How to Revise

    The final phase of the 3x3 writing process focuses on revising, proofreading, and evaluating.  Revising is improving the content and sentence structure of your message.  When revising, concentrate on improving the message’s clarity, conciseness, vigour and readability. 

    A clear message is one that is immediately understood.  When writing, the goal is to express rather than impress.  Keep the message simple and conversational.  Apply the KISS formula: Keep It Short and Simple.  Business messages should sound warm, friendly and conversational.  To achieve this, use the occasional contraction and first person pronouns.  Use the kitchen test: if a sentence doesn’t sound natural in your kitchen, it needs revision.

    A concise message makes its point in the fewest possible words.  Eliminate fillers, long lead-ins, redundancies, compound preposition and empty words. 

    Reduce wordiness and improve vigour by kicking the noun habit (transforming verbs into nouns) and by avoiding overused business expressions. 

    To improve readability, use parallelism (matching nouns with nouns and verbs with verbs).  Ideas stand out when organized in numbered and bulleted lists.  Add headings to separate major ideas.  To further improve readability, highlight words with capital letters, underlining, bold type and italics.  Finally, leave blank spaces to enhance comprehension.

How to Proofread

    Make sure you’ve completed your first draft before proofreading.  Print out a double spaced copy of your paper and put it aside for at least a day.  To proofread effectively, put yourself in a “find the errors mindset” and read slowly.  Check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, names, numbers and format.  Read the document at least once more.  If possible, find a friend to proofread your paper a final time.

How to Evaluate

    After revising and proofreading, it is time to evaluate your writing.  Ask yourself:  Will this message be successful?  Does it say what I want to?  Did it achieve my purpose?  The best way to evaluate is through feedback.  Have the receiver give you comments.  This will allow you to improve your communication skills.