CUNY WriteSite

Revising » Consulting

There are a number of different people you can go to for help with revision:

Many instructors are open to reading drafts of writing they have assigned. Go to your instructor's office hours or make an appointment to see her about your draft. You can also e-mail a copy of your draft to your instructor, if he or she agrees to it.

There are writing centers and tutorial services on every CUNY campus. Very often the tutors are graduate students or upperclassmen. These tutors have taken many of the same classes as you, can understand your concerns better than instructors or friends, and can offer you suggestions from a fellow student's perspective. Check out our Campus Resources page to find the writing or learning center on your campus.

Friends and Family
Get a cooperative friend or family member to read your work, or even better, read it aloud to him or her. You will not only benefit from any comments or questions but will also hear your own sentences, an excellent way to catch needless repetitions and awkward constructions. Ask for your reader's general impressions first. Then, if he or she is still willing, you might have your reader use a checklist to evaluate your work.

This may sound crazy, but even if you don't show your draft to anyone, it is important to try to read it objectively. One way to read your draft impartially is to put your draft away for a little while (at least a few hours); when you return you will have a fresh perspective. You might also try reading your work out loud, or even reading it into a tape recorder and playing it back.

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