The Emotional Work of Revision

Document Type


Publication Date



Forty years ago, Nancy Sommers identified dissonance and the ways in which writers respond to incongruities between "intention and execution" as a core competency of revision. While still a challenge for student writers, dissonance now takes different forms, particularly for advanced student writers who embrace theories of revision but struggle to implement the practices. Unspoken, these experiences of dissonance become internalized as fear-based narratives and scripts that negatively impact student writers. Through in-process reflection, this study surfaces the ways in which students navigate the dissonance by adapting, or rescripting, their fear into a productive element of writing and revision. To better understand the interplay of strategy and struggle, we argue that revision pedagogies for advanced student writers must take the emotional work of revision into consideration.

This document is currently not available here.