Even the best writer needs to revise and fix their writing before calling it done. Revision is your opportunity to make sure your document does what you want it to do, communicates clearly what you mean, and is easy to read and understand. The best-written documents are revised documents.
Do not revise immediately after you finish writing. Most of us need to let a first draft “cool off” before we can objectively evaluate what is wrong with it. It is best if you can put the draft aside for a day or two. If your schedule will not allow for this much time, put it aside for at least a few hours.
As you revise, keep your outcome in front of you and refer to it often. It is your benchmark for determining the effectiveness of the draft.
- Read the document straight through from beginning to end and determine if everything contributes to the outcome. Is anything extraneous? If so, cut it out.
- Take a word count and cut the number of words by 10-percent. Look at every sentence and eliminate redundancies. Replace vague phrases and words with concrete ones. Delete unnecessary adjectives and adverbs
- Make sure grammar and punctuation are correct. Spell check and do not trust the spell checker.
- Spell out acronyms when they are first used.