Revision is more than just editing, it is the process in which drafts become final pieces of writing.  It is essential in producing balanced compositions that are written strongly and read smoothly.  Following is a checklist that you can use to revise your work.  


  • Do ideas flow from general to specific?
  • Do ideas follow through from beginning?
  • Do any ideas/statements come out of nowhere?
  • Is there redundancy?
  • Is there an engaging lead?


  • Are there transitional statements between ideas?
  • Are there transitional statements between paragraphs and sections?


  • Is language straightforward?
  • Have I used simple terms rather than pretentious, showy words?
  • Is the language free of jargon?
  • Is the language concise?
  • Are the nouns I use concrete and specific?
  • Have I avoided using hyperbole and multiple descriptors?
  • Are all adjectives and adverbs absolutely necessary?
  • Can I replace adverb/verb combinations with strong verbs?
  • Have I used the same term for a concept throughout?

Have I used primarily the active voice?

Is tense consistent throughout?


  • Is there parallel construction?
  • Have I checked for misplaced modifiers and dangling participles?
  • Does punctuation use meet accepted standards?
  • Is it clear who or what each pronoun is referring to?


  • Have I synthesized information vs. listing information?
  • Have I gotten feedback?

Remember: Clarity Is Key

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One Response to Revision

  1. Carolann Risley says:

    I am an experienced nurse practitioner and new PhD student. I purchased your new book, “A Nurse’s Step-by-Step Guide to Dissertation or Capstone.” and I love it! It was a perfect condensed read for a rookie starting a PhD program. I have suggested this book to my program director at the University of Mississippi Medial Center. Thank you for your advice. Please add me to your writing tips email list.

    With sincere gratitude,
    Carolann Risley

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