Tips on writing essays: editing and proofreading

You’ve finished writing another college essay. Well done. But before you click the standby button on your computer and run off to do the dishes, aren’t you forgetting something? The last essay you handed in received a mediocre score. What went wrong?

A final editing and proofreading session or two will ensure your essay is submission-ready on all fronts. When editing, these are the factors to look out for.

  • A coherent structure
  • Paragraphs should always follow on from one to another. Your professor wants to see a logical flow in every section he or she reads. In addition to this, the reader also wants to see that the essay as a whole forms one big picture. Read your essay through a few times with this in mind and get editing if anything isn’t following a nice, smooth flow of thought.

  • Spelling and grammar
  • There are several free grammar checking sites online that may pick up some of the mistakes your word processor’s spellchecker missed. Ultimately though, it’s always best to read your essay out loud to someone else so that any grammatical errors are easier to identify and correct.

  • Punctuation marks
  • Get a brief lesson in the basic usage of periods, commas, apostrophes, semi-colons and inverted commas. Getting a quick overview on this and refreshing your memory every time you complete an essay will put you in a habitual mode for doing it right every time.

  • Watch out for plagiarism
  • Professor’s hate it when plagiarism is detected. If you have written something that’s similar to a direct source, rather try and completely rephrase it in your own words. Any work you hand in that’s not your own can prove detrimental to your academic career as a whole.

  • Professional help
  • If you are pressed for time, there’s always the option to submit your essay to an editing service. Writers who check academic articles on a regular basis will make sure yours is perfect and ready to be handed in to your professor.

  • Relevant content
  • Last but not least, an important part of checking your paper is to analyze the density of relevant content therein. Scrap any words or sentences that are redundant, non-contributory or trivial. The more relevant text you have within your word count, the higher marks your professor will award you.

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