Why We Have to Revise

“Writers try to be sure that they anticipate and answer the questions a critical reader will ask when reading the piece of writing” (page 29).

Throughout the reading,  I realized variations of the word criticize, this included: critical, critique, critically and criticism. The Oxford Languages definition for critical is “expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work of literature”. Criticism should happen after the writing process in a stage of revision. Writing is a way to express one’s self and revising is refining what you want to express. Writing is a physical form of your thoughts, a raw visualization of your mind. Revision comes into play when you want to share your thoughts and make sure they are portrayed in a way that represents you well. Humans are naturally critical based on their ideas. This creates a virtually never ending revision process because every person can interpret your work in their own way. Criticism is a part of society; it is why people follow social norms and shy away from speaking out. Movies, art, fashion, etc. are all criticized and each share the common task of showing expression of someone or some group of people. Writing is not exempt from this criticism. Not only do others criticize you, but as a member of society you criticize yourself based on the thoughts of other people. Since criticism is such a part of human culture, writers already have an idea of what needs to be in their writing. According to Murray some of these things are information, meaning, structure, dimension, and voice. Murray speaks of audience, form and structure and through this shows just how much of the revision process is focused on the readers. Writers must, “put themselves in the reader’s situation and make sure that they deliver information which a reader wants to know or needs to know in a manner that is easily digested” (page 29). 

Every mind has its own unique way of thinking and language is a way for everyone to understand each other. In the revision process, writers also make sure that their writing is of a certain standard in their perspective language. The most important part of the revision process is making sure your message is what you want it to be. Revision makes sure your ideas are fully thought out and written so others will not only be able to read it but understand it as well. Writing has so many components to it. You can write in a journal for yourself or write for others to relate to it or learn from it. Revision helps you figure out what you are going to do with your thoughts. What are you going to say? Who are you going to help? What story are you trying to tell? Revision is a constant process of asking yourself “what is my mind trying to say?”. Our thoughts are the purest form of what we mean and through revision we get closer and closer to that pure form using language.

3 thoughts on “Why We Have to Revise

  1. Good catch!: “Throughout the reading, I realized variations of the word criticize, this included: critical, critique, critically and criticism.” This does seem to be a really important word and root to him in this piece.

    Oh I can get real spacey with this: writing is “a raw visualization of your mind.” Is it? This implies that words are natural, but people made them after the fact. What happened in our minds before language? And if (and this has to be true) it wasn’t language, can language really ever truly represent what is in our minds?

    Parts of your response seem to focus on how criticism might have a negative outcome. That you are worried about what others think in a possibly inhibiting way. You note that “Revision makes sure your ideas are fully thought out and written so others will not only be able to read it but understand it as well.” This got me to think about the following: But is revision only for other people? Can revision be for us? Can it be for making sure we have something that we want to say, almost completely separate from our cares or concerns about our audience?

    Enjoyed reading!

  2. I like your point on how our writing is how we want to express ourselves. You stated, “revising is refining what you want to express.” I believe this is true. This is exactly why we need to learn to be our own best critic. We need to revise our own work so others won’t have give their opinion on what you are expressing about yourself. We need to focus on trying to put the best version of ourselves out there.

  3. At one point you said, “Not only do others criticize you, but as a member of society you criticize yourself based on the thoughts of other people.” Do you think that we should criticize ourselves based on the thoughts and opinions of others? Or, do you think that we should focus more on criticizing our writing based on a standard that we have for oursleves that doesn’t involve what other people might think as much?

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