What needs to be revised?

Feedback helps writers to improve their writing. Before asking someone else to read your text, however, you need to go through it yourself. Below you will find some hands-on advice on how texts can be improved.

Reading your own text

Although it may be difficult to spot mistakes in one's own texts, many writers find the following activities helpful:

Read the text aloud

Reading your text aloud makes it easier to identify issues such as inaccurate sentence structure and punctuation problems. It is also easier to get a grip on the flow of the text when it is read aloud. A lack of transitional devices will become apparent, for instance, as will repetitive use of particular words and phrases. Asking someone else to read your text out to you will also help you become aware of aspects of it that you may not have noticed while working on it yourself.

If there is time, wait a few days

Many writers find that stepping away from their work-in-progress texts for some time is helpful. Approaching your text with fresh eyes, you might find it easier to spot mistakes and incongruities.

Look at the text from different perspectives

If you only read your text from beginning to end, there is a risk that you may miss problems with the internal structure of each paragraph and the overall balance of the text. Try to also check separate parts of your text; is the structure within each section coherent, for instance, and is your argument logical in each and every part of your text? Are your conclusions based on and clearly related to your analysis?

Use your experience

Look at previous essays and texts on which you have received feedback. What kinds of problems have been identified by teachers and peer reviewers? Check your current text for these problem areas. For advice on how to compile your own personal checklist, see

Reading someone else's text

Before submitting a text for assessment, many writers ask a peer (that is, a fellow student or a colleague), to read it. In some courses, peer feedback is part of the writing process. It is useful to have a checklist of key aspects that need to be considered, both for writers before they hand their texts over to someone else, and for those who are asked to read and comment on the text.

See below for advice on how to peer review texts (the advice can also be of use for you when you revise your own texts):

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