one cohesive piece.

Claim Harmony

Even though each claim that supports your thesis needs to be unique and self-sustaining, all claims must work together in harmony to form a cohesive argument. While writing your first draft, this may be difficult to judge; but while you’re revising, the interaction of claims becomes clear, and you are able to see if each claim builds off the last with a decent pace and drive. During the revision process, claim harmony can become heightened and powerful.

Mechanics

A quality essay must be completely free of spelling and grammar issues. Unless you’re a spelling and grammar savant, the first draft of your essay is going to contain grammar and spelling issues that could cost you valuable points off your grade. The revision process is about taking the time to make all the necessary spelling and grammar corrections so that your essay is more successful as a whole.

About the Author

Jake Shore is an award-winning Brooklyn-based playwright, published short story writer and professor at Wagner College. His short fiction has appeared in many publications including Litro Magazine, one of London's leading literary magazines. Shore earned his MFA in creative writing from Goddard College.

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