To revise sentences you need to consider the 3 C’s.

Correctness: You can use software such as Grammarly or Word Docs to help you check for punctuation, word form, pronoun references, passive vs active. etc. For those using English as a 2nd or 3rd language, check for article and preposition usage. Even if you prefer Latex or Overleaf, copy and paste the text into Word so that you can check. Non-native speakers may request editing help through the Graduate Writing Center.

Competence: You demonstrate that you are competent with the content by using terminology from your field, by analyzing rather than summarizing and by precise descriptions. You do all that without being wordy. You demonstrate that you are competent with the style by using (among many other style choices) the passive or active as preferred by the journal/discipline. See the activity below on Passive/Active.

Clarity: You help your readers to follow your thinking and to arrive at the same conclusions about the value of your work. To do this, you need to provide background, use transitions and move from old to new information. You need to consider where to place the most important information in each sentence. See the activities below on transitioning and moving from old to new information.


Transitioning is crucial for taking your reader with you. There are many tools that you may use, but you may learn in the video below that some of your favorites like “however” or “therefore” don’t work as well as you think they do.

Old to New Information Flow

Moving from old information to new is a great way to transition. Learn more about it below.