Revise and Resubmit

Revise and resubmit. This phrase is used a lot of times when submitting to a journal. It means they found value in the manuscript but need to see revisions before publishing. The writer just needs to alter the surface structure while maintaining the deep structure, the one that holds the values and meaning of the paper. The message is the same, it is just the presentation that needs some work.


On the other hand, a lot of teachers expect our first submissions to be our best, therefore making it our only submission. Even after it is graded and teachers leave their comments, we aren’t allowed to revise based off of their comments and resubmit it. Even deadlines seem to have gotten stricter over the years. For one of my current classes, if the assignment is within 15 min past due time, I already lose 20%. After 15 min and up to 24 hours after it was due, I lose 50%. I know some students see this deadline quickly approaching and will skip sections of their assignment if it means losing less points than submitting it late, also accounting for the probable points to be lost here and there.

The goal of a teacher is to make sure that all of the students learn the material, not just those that can make the uniform time line or were able to get it right the first time. Learning is a process not just a one step solution. The point of a curriculum goal is that every student reaches it, not that every student reaches it on the same day.

Allowing students to redo and resubmit important assignments can be highly effective. Now I am not saying apply this to every smaller or less significant assignment, but to the larger and more substantial grade bearing ones, this can be very beneficial for the student and the teacher. The student, because it allows them to learn from their mistakes, make the corrections, and redeem some of the points that they initially lost. It is beneficial for the teacher because it is proof to them that the student is taking the time on their own to learn the material and correct themselves on something that they were doing incorrectly the first time.

Teachers claim they do not have time to revisit material and that they are preparing the students for the real world. However, I think teachers should reconsider this approach. They do not need to revisit material themselves, they just need to tell the students what was done incorrectly or what could be improved upon. It is then up to the student if they wish to make these changes. The learning and correction process is entirely on their shoulders. As far as not being applicable to real life, journalists have to go through numerous revision processes before their work will be even considered for publication. Surgeons practice day and night on cadavers before they are allowed in a surgical room. Olympians don’t just make it after one go. It all comes down to practice, practice, practice, which is essentially what being able to revise and resubmit comes down to.

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2 Responses to Revise and Resubmit

  1. madisongoers1 says:

    Meera, I absolutely love this post and the many thoughts that you present. Projects and papers are meant to be revised and from experience I would agree that it can be very difficult to submit a “final copy” without time to interpret feedback from others and revise the draft. In many cases where I do not have to revise a paper, I often skim over the feedback but even constructive comments are ineffective for improving my work at that point and only show me where I could have done better. Working on a large assignment is a growing experience and time to assess what was done well and what may need improvement is essential.

    I understand that this presents teachers with more work as they would technically be grading the paper twice (once for the first draft and another time for the revision) but in all, I think this would significantly improve both the direction and the quality of the work. What are your thoughts on when teachers offer optional earlier deadlines for the opportunity to gain feedback on an assignment before submitting a copy for the final deadline? That would allow students who are working ahead and who do want feedback to submit a copy. In all, I think you hit the nail on the head when you explained writing as a learning and correction process. This emphasizes the importance of collaboration and feedback when striving to complete an assignment to one’s highest potential.


  2. liznels says:

    I think that you bring up a really good point that high school (and school in general) claims to prepare us for the “real world,” but in the real world the standard is “revise and resubmit.” I do see that the demands on teachers to complete a curriculum in a time frame is built in to our school system, so teachers feel restricted by it. However, I think that some of the most beneficial experiences I had in school were those in which we workshopped pieces of writing and were given feedback that we were given a chance to digest and comprehend. This allowed for time to see what we did that was good (encouragement) and see the areas and specific ways in which we could improve. Perhaps giving a deadline for a first draft and then revision is a more “real life” approach to teaching. This allows for teachers to meet the demands of the curriculum, but also places an emphasis on revision and feedback. Do you have any thoughts on how this could be better incorporated into the high school system?


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