RADaR Revision

Contributor: Emily Love. Lesson ID: 10550

You finished writing. Now what? You should always revise your work. Learn a simple 4 step process to see your writing with new eyes and create an even better second draft!



English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5), Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Take a minute to look at this optical illusion. What animal do you see?

optical illusion

Image by J. Jastrow for Popular Science Monthly (1899), via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.

This is an optical illusion because some people automatically see a duck, while others automatically see a rabbit.

Regardless of which one you see first, you have to give the image a second look to see both animals. The same is true with the writing process. After you have finished a piece of writing, you need to go back over it with fresh eyes. This process is called revision. 


Let's break this word down. Re means "again." Vision means "to see." When you revise, you are attempting to see your work again in order to make it stronger. Your second draft should always be better than your first draft.

This process can seem overwhelming. Where should you start? Where should you focus your attention? How do you know when you've done enough?  

One of the simplest ways to revise your writing is to use the RADaR method created by Kelly Gallagher and Jeff Anderson in their book Writing Coach.

This is a four step method:

  1. R stands for replace
  2. A stands for add
  3. D stands for delete
  4. and R stands for reorder


  • ...words that are too general. 
  • ...confusing sentences. 


  • ...new support. 
  • ...descriptive adjectives and adverbs. 


  • ...off-topic ideas. 
  • ...sentences that sound good but do not fit the topic. 
  • ...repetitive words or ideas. 
  • ...unnecessary details. 

(and) Reorder... 

  • ...to make better sense. 
  • ...so details support the main idea.
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