National Writing Project

Resource Topics

Teaching Writing - Writing Processes - Revision

Additional Resources

Preaching What We Practice: A Study of Revision

Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, April 2013
Shelbie Witte
In this article, a three-tiered nationwide study of the pedagogical implications of teachers' revision practices in digital writing environments is discussed. The study investigates the use of revision in the personal and professional writing of teachers and the teaching of revision in their own classrooms. During a three year period, data were collected from a sampling frame of 150 National Writing Project summer institutes, resulting in 181 study participants, and included a longitudinal pre- and post-survey (including Likert survey items and open-ended questions), focus group and follow-up questions, and an analysis of writing/revision samples. More ›

Looking for Sources of Coherence in a Fragmented World: Notes Toward a New Assessment Design

December 2010
Kathleen Blake Yancey
Kathleen Blake Yancey examines the similarities and differences between assessing coherence in print and in digital text and proposes a heuristic key to multiple patterns that both composers and readers can use to create coherence. More ›

Making a Successful Punctuation Lesson

January 2007
Mary K. Tedrow
Tedrow describes the interweaving of elements that went into creating one effective lesson: appropriate material, pedagogical knowledge, collegial exchange, and her students' readiness. More ›

Finding the Black Ninja Fish: Revision and Writing Groups in the First Grade

The Quarterly, 2005
Joanna Franklin
Joanna Franklin lays out the instructional sequence she implements in her first grade class to teach revision. She begins in September with rereading, advances through Authors Chair and the creation of a class set of criteria for excellent writing, and by March has her students successfully working in writing groups and revising their writing. More ›

Place-Based Poetry, One Step at a Time

The Quarterly, 2005
Ann Gardner
Gardner's student, who had never seen a free-form poem, writes successfully in free-form style when he is exposed to works in this mode and led through a revision one step at a time. More ›

Radical Revision: My Road from Fairy Tale to Catharsis

The Quarterly, 2004
Juanita Willingham
Radical revision is a strategy for taking one's writing apart and reassembling it. Willingham describes how a radical revision led her to the scary and ultimately healthy introspection that she had avoided for a lifetime. More ›

The Best Way to Teach Good Writing Is One Step at a Time

The Quarterly, 2004
Randy Koch
Randy Koch, director of the Writing Center at Texas A&M International University, shares some of what he's learned about revisions strategies after twelve years of teaching writing. In this article, he recounts ways to prod students into adding rich details to their drafts. More ›

Reading Practices as Revision Strategies: The Gossipy Reading Model

The Quarterly, 2003
Peter Kittle
No one questions that revision is a good and necessary part of the writing process. But like many things that are "good for you," writers, especially young writers, resist making it part of their routines. But when a high school teacher adapts a reading strategy for revision, he stumbles upon the quintessential revision strategy: one that is both "good and good for you." More ›

A Baker's Dozen of Fat-Cutting Exercises

The Voice, Fall 2003
Terry Phelps
Many writers skimp by using shortcuts such as contractions, acronyms, and ellipses, but then ladle on redundancies, nominalizations, and other "fat" in their writing. This collection of fat-cutting exercises helps even experienced writers slim down their sentences. More ›

It's Never Written in Stone: The Agony of Revision

The Voice, Fall 2003
Ruth Baja Williams
How do we teach the beauty of revision when it is such an agony for young writers? Learn how one teacher of writing workshop cajoles revisions from her elementary students. More ›

Working with Beginning Writers

The Quarterly, Summer 2001
Alisa Daniel
Daniel writes that students need to see their teachers write. They need to see the struggles and the thought processes that begin in the writer's mind and end up on the paper. More ›

Kyle's Surprises: Anecdote as a Strategy to Strengthen Student Writing

The Quarterly, Summer 2000
Ed Darling
Through a series of writing conferences, Darling nudges his student Kyle to generate a series of anecdotes that transform a bare-bones composition into a rich, engaging piece of writing. More ›

Four Principles Toward Teaching the Craft of Revision

The Quarterly, Spring 1999
Mark Farrington
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Revising Revision: How My Students Transformed Writers' Workshop

The Quarterly, Winter 1998
Jan Matsuoka
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"How Do You Spell Caught?"

The Quarterly, Fall 1995
Conne Broderick
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Skeletons Out of the Closet: The Case of the Missing 162%

The Quarterly, Summer 1995
Bob Pressnall
A Quarterly article often reveals a teacher's mind at work, providing readers a ringside seat as the teacher observes, changes, rearranges, and fine-tunes classroom practice. In this article from 1995, Bob Pressnall engages in all these things. We watch him as he keeps revising his efforts to teach revision, telling students pointed stories, drawing cartoons, and finally devising a "skeleton." It is this last strategy that moves students closer to an understanding of one way to work over a piece of writing. As Pressnall keeps revising his lesson, he notes that, "Revision is a teacher's life." More ›

OP 21. Redefining Revision for Freshmen

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1990
John R. Hayes, David L. Wallace
This study investigates the impact of explicit instructions on the revising strategies of college freshmen. Wallace and Hayes find that students who received instruction on how to revise globally produced better revisions than students simply asked to revise. More ›

TR 26. The Effects of Prompts upon Revision: A Glimpse of the Gap Between Planning and Performance

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, May 1989
Wayne C. Peck
This report analyzes the think-aloud protocols and finished texts of students asked to revise a written assignment. More ›

A Portrait of Four Student Revisers

The Quarterly, October 1986
Melanie Hammer
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Teacher Comments in the Revision Process

The Quarterly, February 1984
G.E. Martin
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Just One More Draft

The Quarterly, March 1983
Catherine M. Garea
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