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Revision Alert! How to Deal with the Returned Papers



Revision is an awful word in the vocabulary of any academic writer because it means working for free under time pressure with a nervous client as a bonus. Due to the difference in time zones, most of the revisions are sent at night or early in the morning. To keep your head above water, follow these brief instructions and deal with revisions efficiently and less stressfully.


Step 1. Panic. You didn't expect this coming, did you? We bet you thought we would persuade you to calm down and pay the utmost attention to the details. We will talk about it later. Meanwhile, give yourself 2-3 minutes to go nuts. Hate the client. Hate academic writing. Hate the world. Decide to quit. Remember about your bills. Hate your bills. 2 minutes are over. Deep breath. Despite anything they say about "positive thinking" you can't operate if an outrage is boiling inside of you. Let yourself a minute of panic and move forward.


Step 2. Answer briefly to the support team.  Once you’ve got hold of yourself,write a short note to the support team - just let them know you’re aware of the situation and ready to work on amendments. The message could be in line with -  “I saw a revision message, will be back to you if I have any questions.” If you don’t do so, they will most probably call you even in the middle of the night, and if you don't answer the phone, they will fine you.


Step 3. Decide if you accept or retract this revision. Academic writers often run to extremes: some never say “no” to a client and some fight for their boundaries in every case. Turn off emotions and answer yourself on the following questions:


-       Does the client want me to add something not mentioned in the initial instructions? If yes, you have a right to initiate retraction.

-       Can you make the needed changes in less than half an hour? If yes, no matter if you are right or wrong, just do it. Retraction procedure takes much longer.

-       Does the client question your opinion and a side taken in a paper? If yes, it is a hard one. If you wrote that you support a separation of the Church and State and your client doesn’t agree, it means he doesn’t need a revision, he needs another paper. Go for retraction, but state that you are ready to write another paper shortly, as you have needed references and offer a discount. Next time ask what your client thinks before you start working on an opinion paper. Even if he doesn't answer, you’ll have an alibi for the support team.

-       Did you violate instructions? Read them again, we all are inattentive sometimes. Even if your fault is minor or instructions can be understood differently, support will be on the client’s side, so it's better to start working on the revision immediately.


Rebelling and Initiating Retraction of the Revision


If you are sure there is nothing you can or want to do, and you are ready to go through the revision retraction, follow the following rules:






Start you respectfully and politely. Say that you are sorry this paper is not entirely what a client expected, but you can make the requested changes only as a separate order.

State why you consider yourself not obligated to revise the paper. Write rationally, use bullet points, quote initial instructions.

Offer options. Offer to write an order with new instructions or for less money. Offer to do an additional research for free and hand it to another writer or the client. Offer to make some changes, but not to revise the entire paper. Don’t just boldly refuse to work with the revised assignment.


Don’t ask advice from the support team in private messages. It will take too much time, and all their answers for such cases are scripted, and will finally mean “please, do what this client wants.”

Don’t write emotionally. Leave emotions at the panic stage. Only logic and proofs can save you from the fines.

Don’t be rigid. If in a result of negotiations the client goes from “rewrite this nonsense!” to “please, add an abstract and make a thesis statement more concise” consider doing it.


Accepting Fate and Working on the Revision


These rules may come in handy if you decide to deal with the revised order and save your relationship with a client.






Confirm your readiness to work on it. No matter if the revision is due 2 hours or 2 days from now, you should give a brief answer to a client. Write  along the lines of “Hello, I’ve just received your revision. Working on it, will be back to you soon if I need more information.”

Ask additional questions. You have already misunderstood each other once, make sure it doesn’t happen again. If time allows, choose a “Clarification needed” option. It alerts the support team, and they pitch the client intensely to receive answers. While they are doing it, your order is considered to be on hold.

Prepare a safety bag. After you received answers, or if you didn’t receive them, summarize in the order what you’ve understood and how you will revise the paper. It will protect you if a client says “ok” and later decides to change something again. In such cases, support team mostly takes your side.


Don’t wait till the last moment. Start working on the revision right away. The period for revision is not stated by client, it is calculated as a half or one third from the period it took to write your paper. Don’t let a client down if he needs it sooner.

Don’t waste time on explanations if you decide to work on revision.
From what we’ve heard, newbies tend to make this mistake. They start to explain to a client and support team why this situation occurred, how sorry they are, etc. It is just a technical moment, make changes and forget about it.


We hope these tips will come in handy when you face the revision alert next time. Remember, a client is not always right, but he always thinks that he is and you should handle the revision processes carefully to stay in academic writing business.


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