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Editing an Essay: 10 Simple Steps to Follow

In order to make your essay truly good, you need to edit it carefully. You will only succeed with this task if you know how to do this properly. The following list of ten most important editing guidelines will help you with this:

  1. Use the spellchecker options of your word processor.

    This is a handy tool that you should use first as it will fix the crudest mistakes and typos. Look over the paper and fix the highlighted areas carefully. Be sure to reread the whole sentence, or you may accidentally make more mistakes.

  2. Enable the grammar checker function on the word processor.

    This type of artificial assistance is limited, so you can’t be sure that it will catch all of the mistakes. However, you should use it as it will cut the time you will need to spend perusing the essay for any errors manually.

  3. Print out the paper.

    It will be easier to spot mistakes when you move on to the manual checking stage if you work with printouts instead of the document on your computer screen.

  4. Consider your thesis statement.

    It must be clear and express the main idea of your paper perfectly. You may change the direction of your thoughts a bit when writing, so it’s essential to reevaluate the thesis statement in order to be sure that it meets its purpose.

  5. Make sure that the introduction is well-developed and adequate.

    This section of the essay sets the tone for the whole paper and hints on the things that will be discussed. You need to make sure that it corresponds with the rest of the essay.

  6. Check for any mistakes in the structure.

    It will be easy to make sure that your paper has all the necessary parts, but you shouldn’t forget that every paragraph also must have a well-defined structure. It must have a topic sentence, argument, and evidence. Cut out all the sentences that don’t contain any relevant information in them.

  7. Reevaluate the conclusion.

    This section must be final and it must close all the lines of thought addressed in the paper. In a way, your conclusion should be the opposite of the introduction. Make sure that it doesn’t introduce any new ideas.

  8. Read the essay aloud.

    This will help you catch some stylistic mistakes and make sure that the essay flows smoothly.

  9. Double-check grammar and spelling.

    At this stage, you will need to fix the mistakes missed by the word processor.

  10. Have someone else read the essay.

    Other people will be able to notice more mistakes than you.

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