familty narrative essay


Revising and Editing

Throughout this unit, you have been using the following process to help make your writing more powerful:

  • Plan your writing by reading the assignment or prompt carefully and thinking through the topic.
  • Organize ideas using an outline, a graphic organizer, a web, or another organization technique.
  • Write your draft, making sure to include an introduction, body, and conclusion. Be sure your draft addresses the assignment requirements.
  • Edit and revise your writing to ensure that your composition is complete, the ideas flow smoothly, and your final draft is free of any errors or awkward spots.

Often you will review and edit your writing during the same time period. These two steps are related, but they are not the same. 


When you revise, you step back and look at your draft as a whole. You ask yourself questions like the following:

  • Is my draft complete? Did I include all of my major points and fulfill the assignment requirements?
  • Have I developed my ideas with supporting points and details? Are there any places that need more elaboration?
  • Are all of the ideas and details relevant to my thesis? Are there any parts of my draft that should be condensed or cut out entirely?
  • Do my ideas flow smoothly in a logical order? Are there any places where I need to move ideas around to make my draft more effective?


When you edit, you look at the finer points of your writing. You smooth out awkward sentences, search for the perfect word or phrase, and correct any errors in grammar, spelling, usage, and mechanics. The following techniques can help you edit your work:

  • Read your paper aloud, to yourself, or to a family member or friend. Often your ears can hear errors that your eyes might miss.
  • Proofread your paper by printing it out and going through it sentence by sentence. If you edit onscreen, set the document to show the content at an enlarged size, and read each sentence slowly and carefully.
  • Take advantage of the spellcheck feature in your word-processing program, but remember that spelling and grammar checkers do not catch every error. Use them to supplement your editing, but don’t rely on these features to do the job for you.

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