How to Revise an Academic Essay - Part 2
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Now that your introduction and conclusion put forward the same basic argument, go through the main subsections of your paper. In each one, find again the one sentence that explains how this part of your paper supports that thesis. If you can’t find it, your reader can’t either. Go through and make these connections explicit. Now that each subsection has a sentence explaining how it supports the main argument of your paper, copy just those sentences into a new document and read them in order. Do the ideas flow well from one to the other, or is something out of place? Is anything important missing, or does something seem not to belong anymore? Once you’ve tinkered with this summary of your essay so that it makes sense, go back and move around the corresponding sections of your paper, write the new sections that are missing, and eliminate those which no longer belong. Good work. Now you have a consistent thesis across your paper articulating the relationship of each section to that thesis, and you know your points come in a logical, persuasive order. You’re ready to move on for revising for strong prose and editing at the sentence level. Good luck, and write well.