The process of revising my essay was quite challenging but at the same time satisfying as I had the opportunity to extend myself as a good writer. The essay I chose to revise was titled “The Future for Women Driving in Saudi Arabia.” As William Zinsser quoted, “Rewriting is the essence of writing well”(Zinsser, 12) it was therefore my responsibility to go through the essay at least three times so as to correct all the grammar mistakes (proof read), restructure sentences (edit) and reorganize ideas to enable the paper have a fluid flow. Revising the essay implies re-reading the paper a fresh from a critical perspective. The ongoing process enabled me to reconsider my arguments, review my evidence, refine my purpose, reorganize my presentation and revive stale prose incase there was any. The writing process involves the discovery of ideas that support the ban on women from driving as well as strategies in place to ensure that women become enlightened to campaign against the ban. However, the first piece of written material is not always the best hence the need to revise in order identify if a given point is really worth saying, if a given sentence clearly expresses what I wanted to say and finally if the reader will be able to understand what I was trying to put across.
While revising my essay, I learnt that my first concern should be on the focus of the paper whereby I get to identify if I engaged in an appropriate assignment, narrow enough to enable be stay on track while writing the entire paper. This is the point whereby a critical look at the topic enables me identify if it can be modified to suit exactly what is discussed in the paper of which in this case the topic was quite suitable. My next lesson while revising was to rethink my thesis to identify if it takes a specific position by making a sophisticated and provocative point. I learnt that I should also clearly identify my purpose of writing the paper by ensuring the introduction clearly states what I intend to digest. I realized that revising my essay also involved checking the organization of ideas as to whether they make sense to the reader. This involved ensuring that transitions effectively moved the reader from one point to the next and also that topic sentences of each paragraph appropriately introduced what the paragraph talked about (Zinsser, 35-42). In some cases, I found it necessary to move some paragraphs around to ensure an idea flowed flawlessly. While revising the discussion, it was important to check the information to details and ensure that all facts are correct and supported in a manner that satisfies the reader’s curiosity. At the conclusion, as required I learnt that it should be a summary that sums up the paper in a smooth manner and end on a stimulating note.
It is important to note that proof reading is also a revising strategy but will be an effective process before handing in the paper for marking. This is because the process is not a corrective measure to paper that has a weak thesis and poor organization. Editing on the other hand is important to polish one’s paper but does not make any difference when the ideas are not arranged chronologically. This implied that the process of revising an essay does not only take a few minutes to complete hence the need to plan for adequate time to do a thorough job. As mentioned above, revision does not necessarily involve rewriting the whole paper but rather restructuring the thesis to fit my discovery while writing, developing new or stronger arguments supported by clear examples, adding or deleting some information or shifting the order of the paper to enable readers follow my proposed arguments although in few occasions will revising involve doing away with the first draft and starting from scratch. The aspect of deleting some information from my essay was to enable me have a perfect whole piece of writing in the end. I learnt that while writing, I had to have plenty of information of the page first so as to have much when it comes to trimming unnecessary information. Although some of my colleagues argue that they are able to revise their essays while writing, I learnt that problems associated with the process involved not being able to criticize the big picture of the work and it minimized ones creativity while developing the paper. Finally, during my revision process I learnt to polish my sentence structures by using more forceful verbs and putting sentence variety. I learnt to exercise precision in my word choice and use words that say exactly what I want to say. In sentences that I used the same phrase or word twice I had to combine the two sentences or look for alternative means to say the same thing. Lastly, I had to cut several preposition phrases present in my work without losing meaning.
Zinsser, William K. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2007. Print.