What do I do after I've written a draft?
“Be prepared to accept constructive criticism, from both the instructor and peers.” Rawley Fear, J400 student, Spring 2005
“Don't procrastinate! …having someone in your class (or another comparable class) who's interested in the same general topic is great—you can be “writing buddies” and revise, bounce ideas around, share sources, etc.” Advice from Rebecca Shakespeare, J300 student, Spring 2005.
1. Put it aside for a day or so, if you have time before it's due. Then when you look at the paper again, you'll be able to see it with fresh eyes.
2. Reread it to check your organization and thesis. At this stage you might decide to add, revise, move, or delete whole sections or paragraphs of your paper.
3. If you don't have an opportunity to receive feedback from your peers in class, have a friend or classmate read your paper. Ask your reader to tell you where your arguments need to be strengthened, where your logic or your point is unclear, and where you seem to wander off the topic. Try to be open to this feedback; remember that it's intended to help improve your paper. See "What are some common problems that professors find in history papers?"
4. Once you're sure that the paper says basically what you want it to say—that is, you're sure that your thesis and supporting arguments are strong, clear, and well-organized—reread your paper again. This time look for problems at the level of paragraphs or sentences.
5. Proofread your paper for grammatical or spelling errors. For help, see “Writing Tutorial Services: Proofreading for Common Surface Errors.”
6. Construct your bibliography; make sure that all the sources you refer to in your paper are mentioned in your bibliography, and that all the sources in your bibliography are referred to in your paper.
What things should I pay attention to when revising my paper?
What are some common problems that professors find in history papers?