Revision Memos: How to Write Them and How to Use Them

Revision memos are documents that you will produce in response to the open-ended questions and comments I have raised in my evaluation of your essays. We should conceptualize this revision memo as material that is relevant to the portfolio executive summary. What this means is that it will help to inform how you can discuss your revision process and growth as a writer when you turn in your portfolio executive summary.

The revision memo is comprised of three parts:

1. First you will write an executive summary that reflects on how my questions and comments suggest opportunities for learning to write more effectively. In other words, you must abstract implications from the questions and comments that I raise.

2. Second, you must respond in writing to the questions and comments I have raised. These responses should be elaborate and practice the methods of analysis that characterize our writing program’s unit assignments. You must respond to all parts of all questions and comments, because this is an important part of your game plan as you begin to revise.

3. Third, you should develop a revision plan that includes specific strategies for improving your essay.

What a Revision Memo IS: A revision memo is a great opportunity for you to reflect on your work and to plan out how you will make it better. Think of this as your plan of attack. How are you going to get that “C” paper up to an “A” or that “A-” up to an “A+” ?

What a Revision Memo is NOT: A revision memo is not an opportunity for you to beat yourself up or talk about how bad of a writer you are. You’re all good writers and good writers revise. That’s what this is about, not about being overly critical of yourself (although being a little critical is always good!).

Formatting and Expectations: All revision memos must be submitted in paper form, 12pt Times New Roman font, with 1” margins and a complete heading. You must turn in a revision memo in order to receive credit for that unit. Missing or late revision memos will not be accepted and will result in a zero for the entire unit, even if you turned in the revised Unit 2 paper during finals week.

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