Revising Attitudes

What do you think Dethier means when he says that “Revision takes you from self to society.” Do you agree with this statement? Have you ever experienced revision as a process that operates in this way?

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22 Responses to Revising Attitudes

  1. Profile photo of d.chungloo d.chungloo says:

    When Brock Dethier writes “Revision takes you from self to society” (vi) in Acts of Revision, I thought about how writing serves the purpose of expressing ideas as well as addressing issues. The expressive component is the “self,” while the addressing aspect is the “society.” When we write, the essays or papers are read by some audience, whether it be your professors or your peers or your boss. The audience represents not just individuals, but a community. These individuals are different from you, the writer. Because of this difference, the writer must make use of language, convention, or rhetorical devices to convey a personal message. The writer draws anecdotes and examples from personal life, in addition to personal style and language, and uses them to connect to other people. I agree with this statement. I often experienced such a process during writing. It does not operate necessarily in the revision phase, but I can still see this when I try to support my thesis with examples. I bring in personal concerns and try to relate them to society as a larger whole. Ultimately, in my experiences, that process is the strongest during the first draft.

  2. Profile photo of a.khan16 a.khan16 says:

    When Brock Dethier writes, “Revision takes you from self to society”, which he entails that the goal of writing switches from the needs and desires of the writer to the reader. This goes for any write regardless of what they choose to write. As the thoughts come to us we write them down without thinking about how others may interpret or react to what you are writing. When it comes to the revising part of the process, we become more mindful and place others expectations in front of our own. We make ourselves value the readers desires more than ours. I found myself stuck in this situation many times especially when writing papers for class. I get caught up in the idea of producing writing that the professor wants to read. Revision makes writers realize that you’re writing for others and thus we think “What do readers want to read?”.

  3. Profile photo of g.becker g.becker says:

    I believe that Dethier wanted the reader to understand the statement and think that revision allows you to take a piece of writing and make it public. It allows you to have someone from the outside take a look at it and see how they feel. Just because it sounds good in your head doesn’t mean it sounds good on paper. Allowing others to revise your paper or reading your paper from a different stance allows your paper to become better developed. It allows you to understand other people’s opinion on your writing. I believe that this is true because it has happened to me. there are plenty of times that I have written something and think that its some of my best writing and give it to someone and get torn apart. Just because I believe it is a phenomenal piece of writing doesn’t mean that other people agree with me.

  4. Profile photo of k.casano k.casano says:

    Brock Dethier writes, “Revision takes you from self to society”, in order to show how a shift from the writer’s concerns to the reader’s’ concerns takes place. As writers revise, they must compare versions, consider alternate methods of development and organization, assess the quality of their communication, and play, often with style options. I agree with his statement, and I have experienced this while writing papers. I typically begin a paper with just writing all of the content I want to include, and writing only my perspective on the topic. Just as Dethier mentioned, I try to look at different points of view during the revision process. I feel that doing this, gives us a better grasp of what we are trying to discuss. It’s important to relate to the reader while writing.

  5. Profile photo of d.neemai d.neemai says:

    Dethier says that “Revision takes you from self to society.” I think this means that when you allow your self to let others revise your work their inputs in it now. Beside your writing its their work to , but you can selectively accept their opinions to incorporate into your work to make it better. Sometimes you may phrase something you understand because you wrote it but it may not be clear to the reader. The purpose of your writings is to eventually have someone read it, so it shouldn’t be as confusing or placed somewhere that would make your writing cohesive. I agree with the statement because as someone who has had there work revised, they’re input helped my work . So I have experienced this with the revision process.I have definitely re wrote something to make it clear or better based on others input.

  6. Profile photo of c.cohen1 c.cohen1 says:

    When Dethier writes “Revision takes you from self to society”, I feel as if he means that our works are bigger than ourselves. We may be writing whatever we want with the ultimate intent to please others. The writer should always take into account for the audience he or she is writing to. Different people will interpret the writing in different ways. I very much agree with this statement because many of the papers I have written try to reach out to the greater majority of people in society. When we look over our papers in order to revise we always think about how the person reading the paper will react to it. At this moment is when you transition from self to society. As mentioned in Dethier’s essay, we should always try and look at different points of view while writing in order to put things in a different perspective.

  7. Profile photo of m.pesina m.pesina says:

    When Dethier says “Revision takes you from self to society” he then follows that phrase up by further stating “from the writer’s concerns to the readers’ concerns” (6). He essentially means that revising something is not for the sake of the person writing, but for the sake of the people that read it; the message must not only get across to the writer, but to the readers as well. I agree with this statement to a point; when writing something, one usually aims to convey their message on a grander scale than just themselves, however, it is very subjective as to which groups will relate to the message the most or not at all. Another thing to add is that if the message relates to the writer, then it must relate to at least one other person reading it, so revision doesn’t have to always be looked at addressing “the reader’s concerns” because “the writer’s concern’s” may very well be concerns of the reader also. Usually if revisions follow this process, it is an assignment for school. I want to make sure that my message makes sense enough for the reader (usually the teacher) to understand. If it is not a school assignment, perhaps an independent writing, my concerns as the writer are the only concerns I am addressing in a revision, because if I feel a certain way, I’m sure someone else will also.

  8. Profile photo of e.candelario e.candelario says:

    When Dethier wrote “Revision takes you from self to society,” I think he meant that once your writing is shared, it’s not yours anymore. It’s no longer the first draft that no one has seen because you are showing it to others to help you revise and improve it. Deither also means that now your writing is no longer for yourself, and therefore you should take into consideration how the readers would perceive it. I agree with this statement. I have had experience with people reviewing my writing and giving me input, which ultimately led to a better quality paper. I believe in the process of revising, because I truly think “Revision can be so creative that the original idea, the seed, disappears in what novelist Bernard Malamud called ‘the flowers of afterthought.’”

    • Profile photo of j.gioia j.gioia says:

      I agree with this response. When Dethier wrote that “revision takes you from self to society”, I believe he meant that once you take the time to revise your writing and prepare it for an intended audience, this writing is not longer between you and yourself, it is now between you and society. Taking into consideration the concept that your readers may have a a different viewpoint on the topic and disagree with your argument, this does not take away from the fact that revising your paper is unnecessary or not important. Revision is necessary when needed. Unnecessary revision will just clog the paper and make it more ambiguous. When we open up our writing to other people, we also open a door to constructive criticism, conversation, complements and more. This engagement with writer and society allows for deeper conversation and enhancement of understanding.

  9. I think that when Dethier says “revision takes you from self to society,” he is saying that at first, writing is an individual’s task. In other words, when we put our ideas on paper, before revising, before publishing, etc., we are expressing our self. However, once we revise, whether that is by ourselves or through other people, we begin to notice different aspects of the writing’s meaning. Also, once the writing is out in the world, not only will “society,” and other people read it, but it will spread and people will either adopt or disagree with the writing, depending on the nature of the piece. Once a piece of writing is out, it will pretty much always be there, and even if people don’t/can’t disagree or agree with the essay, for example, if it is a creative writing piece, then people will attempt to relate to the experiences, or think and ponder. Regardless of the nature of the writing piece, the writing will reflect upon you, the writer, once it is out in “society.” Personally, I think I have experienced a process that operates this way. In 8th grade, I wrote a creative piece that was based on some real experiences, however my thoughts on the piece changed once my classmates told me what they thought and felt of the piece after reading it. So, not only did my view of my writing change, for better or for worse, but I changed due to other people’s compliments and criticisms.

  10. Profile photo of d.li5 d.li5 says:

    When Dethier says “revision takes you from self to society,” he is trying to highlight the power of transcendence revision does to an individual’s writing. Just like in “Shitty first Drafts” it was mentioned that usually most people just vomit all over the paper and get their thoughts out without really thinking about literary logistics and whether or not it is articulate. It is important to note that this is when revising comes into the picture. Revising is a writing tool that potentially elevates and filters out what doesn’t make sense and what does in the first draft. This is when the shift from the audience becomes one that isn’t only the writer. Revising enables the writer to not only make the writing piece better in coherence and fluidity, but also to extend the circle of readers to a larger audience. I agree with this idea, because I too recently struggled with switching from a writer based perspective to a reader based perspective. I would reread my first draft during my revision process and realize that most of the piece was not analyzed enough for an average reader. In other words, I would often assume the reader already knew what I was talking about, when in reality they probably didn’t.

  11. Profile photo of b.nava b.nava says:

    I think that what Dethier means when he says, “revisions takes you from self to society”, is that in order for a piece of writing to be better, more than one person has to revise the piece of writing. By obtaining an outside perspective and view, the writing can benefit. A piece that one wrote might seem great to oneself but can be unclear to another person. Others can see what the writer can’t. I do agree with this statement because I have seen it work. When I wrote an essay last semester my professor had asked us to exchange essays with another student and revise it. When the person who revised my paper told me his opinions, I saw a different perspective of my paper that I didn’t see before. I saw the mistakes that I had made without even realizing that I had made them. Revision can’t just be done by the writer, it needs the revision of others, like teachers, other students, or friends.

  12. Profile photo of s.kaner s.kaner says:

    When Dethier says, “revisions takes you from self to society”, he means that during the writing process, you realize your writing is more big picture than anything else. When you write to a certain audience, you have to make sure you understand the demographics, age group and specific type of audience. Once another audience reads your piece, you can finally see how your writing is in a different lens. When receiving constructive criticism from a different viewpoint, you look at all sides of the equation and not just your opinionated side. Revisions begin from your inner self, and end with multiple different readers who give you feedback. I have had experience with this because I usually seek multiple opinions on my writing. With multiple opinions I can be flexible in my revisions and seek to change my paper according to the audience I feel best influenced me.

  13. Profile photo of r.magazinnik r.magazinnik says:

    When Dethier says “Revision takes you from self to society” he means revision lets the writer connect and reflect with how the outside world views your piece of writing. I agree with this statement, however I also liked how Dethier talked about the feeling some writers get when it comes time to revise their writing. This feeling is something I relate to. It’s when you don’t want to let others read your essay because of how great it sounds to you and how perfect it looks in your eyes. In the back of your head you know there will be criticism of your “perfect essay”. However when you actually go through with the revision process and look at your first piece of writing vs your final piece you can see a big difference for the better, and this ultimately proves that revision is a positive step especially if you’re getting your revisions by different people in society with different perspectives.

  14. Detheir describes revision as a process that takes you from “self to society.” I interpreted this as the concept that as writer, you must take into consideration the reader and ultimately the larger audience. When a person is writing and revising an essay that will be submitted to a teacher, unlike writing in a personal journal, the writer must work to correct the essay to please the person on the other end. Often I feel that my first draft tends to be targeted more towards something that I would like to read. Then later in the revision process, I am forced to remember that this essay is not just for me but rather a larger audience. Therefore, the essay requires editing in order to make it enjoyable to an audience.

  15. Profile photo of s.liff s.liff says:

    What Dethier is getting at when they discuss revision as taking one “from self to society,” is the process whereby the writer is receptive to the way the audience responds. Revision, in this model, is when a piece of writing is transformed from word salad and into a work that offers a clear thought. Rather than polishing writing to make it look pretty, revision is more polishing writing to make it communicable. Different methods of review bring to light different ways in which an argument can be more clearly portrayed, whether that be during peer review or returning to read your own work yourself after the first draft. Examining work by contextualizing it within a draft or considering what is useless, for instance, are ways to bring a work beyond a jumble of thoughts and to create a powerful piece that can convey ideas, no matter how complex, in a clear manner.

  16. Profile photo of g.levitin g.levitin says:

    I think what the author meant by revision taking you from self to society is that in the beginning, the first draft is an impure, raw, but honest effort from yourself. However, the text that first comes out is almost always unsuitable to be presented to anyone at all, to be published anywhere. Revision is the process of tempering the first draft into something that is accepted in a given society as the norm, as a passable or an exquisite piece of writing and everything in between – everything from the subject matter to the complexity of the vocabulary to length, so on and so forth. After this process, the piece of writing in question becomes acceptable not only to the self who has seen it through in all its forms, but the society that sees only the final form.

  17. Profile photo of v.cheng v.cheng says:

    When Brock Dethier says “Revision takes you from self to society” in “Acts of Revision: A Guide For Writers,” he shows us that when we revise a piece of work we have written, we are looking from a different lens than we did while we were writing it (v). While we are writing an essay or any piece of writing, we are too absorbed in what ideas or thoughts we want to convey through our writing. This pushes out the chance for self-reflection while writing the piece, but it comes back in when we revise the writing. Now that we switch from the writer, which is “self,” to the reader, which is “society”, we get to experience what it is like on the receiving end of the ideas and thoughts we wanted to convey as writer. With this change in perspective, we can assess how well ideas were properly conveyed and how “society” would react to certain word choices and ideas. I personally have never experienced a revision that gave me that kind of revelation, but after reading this piece, I will try to be more aware of how I change my lens while revising my work.

  18. Profile photo of c.buonamassa c.buonamassa says:

    When Dethier says, “Revision takes you from self to society,” he means that the revision process opens up the scope of your work. Instead of writing a piece with just one opinion in mind, revision transforms this into writing that can be acceptable by a wide variety of people. I agree with Dethier’s statement, in the sense reviewing and giving your words time allows the writer’s brain to develop how others or outsiders of the context shall and will react. One time I recall adapting my writing due to the audience it would be reaching. I wrote my paper on the new One World Trade Center. During one of my drafts, I realized that my voice and words should be more reflective of the family members who lost their loved ones, since their loved ones are the people the new building is memorializing. After doing so, the rhetorical value of my paper increased tremendously.

  19. Profile photo of d.bronshteyn d.bronshteyn says:

    I believe that when he says “revision takes you from self to society” He means that before the revision your piece of writing was crude and accustomed to you. Some of the things you may have written only you would understand, or worded in a way you might understand but others might not. After the revision though it becomes more accustomed to others(society) and as a result transforms from something only you would fully understand to something others can enjoy. I agree with Dethier’s statement because I commonly write things that I believe to be understandable or correct but later have to rewrite it because my essay comes out vague and hard to keep track of what is going on. After the revision though it becomes much clearer and easy to understand.

  20. Profile photo of s.hadary s.hadary says:

    In “Acts of Revision: A Guide for Writers”, Dethier states that “Revision takes you from self to society”. I believe the meaning of this quote is quite straight forward, at least I personally can see it with my writing. When I write my first draft, it is solely based off of my research and what I feel I learned from the information and the insight that I got. But when it is time to revise my paper, I feel like one of the main questions I ask myself while editing is if the reader is going to understand what I am saying. And if they can’t understand, how can I as the writer make my point very clear and understandable. So going from self to society is just opening up your perspective to help others get in to the idea you are trying to portray instead of just caring if it sounds good and makes sense to me personally.

  21. When Brock Dethier write “Revision takes you from self to society,” he is trying to express the idea that a revision of a piece of writing from another person, takes the piece and makes it more universal. When we write essays, as a writer we are only adding our knowledge, our language and our own personal style to convey a message. However, having someone else revise a piece of writing helps the message get across to all of the readers. Because of these differences between the reader and the writer, the writing needs to be revised from an outsider point of view so that it can allow the piece to be understood by everyone. Having the piece of writing revised from different stances will help convey the message to the reader in a more effective way. I agree with Dethier’s statement. Often times I feel very confident about my first draft. However, when I have my writing read by someone else, the different point of views helps me to understand what mistakes I’ve made and overall helps me to create a much better piecee.

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