Writer's Studio


Revision involves getting a new angle, taking a different slant, being radical in what you consider possible. It might mean putting back all of the ideas you threw out in the first place. Try any one of the following to help you discover a new idea to shape your essay.

  1. Write five potential titles for your essay. How would any of these alter the tone your essay.
  2. Introduce a second voice or narrator into your essay. Differentiate this voice by using italics. Perhaps this voice doesn't believe the other one or has a different version. Which one do you like? Ask how you can break up the patter: first this happened, second this happened, etc. Could each paragraph develop a theme by short example, contrast/comparison, analogy?
  3. Identify a different audience for your essay. How will this change the development and language of the essay?
  4. Imagine publishing this essay in your favorite magazine. Examine the audience; what changes would you have to make?
  5. Imagine your essay has a shape - circle, pyramid, square. Change your essay to conform to another shape.
  6. Keep only your strongest three sentences from your earlier essay. Begin again with these.
  7. Could you interview people about your topic and include these new ideas?
  8. Try rewriting a serious essay in a comic voice or vice-versa.


  1. Find a photograph which reminds you of the ideas or feelings conveyed in your essay. How could you integrate this imagine in your next draft?