Once you finish the first draft of your paper, take a break. Grab a coffee, pay your bills, go for a run - something that isn't school-related to give yourself some space from what you've just written. Then, it is time to dive back in and start revising.
Ask yourself 4 main things:
1) Have I covered everything my assignment guidelines are asking for? If you followed the prewriting steps, it should, but always double-check.
2) Does my preliminary thesis statement still make sense and encompass my main point or do I need to tweak it? Remember, a thesis statement is not a hypothesis- you are allowed to change your mind as you write.
3) Are my paragraphs well organized? Make sure you have a topic sentence, evidence, analysis, and a concluding sentence for each paragraph and that the flow from one sentence to the next is clear and logical. Don't have enough support? You might need to go back and do more research. Don't have enough analysis? Have a brainstorming session to help yourself think critically about how all of the pieces of outside evidence you pulled connect to your ideas.
4) Are my sentences as clear and straightforward as possible? Do I repeat myself? Look for things like wordiness and repetition and omit.
Do you find repetition in your work? Feel like you could have said something more simply? Struggle with writing within the page parameters of the assignment guidelines? Learning about and checking for wordiness can help!
Paragraph structure is vital to flow and content of a paper. Use the resources below to help you maintain strong paragraph structure as you write your draft and to guide your revisions when you go back through your paper.