Structural Revision

The focus of structural revision is the clarity and completeness of the argument of the essay. While the clarity of individual sentences is important, the writer attends primarily to his or her overall intent for the essay, to the working thesis statement and to body paragraphs.


Is your title an accurate, adequate, interesting, and possibly intriguing reflection of the content of your paper?

Thesis Statement

Is your thesis statement an accurate representation of the argument of your paper?

If no, why not? If yes, could it be an even more accurate reflection of your argument?

Is the thesis statement “sized” properly, i.e., neither to broad nor too narrow to contain your argument?

Argument: Clarity and Completeness

Have you clearly articulated, both for yourself and your audience, the purpose of this piece of writing?

Is your argument structured logically? Why or why not?

Is there any evidence related to the argument being presented that has been left out?


Does each paragraph support a central point? Are there paragraphs that support multiple points and should be broken up into two paragraphs?

Are there paragraphs that are too short to stand on their own as paragraphs?

Should any of the paragraphs be re-ordered to enhance the flow and coherence of the essay?

Adapted from What Is Writing?: An Introduction to Writing as an Act and Medium of Communication (2015). 

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