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Beach, Richard. "Self-Evaluation Strategies of Extensive Revisers and Non-Revisers." CCC 27 (May 1976): 160–64.
In a limited study of revising, the students who typically revised drafts very little tended to evaluate their drafts in terms of form: "choppy," "awkward," "wordy," and the like. They did not consider content important when revising. The more extensive revisers tended to locate the "centers of gravity" in early drafts and to evaluate drafts in terms of the development of ideas. The extensive revisers found that their evaluations of each draft were helpful guides to further revision and occasions for predicting solutions to problems in a draft.
Faigley, Lester, and Stephen P. Witte. "Analyzing Revision." CCC 32 (December 1981): 400–414.
Revisions can be classified as either surface changes or text-based changes. Surface changes do not affect the information content of the text. They can be subdivided into formal changes, such as spelling, and meaning-preserving changes, such as substitutions. Text-based changes do affect the content. They can be subdivided into microstructure changes, which affect local content only, and macrostructure changes, which affect the gist of the whole text. This taxonomy complements studies of revision such as Sommers's  by providing a way of indicating the significance of revision changes. "The major implication of this study . . . is that revision cannot be separated from other aspects of composing." Revision studies have not determined what causes writers to revise.
Flower, Linda S., John R. Hayes, Linda Carey, Karen Schriver, and James Stratman. "Detection, Diagnosis, and the Strategies of Revision." CCC 37 (February 1986): 16–55.
Successful writers revise in order to adapt the text to their goals. Revision requires knowledge about texts, knowledge about strategies for revising, and a clear intention to use this knowledge to achieve a goal. Beginning writers must clear three hurdles in learning revision: detecting problems in the text, diagnosing the problems, and selecting a strategy. Detecting problems calls for a review of the text, testing it against an imagined ideal text that fulfills the writer's intentions. Many beginning writers see not the actual text but the intended text when they read their own drafts, and many do not form a clear sense of the gist of their own writing. These problems are often compounded by too narrow an intention or the lack of a clear sense of intention. Intention reflects knowledge, so beginning writers may focus on proofreading, which they know to be a feature of finished writing. A stronger sense of purpose and audience brings other features into focus. Diagnosis places problems, once detected, into conceptual categories related, for example, to style or audience. Writers may detect problems and simply do local rewriting. But diagnosis suggests more elaborate revising strategies in response to well-defined problems of knowledge and intention. Braddock Award winner.
Mlynarczyk, Rebecca Williams. "Finding Grandma's Words: A Case Study in the Art of Revising." Journal of Basic Writing 15 (Summer 1996): 3–22.
A detailed case study of one basic writer reveals that her tendency to revise for surface features only, typical of many student writers, was encouraged by her teacher's being very focused and directive in written and oral comments on a draft. When the teacher abandoned this evaluative role and stopped trying to "fix" the paper according to her own conception of what it should be, but rather discussed the essay content empathetically with the student, the student revised substantively. Mlynarczyk concludes that more open-ended comments addressed to essay content will best encourage substantive revision.
Revision is a recursive process essential to developing ideas, not merely the last stop in a train of writing tasks. Students usually describe revision as choosing better words and eliminating repetition. They revise to develop ideas only when redrafting the opening paragraph. Adults, on the other hand, usually describe revision as the process of finding the form of an argument and accommodating the audience. Adult writers are more likely to add or delete material and to rearrange sentences and paragraphs as they revise.
Yagelski, Robert P. "The Role of Classroom Context in the Revision Strategies of Student Writers." Research in the Teaching of English 29 (May 1995): 216–38.
Students in a twelfth-grade advanced composition class focused 81.7 percent of revisions on surface and stylistic changes and only 18.3 percent on more substantive structural and content changes. This occurred even though the class emphasized the writing process, requiring two drafts of each of ten papers, reviewed by peers and by the teacher, and providing class time for rewriting. Evidently, the students' revision choices were strongly influenced by the teacher's retaining all authority for determining what constitutes "good" writing and by her emphasizing correctness as its most important criterion.