Revise and Rewrite

There’s a simple reason why it’s crucial that you revise and rewrite your work: Clarity and Accuracy. You don’t want people to misunderstand your message. Take a look at the opening sentence of a news article that was published on July 13, 2020:

SAN DIEGO (AP), July 13, 2020 — Firefighters were still battling a blaze Monday on a Navy combat ship that injured at least 57 people and sent acrid smoke billowing over San Diego.

A literal reading of this sentence indicates that a Navy ship, which had injured at least 57 people, was now on fire and the firefighters were still battling that blaze on Monday. What the journalist intended to write was that the fire had injured at least 57 people, but that’s not what he or she actually wrote.

Now, let’s change it to make it reflect the journalist’s intention.

On Monday, firefighters were still battling a blaze that injured at least 57 people on a Navy combat ship, and which sent acrid smoke billowing over San Diego.

When we talk, we can quickly correct our verbal mistakes. But when we put our thoughts in print, our errors go out into the public, and we may never be able to correct them. I know, because I’ve made those mistakes, and they can be embarrassing.

Write – check – revise – rewrite – check – revise – rewrite – then publish.

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