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The Teacher Tip

Modeling The Revision Process

November 29, 2017

Adapted from Teaching Nonfiction Revision by Sneed B. Collard III & Vicki Spandel

Write and revise, write and revise until it works. Can you picture this kind of revision in the classroom? We want students to improve as revisers, but they are not professional writers. Here are some guidelines for keeping expectations high, while simultaneously realistic. There are two routes to take when it comes to modeling your revision process in the classroom:

If you are the kind of writer to finish a complete draft before plunging into revision, introduce this approach.

  • Read a short first draft aloud when it’s fresh and then put it away for a few days.
  • Revisit this same piece and read it aloud once more, letting students know how you hear it differently after a little time has passed.
  • Ask for suggestions to make improvements.
  • Read your final version aloud and ask students if they hear improvement.

If you are a more recursive writer, read your work aloud as you write, asking if this will make sense to readers. 

  • As you’re reading, pause and rephrase as need be. Edit in real time.
  • Take two or three runs at it - whatever it takes to make the writing match your intended meaning. No need to complete a fully finished draft. A line or two will give students the idea. 

To learn more about Teaching Nonfiction Revision and to download a sample chapter, visit

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