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
- Write five potential titles for your essay. How would any of
these alter the tone your essay.
- 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?
- Identify a different audience for your essay. How will this
change the development and language of the essay?
- Imagine publishing this essay in your favorite magazine.
Examine the audience; what changes would you have to make?
- Imagine your essay has a shape - circle, pyramid, square.
Change your essay to conform to another shape.
- Keep only your strongest three sentences from your earlier
essay. Begin again with these.
- Could you interview people about your topic and include these
- Try rewriting a serious essay in a comic voice or
- 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?