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Editing A Paper

Editing a Paper

Editing a college paper is not just an arduous task but also a very responsible one. Hence, you cannot get away from the task by saying that it is difficult to do. Without editing your academic paper, you can simply NOT submit it to your professors. This article gives you some tips on editing a paper.

Evaluate the thesis to ensure that the conclusion and the thesis statement are perfectly aligned to each other

The thesis statement is like a signpost that tells your reader where the paper is going to take him or her. When you write the thesis statement for the first time, it is going to be a roughly made one and could lack in clarity and specificity. This is absolute fine during the writing process. But when you have started editing, that means you have completed the writing process entirely.

Your thoughts will be clearer and more focused during the editing process. So, focus on the thesis statement and make sure it is complete, succinct, specific, and focused. Moreover, ensure the thesis statement and the concluding sentence in your conclusion, are in perfect alignment with each other.

For example, if your thesis statement said, "All dogs are lovable," and your conclusion states that "all dogs that are trained well are lovable," there is a mismatch. You cannot start your paper with the intention of proving one thing (which is reflected in the thesis statement) and end up proving it with a condition attached. If you have a condition in the conclusion, then it must be present in the thesis statement as well.

Evaluate the topic sentences in all the paragraphs of the main body of your paper

All the topic sentences (usually the first sentence in every paragraph of the main body) must support your thesis statement. For example, if you choose to have a thesis statement like, "Desdemona was loving, kind, and generous," and you do not prove that she was loving, kind, and generous in the topic sentence of each paragraph of the main body, then your paper will come across as inconsistent. You must ideally dedicate one paragraph for each quality of Desdemona that you enumerated in the thesis statement.

Evaluate all the quotes you have used

Quoting credible and reliable sources is an essential part of a college paper and your professor will insist on having a few of them appropriately scattered across the paper. However, during the process of writing, many times we simply use a quote just to fill up space or to meet stipulated word count.

During the editing process, look at the quotes you have used and make sure that they actually support your thesis statement. Only use these quotes and eliminate all other quotes that are not directly connected to the thesis statement. This will improve the consistency of your paper significantly.

Ensure plot summaries are removed

This point is especially valid for a character analysis of literary works. The prompt could ask you to give an analysis of a character analysis in the context of a plot. This will entail you to provide a narrative which could unwittingly drive you to retell the story. Read through your essay and read the retelling part of the essay again and highlight it.

Ask yourself if and why this retelling is critical to your essay. Answer these questions yourself and be convinced of the need. Else, remove the retelling part. When you are answering the question and writing a critical analysis, don't forget to be cynical, sarcastic, and critical of the character. However, remember never to overstep the line of respectfulness.

Check for grammar and style formatting

After completing the evaluations and making necessary revisions, start the proofreading process. Check for grammar and style formatting. Any basic grammar book will help you revive your knowledge about grammar and punctuation. Go through your paper to ensure that is completely free from grammatical and spelling errors.

Some additional tips for editing

  • Allow yourself at least one day gap between the writing and editing process.

  • Never keep your editing for the last minute. Give yourself sufficient time for making revisions and researching some more if needed

  • Print out the first draft and mark your critiques with a red pen

  • Remember that a college paper is not a demon. Just face it boldly and write and edit it with confidence.

Final Notes

Editing a paper is difficult, yes. But it is not impossible to do. With dedicated and diligent practice you will master the art of editing a paper. Just remember not to be discouraged by temporary setbacks and initial failures. Be patient and persist in your learning and you will soon master the art of editing a paper.

At Prescott Papers, we offer a range of editing and revision services for your academic papers. Do call us for all your academic writing and editing needs.

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