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What Is Rewriting?

Posted on November 23, 2018

In Joseph Harris’ “Rewriting,” he describes how the process of rewriting and rethinking is harder than it seems. He states that the process of rewriting is similar to playing chess, serving in tennis or teaching a class, which which are all difficult things to do when you first begin. It is always difficult to redo something that you have done before and I also find it quite challengeable to revise or rewrite an essay. I don’t cultivate a good habit of set up an outline for a paper, so most of the time I just write and do researches as I think. I know this is obviously a wrong way or method to write an essay. Therefore, I need to edit my draft for many times. I used to think that revising a paper is just a process of checking logic, structure and grammar; yet after read Harris’ article, I learnt that revising an essay is an entire new mission of having a logical plan in the mind before do any editing. Harris mentions in his article that ” When students in the courses I teach hand in a revised draft of an essay, I require them to include with it another copy of their text on which they track all the changes they have made in moving from one draft to the next and, more important, highlight those changes that are central to their plan of revision. I then ask them to refer to this map in writing a brief reflection on their aims and strategies in revising.” I agree with his claim because when writing down or highlighting the changes I have made in the draft can help me to have clearer understanding of the essay so that I won’t just revise it with unclear or confusing goals.

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