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What Are the Best Ways to Edit Your Essay

If you recently finished an essay you are now done with the most difficult part: the pre-write phase and the writing phase. Now you are moving on to the “post writing phase”.

This is the third and final phase of writing any paper. And it can be one of the hardest for many students because they fail to see the importance of it.

Editing and proofreading a paper is just as important as writing it. Your first draft will never be perfect which is why the editing and proofreading phases are critical. Without them you run the risk of failing to catch a simple error and that simple error could cost you your high grade.

The process of reviewing your draft is not really a difficult one but it is time consuming.

  1. Editing.

    Editing and proofreading are two very different things and they should be treated as such. Editing is the first thing you want to do when you finish your paper draft.

    Give yourself one day off at least. Finish your draft and then walk away from the paper. Do not return to it for at least one day. This gives your mind the break that it needs. It gives you a chance to think about something else and then return to the paper with a fresh perspective.

    The reason this is important is because your mind knows what you intended to say. You might type one thing when you really meant another. But each time you look over that one thing you typed your brain will read only what it knows you intended to put and not what you actually put. It skims more than reads. That is why taking a day off can give you the opportunity to forget what you meant and then return anew.

    When you edit your goal is to find bigger picture items. This means areas lacking sufficient evidence or bad transitions. It means arguments that are poor or prose that is weak. Once you have done this you can move on to the proofreading.

  2. Proofreading.

    This is where you search for line by line materials. This is where you read the paper for spelling and grammar errors. When you reach this part of the editing you should print out a copy that is double spaced. Read the text out loud. This will help you catch things you might miss otherwise. Take a red pen to the page and write out any edits. Then incorporate them and submit your final product.

Please note that our writers and editors do not provide custom writing services to students. You can contact us for editing and proofreading jobs 24/7.