When you write something important that is going to go into your writing portfolio or form part of a project, you want it to be good. It is unlikely that your first draft is going to be the best that you can do. Revision, therefore, is necessary as part of the process of writing. To revise means to look again. That is exactly what you must do. Read your text slowly and carefully. Many writers like to do this aloud as it makes you attend in a slightly different way. You need to look out for a number of things at different levels. You need to check the structure of your essay. Is there a clear beginning, middle and end? Does it flow logically? Are there any missing steps that need to made clearer? Have you given your reader enough help? You need to check your paragraphs. Are there clear topic sentences and does the rest of each paragraph plainly relate to the topic? If you have given evidence, have you checked it? If it is a formal piece of work, have you referenced it? Next, attend to style. Is the tone right? Have you avoided conversational English? Is there any inappropriate slang there? Have you been repetitive? A certain amount of variation is necessary. If, for example, you are writing about pop stars, use synonyms like singers, artists, bands, idols, musicians to avoid overusing any one word. Check your vocabulary. If you used any words you were not quite sure of, now is the time to check them. See if you have used the expected vocabulary for a topic. It would be odd if you wrote about computer crime and did not have words like hack, phish and virus. This is a way of checking your content. Look back also at your brainstorming notes and mind maps to check nothing important got pushed out. Try to weed out what is too obvious. Have you written down to the reader or wasted their time? 'Have you ever been to Australia?' works as a question. 'Do you like food?' doesn't. Exercise 1 Revise this paragraph so that it reads more smoothly. Hong Kong tourism should make more of Hong Kong's connection with martial arts. People throughout the world are interested in Chinese martial arts. Bruce Lee is famous as a martial arts star. More recently martial arts films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero have gained huge success at the box office around the world. Even mainline Hollywood films, like Kill Bill and Constantine, which have been very successful at the box office, have been full of martial arts action. A martial arts centre would attract many tourists. Many tourists would love to see martial arts displays and buy martial arts souvenirs. There could be three-day training holidays, talks and exhibitions about martial arts. This would be a very good attraction to tourists. Martial arts are cool! Exercise 2 Using the passage and your own experience as a writer, draw up a list of 10 things to consider when you are revising your writing. Exercise 3 How could the following be improved? More and more Mainland visitors come to Hong Kong every year. Now there are really a lot. Young people without educational qualifications are not likely to find employment. The government needs to help these guys. Human beings breathe a lot of air so it is important that it is clean. Many people spend hours in front of a computer screen. They must have the right chairs.