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Understanding Common Research Paper Revision Strategies

Revising your research paper is an essential and multi-step process. You can’t just read it through quickly make a few minor adjustments and call that a revision. Revising improves your paper greatly, results in a better grade and also helps you become better at writing.

Correcting typos and spelling mistakes is important but it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the revision process. Here are some of the things that should be checked when revising:

  1. Are the paragraphs organized in a logical order?

  2. Is there anything that sounds clumsy that needs to be rewritten?

  3. Have you provided sufficient evidence to give ample support to your thesis statement?

  4. Is your thesis statement located at the end of your introduction paragraph?

  5. Should you include any definitions in your research paper, or perhaps use words that the reader won’t have to look up in the dictionary?

  6. Have you supplied sufficient references and cited them properly throughout your paper? Are all references listed on your reference page according to APA or MLA style or whatever style guide is required by your course?

  7. Is there any unnecessary information you’ve included that should be omitted?

  8. Did you follow the order laid out in your outline? If not, have you made it better than your outline or do you need to adjust a few things to make it comply?

  9. How is your introduction? Is it strong and compelling? Your conclusion – did you summarize the important points you want the reader to remember?


After you’ve done the larger revisions, you can go back and edit the little problems like typos and spelling errors. Make sure your paper reads smoothly and is succinct.

At this point it’s a great idea to let someone else read your paper. A new set of eyes can see things you missed. They might find small errors or they may identify some inconsistencies in the logical flow of the paper. Make the revisions necessary and put the paper away for a few days.

When you re-read it for the final time, check to make sure you adhered to all the requirements listed on your assignment. Identify the strengths of your paper and see if you can find any weaknesses. Does everything check out to be satisfactory? Good, then you’ve done a thorough revision of your research paper.