Editing and Proofreading Essays

It is true that after completing an essay, the last thing you would want to do is reading it again, at least two more times! But here is a question – Don’t you want to receive a high grade? If yes, the text handled must be flawless. An interesting piece of content is not enough. The form you present it in also matters. It is like an amazing gift that needs a wrapping as valuable as it; otherwise it will give the impression of a cheap present.

How to Edit and Proofread Your Papers

Well, the first step in editing an essay is to be sure that you are acquainted with all rules of the language you are writing in. Learn grammar, common expressions, punctuation (yes, this is different for every language), word order, spelling, and so on. If you need help, buy some editing handbooks. These will clear up all the ambiguities you may have and they will provide you with several actual editing examples.

Distance yourself from the text

After completing an essay, put it away for some time and forget about it (as long as the deadline allows you). It is better to distance yourself from the text, then starting to edit it right on the spot. In this way, you will be able to read it again later with an objective and fresh perspective.

Read it at least three times

A professional process of editing and proofreading includes three readings:

1. The first reading is for spotting any mistakes at a global scale. The editor pays attention to the logic of the text, to its structure, to the phrases and to the arguments. He also checks the validity of the information read and decides if the facts and the examples used inside the text are relevant for the main theme. During this step, you must check if the text flows naturally. If not, then you may want to change the structure. While reading the essay for the first time, always keep in mind this question – Does this paper respect the initial requirement?

2. Now that you have decided on the final form of the paper, the second reading is about eliminating any language errors. There are a lot of aspects that need your attention, so don’t rush to get to the end! Check the grammar, the spelling, the punctuation and the citations.

3. During the final reading, you should spot any unnoticed mistake and create an opinion about the essay.

Questions to Ask in the End

After you have edit and proofread the essay, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the essay respect the requirement?
  • Is it clear and concise, leading to relevant conclusions?
  • Does my writing style fit the purpose of the essay?
  • Did I manage to use a formal language?
  • Does the paper contain personal ideas and strong arguments?
  • What is the main message transmitted by the essay?