Revision Memo Examples

There was great variation among the few revision memos that were turned in on time. The purpose of this post is to demonstrate how I distinguish between a good memo and one that needs improvement.

Well Below Standard


This did not come close to the specified 1-2 page length requirement. Further, it lacks any concrete details that would suggest this person even wrote an essay in the first place. Be specific. Quote from first draft. Quote from second draft. Explain improvements. Meet page length requirements.

Below Standard

Below Average

This student has not used the appropriate format, nor did they share the memo via Google Docs/Drive, so they could see my comments. Since this essay has no specific quotes, I don’t believe this student wrote a first draft, let alone spent time thinking about how to bring their writing up to grade level standards. More specifics. More quotes. Less of the author’s opinion.

Approaching Standard


This one comes closer to the page length requirements. Although they did not use the correct format, the memo is easy to read and contains some specifics about vocabulary, citations, and quotes. Remember, the more details you provide, the more insight you provide as to what excellent writing means to you. If I can only guess at what you mean by “fixing things” or “funky wording” than you have not done your job. I do not think you know how to take the advice of a peer or a robo-reader and improve your writing.

Meets Standard


Yay! Very specific, concrete details here. This student has given himself a To Do list of things to fix. He reflects more on the advice from the Hemmingway App than his peer review. I’d like to see something about both, because that tells me you are really interested in making your writing understandable to a reader. You should always write for a greater audience than just your teacher.

Exceeds Standard


I hope these examples clarify the expectations I have for revision memos. The students who turned one in and got full credit do not have to write a revision memo for the Treaty of Versailles essay. The bad news is for the 80% of my students that didn’t turn in a revision memo is that they now owe me two. Get in the habit of writing down due dates, working diligently every day, and turning assignments in on time. It will make your upper division course work so much easier.

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