You need to have the right revision strategies for essays if you’re thinking about applying or have started to apply for college applications. To get into the college you want, you will definitely need to start writing your college admissions essay. But writing the essay is half the battle. Revising your writing is just as important. Read on for some effective revision techniques students who are writing their college essay can use.
How to Revise an Essay | Revision Strategies for Students
In this article:
- The Difference Between Revising and Proofreading
- How to Revise an Essay for Your College Application
- Revision Techniques for Writing
- Read Essay Samples
The Difference Between Revising and Proofreading
First, you need to understand that revising is not the same as proofreading. The latter happens after the completion of a work and uses grammar and spelling checks. In fact, revising is not the same as editing either. When you edit, you look for errors and re-assess your word choices. You also check whether your piece clearly conveys the message and tone you’re aiming for.
Revising involves an intellectual process. You entertain the possibility of redirecting your focus, point of view, and motivation. The revision process in writing will cause you to ask the following questions:
- Do I have a clear thesis?
- Am I telling the story I wanted to tell?
- Am I staying on point?
- Do I draw in my audience with the first paragraph?
- Do I build a clear story with examples?
These are important points to remember when you’re revising your essay. Once you’ve mastered these revision strategies, the college of your dreams will just be within reach.
How to Revise an Essay for Your College Application
1. Get A Head Start On Your Essay
Every creative skill requires practice to become part of a student’s muscle memory. That includes your college essay writing skills.
Get a head start on your essay! Brainstorm and write your college personal statement now. Set a working timeline that’ll allow you to write and revise your essay. This will save you the unnecessary stress of cramming for your college application.
2. Outline Your Content and Elaborate on the Details
It is also important to plan your essay’s content ahead. This will allow you to write a concise piece that represents you well.
As mentioned earlier, you need to draw your audience in with your first paragraph. Your essay must give your readers an idea of who you are. So, don’t be afraid to be creative! Tell personal anecdotes related to your thesis.
Provide information about yourself that isn’t already written in your school report. Do any of your records reflect a poor performance? This is your chance to explain why it happened. And lastly, be specific in your intentions. Why do you want to attend that particular college or university?
3. Ask for Guidance on Revising Your Essay
As you improve your work, ask for guidance from your parents, counselor, or college adviser. Practice a guided essay revision. That way, writing and editing will become more natural for you. By the end of the process, you’ll have a meaningful college essay.
Your teachers may not always have time in the classroom, but they want to help. So, don’t hesitate to ask them if you can revise an essay assignment and bring it in for their review.
4. Write for Your Audience
When composing and revising your writing, always keep your intended audience in mind. This goes for any writing task you may have.
For your college application essay, in particular, your audience are the admissions officers. This is where guided essay revision comes in handy. Don’t be afraid to have your piece checked by your parents or teacher. This way, they can provide valuable feedback from an adult perspective.
Revision Techniques for Writing
Do you think revision only means cutting your essay word count to fit the requested limit? If so, you won’t succeed in achieving the level of creative writing expected by colleges. When revising, you must ask yourself:
- Did I succeed in presenting a well-thought-out argument?
- Did I provide strong support for my argument?
- Do I have extraneous information in my essay that slows the rhythm of my story?
Remember this: the more concise the writing, the stronger the piece.
Read Essay Samples
Another one of the revision strategies you can use is to improve your skills in revision is to read revised essays. An essay has a point to promote. And as you read, ask the following questions:
- Did the introduction grab me and make me want to read further?
- Was the thesis statement or main point explicit?
- Are there segments that can be clarified?
- Are certain sentences weak or unnecessary?
Through this exercise, you’ll learn that revision isn’t about criticizing your work. Because of this, you mustn’t be too hard on yourself. It’s a normal academic process required to strengthen your line of reasoning. It makes your arguments more eloquent and helps you be more patient with the writing process.
Writing a college application essay can be challenging. Watch this video from studying to learn extra tips that will help you ace your essay:
Having the patience for revision will open you up to new concepts and big ideas. Now you know these revision strategies, you’re better equipped to express yourself in the best way possible. These steps for revising an essay serve as your guide in writing a compelling piece. When you apply these tips, you’ll be able to make the most out of your college essay.
Which part of your college application essay are you struggling with? Let us know how we can help you in the comments section below!