When you are done with a draft of your paper, you will need to edit and proofread it. This does not seem like an easy task even for an experienced student. Just imagine how much time it will take to read everything you have written. Besides, you may not know how to edit an essay. Finally, you may not notice smaller mistakes and typos, since you have written it on your own and you may have a biased look on the product of your work.
The problem with many students is that they do not have a realistic idea of what it means to edit my college essay. Some of them believe that it is enough to correct spelling errors, while others think that editing is about putting commas in the right places.
In reality, editing includes a whole range of activities, and each must be accomplished on time to achieve the best result. So in order to improve the quality of your writing, you will need to review both the format and contents of your work. Let us begin. The checklist below will help you evaluate the quality of your draft:
When you have checked every aspect of your work and you are confident that all these recommendations have been followed, it is time to focus on editing grammar, spelling, and sentence structure.
WEAK: The point of Jason’s work is on uncovering the different facets of the American political system.
STRONG: In his work, Jason points out the key components of the American political system.
PASSIVE: It was expected that the study would expand the current understanding of nursing as a predominantly female profession.
ACTIVE: The researchers expected that their study would refine their perception of nursing as a female profession.
In fact, it is a wise thing check paper when you are using MS Word for writing. The most talented editors and proofreaders use spell check to speed up the process of editing their texts. However, again, do not rely blindly on automatic functions.
Remember, MS Word is nothing but a piece of software that cannot know what exactly you want to write. At times, those words which are not included in the software vocabulary are marked as misspelled, whereas words that are mistaken or confused appear as correct ones. This is why you should be very thorough reading and re-reading the original text even if you use automatic spell check.
Peer reviewing is one of the greatest methods of editing and proofreading ever invented by students. That is, students ask each other to review and edit their papers. It is a great thing, since it allows students to detect and eliminate all possible mistakes. For example, students who are familiar with the college requirements of their professors can try to help their peers to improve the structure and logic of their papers. In addition, they can recommend eliminating unnecessary or redundant pieces of work.
If you are not in a position to review and edit your own work, you can always hire a professional editor to do the job. You may request an online editor, or you may find one using recommendations or referrals from your friends.
When it comes to college writing, your editor will review the paper, identify and correct your spelling and grammar mistakes, reconsider your punctuation, and help you improve the quality of formatting and style.
Just say, “Please edit my paper”! With an editor, you will have a better look at your paper. You will find it easier to improve the structure of your paper. However, you should not expect the editor to add or remove unnecessary information from your paper. Editors are not writers. They work with the material you provide and make it sound or look better.
Editors will never rewrite your paper. This is not any part of their primary obligations. Besides, if you ask someone to rewrite your paper from scratch and simply submit it as your own, you will commit an act of plagiarism. Therefore, you are responsible for rewriting any part of the work which you deem is either redundant or unnecessary. The moment you hire an external editor you will have to be realistic of his or her obligations. Do not try to impose extra responsibility on an editor, when he or she is working on your paper.
Now there is also a possibility that you will ask the professor to review your paper and provide a feedback. This is a typical situation, and most professors welcome cooperation and collaboration from students. Moreover, it is a great thing to do since your professor knows better how your paper should look at the end. Of course, before it happens you may want to review all instructions provided by your professor to make sure that you have followed them.
Even the best writers in the world will write dozens of drafts before they are ready to publish their works. So, you are not the one who needs quality editing assistance. Believe it or not, you have everything a student may need to edit and review your own papers. Moreover, you can reduce the risks of plagiarism and errors if you follow our college writing advice below.
As a perfect student, you certainly seek excellence in every word. However, excellence never means writing something great at once, without editing and reviewing the initial draft. However, even excellence has its limits, and you may find it particularly difficult to manage multiple tasks and writing drafts.
Therefore, the quality of editing will predetermine the grade you earn at the end of your academic story. The more thorough you are when editing your papers the more likely you are to improve your college results. Follow our advice and recommendations, and you will have everything needed to improve the quality of your writing. You should not forget about an opportunity to hire a professional editor when you need it!
When you are done with the initial draft of your paper, put it away and take a break. Then you will be able to take a fresh look on the draft and see how well it is written and structured. Besides, if you take a small break you will spend less time on editing, since you will feel better and more strongly motivated to review your paper than when you approach your editing tasks being tired of writing. So, now you are here sitting and looking at your paper. Structure is the focal point of your analysis. Read your essay through and see if it follows the general structure for a college essay, with an introduction, a body of the paper, and a conclusion. You may need to include the points required by your professor, so consider if these meet your professor’s instructions. At the same time, what you need to see is whether your essay is logical. Does your reader progress from one point to another without breaking the sequence of thoughts or decisions? Do you think that you could restructure or rearrange your paper to make it look better?
Do not underestimate the value of automatic word processors, since they can greatly simplify the whole process of editing and reviewing your work. Apart from using an automatic spell checker, you could also use your computer to rearrange separate pieces of text in ways that make this text more logical and interesting to the reader. However, when you are done with this task, review the whole paper once again. It is necessary to ensure that all parts of your essay have been arranged properly.
Even if you are still within the required word count, you should not write paragraphs or sentences that are unnecessarily long. Long sentences and paragraphs can make even the best paper difficult to read and understand. Even when you have written a great paper, long sentences will make it boring. This is why it is highly desirable that you avoid such long structures.
Besides, the basic standards of professional writing require that you remain brief and concise when working on your paper. Try to see if you use unnecessary words or if the structure of your sentences is redundant. Try to understand why your sentences and paragraphs are so long. Your task is to rearrange the critical components of your work so that they do not burden or overload your readers. You will have to spend some extra time removing unnecessary words and sentences and making your paper look more like a piece of good writing.
Obviously, you may want to make your vocabulary richer and more colorful. Therefore you are likely to use some complicated albeit relevant words. However, do not try to look too sophisticated when it is unnecessary. Put yourself into your reader’s shoes and imagine if you are going to like a piece of writing that is full of complex terms and exquisite literary expressions. Of course that does not mean you should write like a 2nd grade learner. However, you should not forget about the level of literacy and proficiency in your readers. Even if you target some specialized audience, there is no need to turn your college paper into a literary parade. Your task is to communicate the main theme of your work precisely and briefly, so be ready to accomplish this mission.
Remember that in most academic works it is quite difficult to avoid repetitions. Particularly when the topic of your paper is too difficult, you may want to repeat some ideas or assumptions just to meet the required word count. It may also happen that you simply confused the logic of your writing. This is why it is recommended that you review your paper over and over again to avoid repetitions. See if your paragraphs contain a single idea presented in a topic sentence and if the idea is different or new for each paragraph. Your paragraphs should be of approximately the same length. You should not give priority to one issue over another. Each aspect of your topic should be represented in your paper with the same degree of attention and thoroughness. Another thing to remember is that you should avoid repetitions of words and phrases in writing. Do not overload your paper with words such as “also”, “yet”, “as well”, and others. They can make it difficult for your readers to understand the issue you are willing to explore in your work. Also, avoid using unusual words more than once. Do not try to sound too complicated to your readers. They want to understand your logic, so let them do it easily.
As mentioned earlier, you should use all instruments that are available to you to make your paper look and sound better. In this situation, using automated spell check is one of the best and easiest ways to eliminate the most typical spelling and grammar mistakes. However, the worst thing you can make when writing your paper is using your spell check blindly. Remember that MS Word and other software packages are not live beings. They do not have any brain or creativity to do the editing job for you. They are completely automatic, which is why they cannot secure you from making mistakes. At times spell checkers will identify correct words as incorrect, and vice versa. You may have a typo, which your spell checker will never identify as mistake. For instance, you may write “quiet” instead of “quite”, and both words will be treated as correct. Just be as attentive as you can when detecting and eliminating grammar and spelling errors.
When we said that you should put away your paper for some period of time and get back to it later, we meant that you would have a fresher view on your work after you take a break from writing. This is particularly true of misspellings and typos, which are easier to see when you give yourself some time for rest before the final check of the paper. You may be surprised to find out that the whole process of editing and reviewing your paper is not easy. The best thing you can do is printing out your work and using your pen or pencil for remarks.
When you are working on the first draft of your paper, you definitely try to sound exquisite and sophisticated. However, when you start reading your paper over and over again, you suddenly notice that it contains numerous words that are absolutely unnecessary. This way you will have no regrets eliminating or deleting the words or sentences that overload your paper without making any sense. Pay particular attention to the so-called weasel words. These words are often used by incompetent writers to give more strength to an inherently weak argument. Words like “probably”, “likely” and “possibly” may give you a safe net when you are working on the paper, but they cannot save you from a trouble. In all respects, it is better if you avoid using them by all possible means.
Tautology is one of the most common mistakes made by students when working on college or university assignments. It means that you will say redundant words or use unnecessary descriptions. For example, you may something like “small microscopy” or “huge giant”. Tautology means that you can remove part of the sentence without distorting its meaning. For example, nothing will change for you if you say “microscopy” instead of “small microscopy”. However, it will make the whole text must easier and pleasant for reading.
Grammar rules are complex. This is why so many students do not know how to manage them properly. You may end up having too many or too few commas in your work. In either case, your readers will need extra time to understand what exactly you were planning to say. Try to follow a simple rule: use commas every time you feel you should make a pause. Read the text aloud. See if a semi-colon is needed.
Spelling is one of the principal things to consider as you are working on your paper. Remember that many words have more than one spelling, and all of them can be equally relevant and correct. Of course, you may try to manage your MS Word vocabulary and delete or include the words you want to be spell checked. However, even then you will have to devote your time and talent to editing your paper. Review every word for spelling errors. This is the best thing you can do to improve your college results in the future.
You should not be too emotional, even if you are writing about something you feel strongly about. Do not use exclamation marks. Do not use any other signs or punctuation marks that could show your emotions. Your task is to deliver the factual base and use objective data and relevant information to convince the audience that your viewpoint deserves attention. Do not use too many ellipses. Be thorough and reasonable in every word you write and edit.
Whenever you use a direct quotation, make sure that you cite and format it correctly. You cannot simply take some portion of somebody else’s text and use it in your paper without crediting the author. Depending on the citation and formatting style you are required to use, you will need to include an in-text citation, a quotation with a page number, or a footnote. Please, do not hesitate to consult your professor to avoid any misunderstandings.
Do not underestimate the importance of appearance. Your essay should look appealing to your audience. No matter how interesting the content is, no one will read your paper if you fail to format it accordingly. Firstly, you will need to edit your paper to see if you have followed the same format and style throughout your work. Secondly, you will have to review the most common aspects of paper formatting and style such as margins, paragraph indentation, spacing, and so on. You might have used different colors and fonts when working on the draft of your paper. Now you will need to bring it all to order and make it look like a piece of expert and professional writing rather than a piece of drawing you have prepared for your arts class. Use your MS Word to bring the original draft to its standard look, with a running head, page numbers, an abstract, a table of contents, and an outline. If you think that you cannot reasonably accomplish all these things, you can give yourself some more time and read our recommendations once again. You will certainly find something that will benefit you and your teachers. It is never too late to rewrite and edit your paper if you know how to do it right! Your efforts will pay off, just try it!