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Professional Secrets Of Effective Essay Editing

Editing an essay can be a difficult task, especially if you are editing an essay you didn't write. Unfortunately, as a professional editor, your job is to edit the work of other people so you're probably going to be editing a lot of essays which aren't your own. While there is no one way to effectively edit an essay, there are a number professional tips which will make the whole editing process a lot  easier.

  1. Read through the essay first -
    • While this may seem like an obvious point, I am always surprised by the amount of professional editors who do not read a work before they begin to edit it.
    • As you read, you may want to underline any spelling and grammatical errors. This way, you can avoid having to comb through the essay in search of mistakes.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the author's work -
    • In some ways, editing can be very similar to ghost writing. This is one of those ways.
    • Read other works published by the essay's author to help you understand his/her style of writing. If you must add words, try to avoid choosing from a vocabulary unbecoming of the writer.
  3. Be aware of intentional mistakes -
    • Many times, an author will include intentional mistakes in their work. This isn't to add to the editor's work load, but to enhance the sense of humor or realism in the essay.
    • For example, if you are editing a creative essay there will be a lot of dialogue. Certain characters may speak in a manner which is not grammatically correct, such as the characters in Huckleberry Finn or Kim Kardashian's autobiography.
  4. Edit, don't write -
    • When editing an essay, you should always remember that it is not your job to write the piece.
    • If you feel the essay took a wrong turn at some point and went down hill, you cannot take it upon yourself to rewrite it. If you think something could be improved, make a note and tell the author.
  5. Read the essay once you have finished -
    • You may be an editor, but you are not infallible. Once you have finished editing, read the essay again incased you missed a mistake.
    • This may seem a little pedantic, but it is this dedication which separates the good editors from the great ones.

And with that, you are ready to edit any essay you come across. Good look!

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