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In this video, you will revise your essay.

This is not the time to check for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and small errors.

You will do that later, in the proofreading stage.

First, examine your thesis statement.

Next, examine each main point and the details and evidence you used to support it.

Then read the paper for organization.

If your paragraphs are very long, make sure that each one covers only 1 idea.

If 1 paragraph includes several ideas, break it into another paragraph.

Add additional topic sentences to expand on both ideas.

You can also use suggesting mode to make changes, then decide later if you want to keep them.

Suggesting mode keeps your original text and your changes.

To assign yourself tasks to do later, leave comments.

Highlight the section of the text you need to change.

Then, insert a comment.

To send an email to yourself with tasks to complete, add a plus sign and your email address to your comment.

Google Docs sends an email to your inbox with your comment and selected text.

For big revisions, rewrite full paragraphs or sections of your paper in a new, blank document.

Perhaps you wrote your first draft on Monday.

On Wednesday, you revise your draft and delete a few paragraphs.

But when you return to your paper a few days later, you decide to include the deleted information after all.

Instead of trying to remember what you wrote, use version history to see those paragraphs again.

Version history shows all of the changes made to your document and when they were made.

Select a version of your paper from before you deleted the paragraphs, and restore it.

Google Docs will remove all of the changes you made to the document since that time.

Restoring a document to a previous version does not mean that you lose your current document, though.

You can revert back to this version just like any other.

You can even name different versions of your document so you can get back to a specific version easily.

For example, you could name your revisions “First Draft,” “Before Feedback,” “Second Draft,” “Submitted Version,” or “Updated Version.”

To limit the number of revisions you see, select Only show named versions.

Suggesting mode and revision history are also useful for group projects.

Google Docs keeps track of all the changes made in a document as well as who made them.

Changes by different people appear in different colors.

To check the length of your paper.

If your paper is too short to meet the instructor’s requirements, look over your outline again to see if you need to explain your points further or could add more main ideas or supporting evidence.

If your paper is too long, consider what you can cut.

Are there places that you can say the same thing with fewer words?

Are there any paragraphs that aren’t immediately relevant to your main point?

Consider cutting those paragraphs.


  1. Revise the first draft of your paper. Review your thesis statement and main ideas. Think about the organization of your paper.
  2. Make changes in suggesting mode or in a new document. You can always return to an earlier version of your paper using version history.