Debby Ellis Writing Center

Teaching Writing In Your Classroom

Facilitating Revision

Teaching the skills and providing the opportunities for students to revise their work for your class can help to produce polished final papers. If you’d like to incorporate a peer review in your class, please see our page on planning and leading peer review.

  • #42 – Teaching the difference between editing and revising - Studies show that undergraduates tend to conflate revision with editing. This brief exercise is designed to help students see the differences between the two and understand why both are necessary.

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    #43 –Checking a thesis – This is a quick, in-class exercise that can help students to use their theses to frame key parts of their papers. It can take place before students start drafting or after students are somewhat into the drafting process. 

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  • #44 –Mapping ideas - This exercise, which can work in class or as an outside-of-class assignment, is designed to encourage students to identify moments where they need to conduct more research for their assignment. It works best when students are close to beginning their drafting. 

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  • #45 –Marking up drafts – This is an activity for revising completed drafts that has worked well for us in the past and segues nicely into peer review.

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  • #46 – Workshopping outlines – This activity allows students to share their work with their classmates in the early stages of drafting. It can be a bit time consuming (it can take up to an entire class period, depending on the size of your class), but workshopping outlines can be a great way to provide students with early feedback. It also allows them to see what their classmates are up to in their writing.
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  • #47 Trying different types of conclusions - This assignment is designed to get students thinking about what they really want to accomplish in the conclusions of their papers and to ensure that the conclusion isn’t just an afterthought. It works best after students have completed a rough draft of their papers.

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  • #48 – Holding mini peer reviews – This activity provides an opportunity to remind students that revising sometimes happens as we write – that it’s not a bad thing to modify your paper as you draft, since frequently we come to understand our topics better through the process of writing about them. It is designed to encourage flexibility (even on the sentence level) during the drafting process. 
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  • #49 – editing - Marking up paragraphs - This exercise is designed to allow students to apply what they’ve learned about lower-level writing concerns to their own papers.

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  • #50 – editing – Good, better, best editing – This activity demonstrates for students the usefulness of making several passes while editing. It works best if students don’t have too long to work on each sentence – perhaps a minute or so.

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