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Editing An Essay

Editing an Essay

While writing an essay is tough enough, editing an essay is a few notches higher in terms of difficulty. But, editing an essay is an unavoidable aspect of college paper writing and hence you simply cannot afford to ignore it. This article is aimed at giving you some excellent tips on editing an essay.

Tips on editing an essay

Have you organized and structured your ideas and thoughts cohesively in such a way that your reader will not have any difficulty reading and understanding it?

Your introduction and the embedded thesis statement should be absolutely crystal clear and leave no doubt in the minds of the reader as to the direction your essay is going to take.

In the main body, make sure each paragraph deals with and discusses only one point of evidence or idea. This idea should be clearly stated in the topic sentence (of the first sentence) of each paragraph. The supporting sentences in the paragraph should discuss how and why the central theme of the paragraph is supporting your thesis statement. When you are reading your essay for the purpose of editing, make sure this point is correctly reflected in your essay.

Compare the conclusion and the introduction to ensure that the arguments and points of evidence have come a full circle. Your introduction starts the reader in a particular direction and by the time he reads the conclusion, he should be thoroughly convinced about your initial thesis put across in the introduction.

Make sure you have eliminated extra and irrelevant words and phrases. Make sure you have edited and corrected all the run-on sentences. The aim of the editing process is to make your paper clear and extremely easy to understand. That is why you must avoid too much of word clutter as this may distract or confuse your reader. Read out your paper aloud to help in the editing and refining process.

Never overlook the need for a spelling and grammar check. Yes, there are multiple software applications that can help you in this regard. Yet, these applications are not foolproof. You must read and check dictionaries to ensure perfection. Read every word and every line carefully to make sure that a 'two' has not replaced a 'to' or a 'too.'

It might make sense to ask your friend or a family member to help you with proofreading. Additionally, if the person (who is not part of your course) can understand your argument and standpoint, then you can rest assured that you have done a great job of writing an essay.

Check the essay against the initial instructions that you received from your teacher. Make sure you have followed the instructions and have also answered the question that the prompt raised.

Double your citations and ensure that they are accurate in all respects and you have followed the formatting style that your professor asked you to. Ensure the stipulated minimum final word count is met satisfactorily.

Advantages and Disadvantage of using a spell checker

Advantages – The misspelled word will be underlined in red and the application will provide options of correct spelling ensuring that you have not missed any errors. Spell checkers are great at catching and correcting errors. You will feel a sense of relief using a spell checker because you can then focus on the content of the essay instead of being bogged down by the mechanics of writing.

Disadvantages – Many times, the spell checker is not foolproof. It may end up giving you wrong spelling and thesaurus options. When in doubt, do not hesitate to refer to the good old dictionary and make sure you are using the correct word and/or spelling. Another disadvantage that I personally don't like is the fact that if you get very dependent on a spell checker, then you may forget to spell correctly. This can be especially disadvantageous when you have to sit for a SAT or a TOEFL or any other exam wherein spelling is one aspect that is examined and graded.

The spell checker may not be able to distinguish between closely related words or those words that seem to fit into the context without a problem. However, it may not be what you intend to say. For example, your spell checker may not find 'lay' a mistake when you actually wanted to say 'play.' So, you must do a thorough check even after the spell checker has completed its job.

Final Notes

It does not matter how much you are overworked. You must find the time and energy to edit your essays before final submission. You could identify another student who is as overworked as you are and swap essays with him or her for the editing process. Having your essay checked by someone else will improve the chances of getting a better quality final product.

At Prescott Papers, our team of writers and editors will be happy to help you with all your academic writing and editing needs. Check out our list of our online editors waiting to help you with editing work.

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