- The first step in revising something you wrote is to reread it — carefully. (It helps to read it aloud: that brings a second sense into the process.) Does every sentence make sense. Is its meaning crystal-clear? If you’re unsure, either reword or delete the sentence.
- Are any sentences wordy? That is, do they have more words than is necessary to convey their meaning?
- Do the sentences vary in both length and structure? A sentence can have one of four structures: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. Writing that contains a mix of those structures is usually more interesting to read.
- Finally, check for coherence. Two adjacent sentences are coherent if there’s a logical connection between them. According to Barbara Fine Clouse in her text, Patterns for a Purpose (5th ed.), coherence can be effected by (a) using a transitional word or phrase, (b) repeating a word or idea, (c) using a synonym as a connector, and (d) writing sentences that either “look backward” or “look forward” (77-79).