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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Revising, revising, revising

At my writer group yesterday I was reminded of one of the myths of writing. There seems to be a perception that good writers do not need to revise their work; that somehow their first draft is golden. Bunk.

A number of years ago I took a fabulous course through the Continuing Studies program at SFU, Advanced study in Writing for Business and the Professions, taught by Anne Hungerford.

She taught that there are six different types of revision:
  1. Revision for truth and accuracy.
  2. Review of the structure of your document.
  3. Purpose and occassion; does it meet the needs of your audience?
  4. Review paragraphs for unity, development, and flow.
  5. Review sentences for wordiness, awkwardness, and the use of the passive voice.
  6. Word choice and tone.
So throw out that ingrained idea drilled in from the in-class essay that you can produce something fabulous the first time out and revise, revise, revise.

Advanced Study in Writing for Business and the Professions by Anne Hungerford (course material)
Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process by Peter Elbow

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