Published on May 10, 2022
On Revision: The Only Writing that Counts by William Germano
Reviewed by – Julie Birt
This book about revision was given to me at the perfect time. I was revising a research manuscript that had been accepted with revisions and teaching my Writing Intensive students about self-revision of their major research papers. It really resonated with me when Germano described “the writing that works best feels as if it contains all the parts that are necessary and none that aren’t” (p15). This made my concise, scientific inner writer happy.
Reading this text helped give me the words to teach my students about revision and give myself permission to make substantial changes in the manuscript. Germano describes concrete methods and principles writers (and students!) can be used to refine their focus on argument, architecture and audience. It helped me go beyond fixing grammar and sentence structure when revising my writing. This book makes a clear case, with examples of multi-genre revisions and broad strategies, that revision is the “only writing that counts.”