Step 4: Revision Guidelines Previous Next

Rodman Philbrick Now that you've completed the challenges and written your first draft, it's time to begin revising. As many published writers will tell you, rewriting is one of the most important parts of writing anything — from book reviews to actual books! These guidelines will help you prepare the second version of your review.

  1. Check back through the writing tips in Step 2 and make sure you've incorporated as many of the suggestions as possible.
  2. Read through each paragraph and make sure the main point is clear. For instance, the point of one of your paragraphs might be to describe the book's main character. As you read that paragraph, make sure that it gets across what you most want to say about the character. That way, the character will be vivid in your reader's mind.
  3. If a sentence or paragraph seems awkward or unclear, it has to be rewritten — and rewriting is what separates good writing from bad. Begin by trying to simplify. Here's an example of an awkward or unclear sentence:

    Boo Radley is this mysterious man that lives next door to where Scout lives, and she and her friends tell stories that are scary about Boo, except they don't really know much about him, which is one of the reasons To Kill a Mockingbird is so suspenseful.
    Let's break these thoughts up into three clearly defined sentences that stand alone as a paragraph:
    A man called Boo Radley lives next door. Very few people have ever seen Boo, and Scout and her friends have a lot of fun telling scary stories about him. The mystery about Boo Radley is just one of the reasons you want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  4. Check to make sure you're not repeating yourself. (This can be easy to do when you're trying to get an important point across!) Make sure you state your main points clearly and emphatically. Then explain why the point is important, instead of saying it again. Repetitive writing makes for dull reading.

So, do you think you're ready to publish your review? Then let's move on to Step 5!

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