16. Step Ten: Revision

  1. If time permits, leave your essay for a day or two and come back to it refreshed and with an open mind. Then read it critically, as though it were by another author. Remember that if it does not make sense to you it cannot make sense to anyone else. Is there someone whose opinion you trust who could read it and make constructive criticisms for you?
  2. Check that the pages are numbered and in the correct order and that whichever system of headings you have used has been done consistently. If you are putting headings in bold are all headings in bold? If you are underlining, are all headings underlined (with a ruler)? Have you used abbreviations consistently? Do you need to add a list of abbreviations used? Have you checked that your footnotes are numbered in sequence and, if you used end-notes, that they all match up correctly?
  3. Is the style of your sub-headings consistent? If some titles are sentence-long and others just a single word you may wish to make adjustments. Does your table of contents match the actual contents?
  4. Examine your text in detail. Weigh every statement critically. Does it clearly express what you want to say? Could it be twisted and used out of context inappropriately? Check grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style.
  5. How have you presented words from foreign languages? Where you have transliterated the word should be in italics if you are typing or underlined if writing by hand. If you have written foreign words in their own alphabet have you done so consistently and will your readers be able to understand?

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