Chapter 8: Revising and Editing a Paper

Overview: Revising and Editing

The next steps in writing are revising and editing your paper. These processes allow you to examine two important aspects of your writing separately, so that you can give each task your undivided attention. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there are distinctions. See Table 8.1 on how revising and editing are different.

Table 8.1: Revising and editing


When revising, focus on organization, cohesion, and style and tone. Organization means that your argument flows logically from one point to the next. Cohesion means that the elements of your paper work together smoothly and naturally. Together, your style and tone create the voice of your paper, or how you come across to readers through language and word choices. You might need to add, cut, move, or change information to make your ideas more clear, accurate, interesting, and convincing.


When editing, focus on how you expressed your ideas. You may add or change words, and fix any problems with grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. You will improve your writing style to make your paper into a polished, mature piece of writing – the end product of your best effort.

Activities: Check Your Understanding




Attribution statement

Content in Table 8.1 was adapted, with editorial changes, from:

Writing for Success 1st Canadian Edition by Tara Horkoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted. Download for free at:


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The Scholarship of Writing in Nursing Education: 1st Canadian Edition Copyright © 2019 by Jennifer Lapum; Oona St-Amant; Michelle Hughes; Andy Tan; Arina Bogdan; Frances Dimaranan; Rachel Frantzke; and Nada Savicevic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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