Revision is not the most crucial stage of the writing process. True or false? 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

FALSE. Revision is the most important stage of the writing process.

During the writing process, students wish to put down their thoughts in a timely manner so that none will be lost. However, in the rewriting stage, or revision, the premium is on care so that all thoughts are clear, logical, and of interest to the reader(s). After all, the ultimate goal in writing is effective communication.

During the Revising process, writers evaluate what they have written, reading it with a critical eye. Then, they correct any problems with content, organization, and style (punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, etc.). How well a writer does this often means the difference between getting a work published or not. For students, this process can mean the difference between a poor or mediocre grade and a good grade. More importantly, revising really teaches the student how to be a better writer.

Rewriting is the essence of writing well—where the game is won or lost.
—William Zinsser

This revision process is recursive, which means the writer/student can leap forward to another stage, go back, or start all over--whatever needs fixing. For example, if a student finds that he/she needs additional facts in order to support a point, he/she can simply return to the pre-writing task of gathering information and later return to the paper and continue the process. In another example, perhaps a student realizes the thesis does not really fit. Then, he/she can alter it to relate better to what has been written in the body of the work.

Revision is the process that strengthens any errors or weaknesses in a written piece. It is so important because it enables the writer to improve the written work in any area necessary so that the final effort will be interesting, coherent, substantive, and effective in its purpose.