editing made essay

How to Edit an Essay: Tips and Tricks for a Flawless Paper

editing made essay

How to Edit a Paper: 9 Tips You Need to Know

Often overlooked as an easy task, essay editing is way more important step of the writing process than you can imagine. Writing a compelling introduction, crafting comprehensive body paragraphs, knowing what words to use in college essays, and finishing it off with a memorable conclusion are essential, but revising what you wrote can take your essay to a whole new level. 

Professional writers know that revising a text is an art of its own, and if you want to play in the top league, you should master it too. Our research paper writing service sets a goal to share the intricate details of how to edit a paper and help you become a skillful storyteller. 

Besides the obvious, like correcting grammar, spelling, syntax, and so on, editing allows you to see the full picture and make sure that your paper meets the initial goals. The true essence of editing lies in scrutinizing whether your paper is well-crafted and logically coherent while meeting the academic guidelines and thesis statement. Additionally, it demands you assess if you have adequately addressed all specific requirements and whether you have used proper essay language. 

Revisiting your written piece can enable you to refine areas that may lack consistency or clarity, thereby enabling you to tell an engaging story in a more professional manner. By adopting this approach, any informational gaps or inconsistencies could be swiftly addressed, giving readers a comprehensive account for them to enjoy reading.

tips to edit

Essay Editing Tip #1: Take a Break!

No matter how many essays you have written and where you stand on a scale of professional writers, you must still be wondering how to make an essay better. 

Believe it or not, taking a break and stepping back might be the best thing to do. Once you are done telling the story and have all the necessary aspects of a great essay, it's time to relax. Don't start paper editing, and by no means submit an essay straight away. 

Sometimes when our brains get stuck on one thing, we lose the ability to see things clearly. We get emotionally attached and can't see the obvious mistakes. Clear your head, watch a movie, take a walk, or do whatever makes you happy and feel at peace. Don't start writing the night before; give yourself a few hours or even days to distance yourself from the writing process. 

Once you feel all fresh, come back and start revising. You will notice mistakes that were there all this time, but you were unable to notice them. You will see logical inconsistencies and grammatical errors. Trust us, once you realize those grammatical errors could ruin your fascinating story, you'll be happy you did not submit the essay straight away. 

Essay Editing Tip #2: Change the Font and Size

Do you want to know what the next hack for editing an essay is? You should do everything to make it visually look like a different essay. Professional writers recommend changing the font and size. 

Remember when we talked about being unable to see the mistakes in front of our eyes? When you stare at an object for a while, it starts to lose its shape and other characteristics and kinda blends into a homogenous thing. You need to step away or look at it from a different angle to start seeing them again.

Yes, a paper is not a painting or an object, and you use words for essays, but you are still visually perceiving it. On average, writing a paper takes at least a day. Imagine starting at something and thinking about it for a day. It would turn into a borderless mixture in your head.

Changing the font and size is like changing the angle. You will get a fresh perspective and start to notice grammar mistakes, misused topic sentences, and so on. Don't be afraid to look at your essay from an outside point of view; it will only make your writing better. 

Essay Editing Tip #3: Print Out Your Paper

Another great way to change your perspective is to print out your own paper. The constant strain of staring at a computer screen for prolonged periods can cause distractions and leave you feeling mentally drained. A tired brain can no longer detect grammar errors, and all your proofreading digitally can go in vain.

By physically holding your research paper in hand, you afford yourself the opportunity to take a step back from the screen and approach the task with renewed spirit. You might have already corrected grammar, but what about formatting mistakes? Maybe some overlooked margins or improperly sized font types made their way into your work. You might have used a lot of long sentences and big words that need to go. Chances are you may have missed some good words to use in essays, and now you get a fresh opportunity to turn your paper into something else.

Check what other good essay words would complement specific passages and improve expression quality overall!

Essay Editing Tip #4: Use a Highlighter

Your writing skills can catapult if you start using some old-fashioned methods of self-editing. Old school writers always walk around with a highlighter in their hands. Highlighting is a great way to focus on individual sentences and vigorously proof check them. 

When editing an essay, finding a mistake and immediately correcting them can lead you to lose focus. It's better to first find all the mistakes and areas of improvement and take action later. 

One of the greatest editing tips from our expert writing services is to use different color highlighters for different kinds of issues. There are four different issue types you may want to look out for. Highlight grammar mistakes, formatting issues, problematic areas, and important information. Use different highlighters for categorizing them so when you come back for refinement; you know what you are dealing with. 

Highlighting can help you quickly and easily find very intricate mistakes that otherwise would be missed, such as identifying misplaced great essay phrases and changing their location to where they make more sense. 

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Essay Editing Tip #5: Read Your Paper Backwards

What about analyzing your final draft upside down? You can challenge your paper and make the editing process fun. Follow our guide on how to edit your essay, and you will never make rookie mistakes.

The essay should make sense from top to bottom and vice versa. Every paragraph you write should be linked with one another and make sense on its own. 

Start at the end and question the last sentence. Does it make sense? Is it compelling? Does it relate to the thesis statement? Could a random person figure out what the rest of the essay was about? Step by step, move upwards and question each paragraph carefully. 

Focus on sentence fragments and individual words. Question if they are proper words to use in an essay. This will not only help you notice spelling mistakes and typos but also improve the overall quality of your academic writing.

Listen to the flow. When reading backward, it is easier to notice whether the text is well-constructed and easy to follow. You will be able to notice where the paper needs refinement with better transitional sentences. You may have used faulty parallelism or unnecessary information that needs to be removed. 

Don't forget to look for consistency. Check the formatting and citation style and make sure they comply with the requirements. Students often forget to proofread the reference list. 

Essay Editing Tip #6: Use a Checklist

To ensure that your essay is error-free and effectively transmits your intended message, you can use an editing checklist. It is always a good idea to check your writing against pre-set criteria. Here are some of the items from our ' do my essay ' experts you can put on your checklist and use while editing an essay.

Introduction - Does it introduce readers to the background story and context? Is it engaging?

Thesis statement - Does it effectively convey what the essay is about? Is it clear and concise? 

Central paragraphs - Are main arguments well supported? Are they well-organized and logically coherent? 

Transitions - Do the paragraphs link with one another with proper transitional sentences?

Conclusion - Does it provide an effective summary of the essay? Is it memorable?

Grammar - Are there any spelling errors? Did you use the correct syntax? Have you used proper words for essays?

Formatting - Does the citation style follow the proposed guide of essay writing format ? Have you referenced every source? 

Essay Editing Tip #7: Read Your Paper Out Loud

Another step in our guide on how to edit an essay is reading the document out loud. Once you finish writing and there is little time remaining to catch a breath, you need to get creative and quickly look at your essay with fresh eyes. 

By audibly hearing the sound of each sentence and phrase, you'll gain fresh insight into how well your ideas flow together cohesively. Research has confirmed that reading the document out loud can help enhance students' writing proficiency as it enables them to easily identify structural issues in their work.

This increased level of focus will help bring attention to any areas that feel particularly clunky or repetitive – issues that may not have been immediately apparent otherwise. It will help you see all the awkward essay language, long sentences, and repeated words.

Beyond basic grammar checks or typos correction, when reading aloud, students also have the opportunity to hone in on things like tone and audience engagement; So next time you finish writing something - don't forget about giving those vocal cords a little exercise!

Essay Editing Tip #8: Change the Environment

The authors of our guide on how to edit a paper say that changing the environment is all it takes to reset. Essay writing takes a lot of focus and determination and therefore is very exhausting. Taking a break is just as important; stretching and moving from room to room is just as important as finding the right words for essays. 

Before revising the paper, go to a park, library, or to your favorite cafe and get a fresh start. Find a comfortable, quiet spot and take over the job. To detect and correct grammar mistakes, you will need a well-rested mind and no distractions.

Sometimes changing the scenery can boost your creativity and give you fresh insights. By doing so, you will likely discover areas within the text that require more attention and refinement, and the solutions will come quicker.

It's important to remember that crafting well-written papers takes time and effort - rushing through them typically results in poor quality.

Essay Editing Tip #9: Use a Dictionary

To enhance the appeal of your writing style, you can find fancy words to use in essays. In the preliminary drafts, allow yourself to express yourself freely through simple sentences and phrases while leaving room for improvements during editing.

Dictionaries can turn into a long-term solution. Use them to improve your spelling. Even some commonly made errors could easily be eliminated with this practice.

Using a dictionary can also introduce good essay words in your vocabulary. Incorporating advanced terms into limited word count assignments can significantly elevate its quality from average to exceptional whilst enhancing clarity in expression as well.

5 of edit

Use Our Expert Editing Help

This article is proof that editing takes much more time and attention than it seems at first glance, but it also is an essential part of producing quality work. It guarantees clarity, accuracy, and professionalism in any piece of writing.

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FAQs: What Else You Need to Know on Editing an Essay

Our team of experienced writers diligently researched the internet's most frequently asked questions on how to make an essay better and answered them all for you to equip you with all the necessary tools for enhancing your writing skills.

So take some time out, read through our comprehensive responses, and unlock your full potential as a writer!

What are the 5 C's of Editing?

How can i edit for free, what are the common mistakes while editing.

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

editing made essay

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Editing and Proofreading

What this handout is about.

This handout provides some tips and strategies for revising your writing. To give you a chance to practice proofreading, we have left seven errors (three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors) in the text of this handout. See if you can spot them!

Is editing the same thing as proofreading?

Not exactly. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process. Both demand close and careful reading, but they focus on different aspects of the writing and employ different techniques.

Some tips that apply to both editing and proofreading

  • Get some distance from the text! It’s hard to edit or proofread a paper that you’ve just finished writing—it’s still to familiar, and you tend to skip over a lot of errors. Put the paper aside for a few hours, days, or weeks. Go for a run. Take a trip to the beach. Clear your head of what you’ve written so you can take a fresh look at the paper and see what is really on the page. Better yet, give the paper to a friend—you can’t get much more distance than that. Someone who is reading the paper for the first time, comes to it with completely fresh eyes.
  • Decide which medium lets you proofread most carefully. Some people like to work right at the computer, while others like to sit back with a printed copy that they can mark up as they read.
  • Try changing the look of your document. Altering the size, spacing, color, or style of the text may trick your brain into thinking it’s seeing an unfamiliar document, and that can help you get a different perspective on what you’ve written.
  • Find a quiet place to work. Don’t try to do your proofreading in front of the TV or while you’re chugging away on the treadmill. Find a place where you can concentrate and avoid distractions.
  • If possible, do your editing and proofreading in several short blocks of time. Your concentration may start to wane if you try to proofread the entire text at one time.
  • If you’re short on time, you may wish to prioritize. Make sure that you complete the most important editing and proofreading tasks.

Editing is what you begin doing as soon as you finish your first draft. You reread your draft to see, for example, whether the paper is well-organized, the transitions between paragraphs are smooth, and your evidence really backs up your argument. You can edit on several levels:

Have you done everything the assignment requires? Are the claims you make accurate? If it is required to do so, does your paper make an argument? Is the argument complete? Are all of your claims consistent? Have you supported each point with adequate evidence? Is all of the information in your paper relevant to the assignment and/or your overall writing goal? (For additional tips, see our handouts on understanding assignments and developing an argument .)

Overall structure

Does your paper have an appropriate introduction and conclusion? Is your thesis clearly stated in your introduction? Is it clear how each paragraph in the body of your paper is related to your thesis? Are the paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence? Have you made clear transitions between paragraphs? One way to check the structure of your paper is to make a reverse outline of the paper after you have written the first draft. (See our handouts on introductions , conclusions , thesis statements , and transitions .)

Structure within paragraphs

Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence? Does each paragraph stick to one main idea? Are there any extraneous or missing sentences in any of your paragraphs? (See our handout on paragraph development .)

Have you defined any important terms that might be unclear to your reader? Is the meaning of each sentence clear? (One way to answer this question is to read your paper one sentence at a time, starting at the end and working backwards so that you will not unconsciously fill in content from previous sentences.) Is it clear what each pronoun (he, she, it, they, which, who, this, etc.) refers to? Have you chosen the proper words to express your ideas? Avoid using words you find in the thesaurus that aren’t part of your normal vocabulary; you may misuse them.

Have you used an appropriate tone (formal, informal, persuasive, etc.)? Is your use of gendered language (masculine and feminine pronouns like “he” or “she,” words like “fireman” that contain “man,” and words that some people incorrectly assume apply to only one gender—for example, some people assume “nurse” must refer to a woman) appropriate? Have you varied the length and structure of your sentences? Do you tends to use the passive voice too often? Does your writing contain a lot of unnecessary phrases like “there is,” “there are,” “due to the fact that,” etc.? Do you repeat a strong word (for example, a vivid main verb) unnecessarily? (For tips, see our handouts on style and gender-inclusive language .)

Have you appropriately cited quotes, paraphrases, and ideas you got from sources? Are your citations in the correct format? (See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for more information.)

As you edit at all of these levels, you will usually make significant revisions to the content and wording of your paper. Keep an eye out for patterns of error; knowing what kinds of problems you tend to have will be helpful, especially if you are editing a large document like a thesis or dissertation. Once you have identified a pattern, you can develop techniques for spotting and correcting future instances of that pattern. For example, if you notice that you often discuss several distinct topics in each paragraph, you can go through your paper and underline the key words in each paragraph, then break the paragraphs up so that each one focuses on just one main idea.


Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions.

Why proofread? It’s the content that really matters, right?

Content is important. But like it or not, the way a paper looks affects the way others judge it. When you’ve worked hard to develop and present your ideas, you don’t want careless errors distracting your reader from what you have to say. It’s worth paying attention to the details that help you to make a good impression.

Most people devote only a few minutes to proofreading, hoping to catch any glaring errors that jump out from the page. But a quick and cursory reading, especially after you’ve been working long and hard on a paper, usually misses a lot. It’s better to work with a definite plan that helps you to search systematically for specific kinds of errors.

Sure, this takes a little extra time, but it pays off in the end. If you know that you have an effective way to catch errors when the paper is almost finished, you can worry less about editing while you are writing your first drafts. This makes the entire writing proccess more efficient.

Try to keep the editing and proofreading processes separate. When you are editing an early draft, you don’t want to be bothered with thinking about punctuation, grammar, and spelling. If your worrying about the spelling of a word or the placement of a comma, you’re not focusing on the more important task of developing and connecting ideas.

The proofreading process

You probably already use some of the strategies discussed below. Experiment with different tactics until you find a system that works well for you. The important thing is to make the process systematic and focused so that you catch as many errors as possible in the least amount of time.

  • Don’t rely entirely on spelling checkers. These can be useful tools but they are far from foolproof. Spell checkers have a limited dictionary, so some words that show up as misspelled may really just not be in their memory. In addition, spell checkers will not catch misspellings that form another valid word. For example, if you type “your” instead of “you’re,” “to” instead of “too,” or “there” instead of “their,” the spell checker won’t catch the error.
  • Grammar checkers can be even more problematic. These programs work with a limited number of rules, so they can’t identify every error and often make mistakes. They also fail to give thorough explanations to help you understand why a sentence should be revised. You may want to use a grammar checker to help you identify potential run-on sentences or too-frequent use of the passive voice, but you need to be able to evaluate the feedback it provides.
  • Proofread for only one kind of error at a time. If you try to identify and revise too many things at once, you risk losing focus, and your proofreading will be less effective. It’s easier to catch grammar errors if you aren’t checking punctuation and spelling at the same time. In addition, some of the techniques that work well for spotting one kind of mistake won’t catch others.
  • Read slow, and read every word. Try reading out loud , which forces you to say each word and also lets you hear how the words sound together. When you read silently or too quickly, you may skip over errors or make unconscious corrections.
  • Separate the text into individual sentences. This is another technique to help you to read every sentence carefully. Simply press the return key after every period so that every line begins a new sentence. Then read each sentence separately, looking for grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. If you’re working with a printed copy, try using an opaque object like a ruler or a piece of paper to isolate the line you’re working on.
  • Circle every punctuation mark. This forces you to look at each one. As you circle, ask yourself if the punctuation is correct.
  • Read the paper backwards. This technique is helpful for checking spelling. Start with the last word on the last page and work your way back to the beginning, reading each word separately. Because content, punctuation, and grammar won’t make any sense, your focus will be entirely on the spelling of each word. You can also read backwards sentence by sentence to check grammar; this will help you avoid becoming distracted by content issues.
  • Proofreading is a learning process. You’re not just looking for errors that you recognize; you’re also learning to recognize and correct new errors. This is where handbooks and dictionaries come in. Keep the ones you find helpful close at hand as you proofread.
  • Ignorance may be bliss, but it won’t make you a better proofreader. You’ll often find things that don’t seem quite right to you, but you may not be quite sure what’s wrong either. A word looks like it might be misspelled, but the spell checker didn’t catch it. You think you need a comma between two words, but you’re not sure why. Should you use “that” instead of “which”? If you’re not sure about something, look it up.
  • The proofreading process becomes more efficient as you develop and practice a systematic strategy. You’ll learn to identify the specific areas of your own writing that need careful attention, and knowing that you have a sound method for finding errors will help you to focus more on developing your ideas while you are drafting the paper.

Think you’ve got it?

Then give it a try, if you haven’t already! This handout contains seven errors our proofreader should have caught: three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors. Try to find them, and then check a version of this page with the errors marked in red to see if you’re a proofreading star.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Especially for non-native speakers of English:

Ascher, Allen. 2006. Think About Editing: An ESL Guide for the Harbrace Handbooks . Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Lane, Janet, and Ellen Lange. 2012. Writing Clearly: Grammar for Editing , 3rd ed. Boston: Heinle.

For everyone:

Einsohn, Amy. 2011. The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications , 3rd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Lanham, Richard A. 2006. Revising Prose , 5th ed. New York: Pearson Longman.

Tarshis, Barry. 1998. How to Be Your Own Best Editor: The Toolkit for Everyone Who Writes . New York: Three Rivers Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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15 Tips for Writing, Proofreading, and Editing Your College Essay

What’s covered:, our checklist for writing, proofreading, and editing your essay, where to get your college essays edited.

Your college essay is more than just a writing assignment—it’s your biggest opportunity to showcase the person behind your GPA, test scores, and extracurricular activities. In many ways, it’s the best chance you have to present yourself as a living, breathing, and thoughtful individual to the admissions committee.

Unlike test scores, which can feel impersonal, a well-crafted essay brings color to your application, offering a glimpse into your passions, personality, and potential. Whether you’re an aspiring engineer or an artist, your college essay can set you apart, making it essential that you give it your best.

1. Does the essay address the selected topic or prompt?

Focus on responding directly and thoughtfully to the prompt. If the question asks about your reasons for choosing a specific program or your future aspirations, ensure that your essay revolves around these themes. Tailor your narrative to the prompt, using personal experiences and reflections that reinforce your points.

  • Respond directly to the prompt: It’s imperative that you thoughtfully craft your responses so that the exact themes in the prompt are directly addressed. Each essay has a specific prompt that serves a specific purpose, and your response should be tailored in a way that meets that objective.
  • Focus: Regardless of what the prompt is about—be it personal experiences, academic achievements, or an opinion on an issue—you must keep the focus of the response on the topic of the prompt .

2. Is the college essay well organized?

An essay with a clear structure is easier to follow and is more impactful. Consider organizing your story chronologically, or use a thematic approach to convey your message. Each paragraph should transition smoothly to the next, maintaining a natural flow of ideas. A well-organized essay is not only easier for the reader to follow, but it can also aid your narrative flow. Logically structured essays can guide the reader through complex and hectic sequences of events in your essay. There are some key factors involved in good structuring:

  • A strong hook: Start with a sentence or a paragraph that can grab the attention of the reader. For example, consider using a vivid description of an event to do this.
  • Maintain a thematic structure: Maintaining a thematic structure involves organizing your response around a central theme, allowing you to connect diverse points of your essay into a cohesive centralized response.
  • Transitioning: Each paragraph should clearly flow into the next, maintaining continuity and coherence in narrative.

3. Include supporting details, examples, and anecdotes.

Enhance your narrative with specific details, vivid examples, and engaging anecdotes. This approach brings your story to life, making it more compelling and relatable. It helps the reader visualize your experiences and understand your perspectives.

4. Show your voice and personality.

Does your personality come through? Does your essay sound like you? Since this is a reflection of you, your essay needs to show who you are.

For example, avoid using vocabulary you wouldn’t normally use—such as “utilize” in place of “use”—because you may come off as phony or disingenuous, and that won’t impress colleges.

5. Does your essay show that you’re a good candidate for admission?

Your essay should demonstrate not only your academic strengths. but also the ways in which your personal qualities align with the specific character and values of the school you’re applying to . While attributes like intelligence and collaboration are universally valued, tailor your essay to reflect aspects that are uniquely esteemed at each particular institution.

For instance, if you’re applying to Dartmouth, you might emphasize your appreciation for, and alignment with, the school’s strong sense of tradition and community. This approach shows a deeper understanding of and a genuine connection to the school, beyond its surface-level attributes.

6. Do you stick to the topic?

Your essay should focus on the topic at hand, weaving your insights, experiences, and perspectives into a cohesive narrative, rather than a disjointed list of thoughts or accomplishments. It’s important to avoid straying into irrelevant details that don’t support your main theme. Instead of simply listing achievements or experiences, integrate them into a narrative that highlights your development, insights, or learning journey.

Example with tangent:

“My interest in performing arts began when I was five. That was also the year I lost my first tooth, which set off a whole year of ‘firsts.’ My first play was The Sound of Music.”

Revised example:

“My interest in performing arts began when I was five, marked by my debut performance in ‘The Sound of Music.’ This experience was the first step in my journey of exploring and loving the stage.”

7. Align your response with the prompt.

Before finalizing your essay, revisit the prompt. Have you addressed all aspects of the question? Make sure your essay aligns with the prompt’s requirements, both in content and spirit. Familiarize yourself with common college essay archetypes, such as the Extracurricular Essay, Diversity Essay, Community Essay, “Why This Major” Essay (and a variant for those who are undecided), and “Why This College” Essay. We have specific guides for each, offering tailored advice and examples:

  • Extracurricular Essay Guide
  • Diversity Essay Guide
  • Community Essay Guide
  • “Why This Major” Essay Guide
  • “Why This College” Essay Guide
  • Overcoming Challenges Essay Guide
  • Political/Global Issues Essay Guide

While these guides provide a framework for each archetype, respectively, remember to infuse your voice and unique experiences into your essay to stand out!

8. Do you vary your sentence structure?

Varying sentence structure, including the length of sentences, is crucial to keep your writing dynamic and engaging. A mix of short, punchy sentences and longer, more descriptive ones can create a rhythm that makes your essay more enjoyable to read. This variation helps maintain the reader’s interest and allows for more nuanced expression.

Original example with monotonous structure:

“I had been waiting for the right time to broach the topic of her health problem, which had been weighing on my mind heavily ever since I first heard about it. I had gone through something similar, and I thought sharing my experience might help.”

Revised example illustrating varied structure:

“I waited for the right moment to discuss her health. The issue had occupied my thoughts for weeks. Having faced similar challenges, I felt that sharing my experience might offer her some comfort.”

In this revised example, the sentences vary in length and structure, moving from shorter, more impactful statements to longer, more descriptive ones. This variation helps to keep the reader’s attention and allows for a more engaging narrative flow.

9. Revisit your essay after a break.

  • Give yourself time: After completing a draft of your essay, step away from it for a day or two. This break can clear your mind and reduce your attachment to specific phrases or ideas.
  • Fresh perspective: When you come back to your essay, you’ll likely find that you can view your work with fresh eyes. This distance can help you spot inconsistencies, unclear passages, or stylistic issues that you might have missed earlier.
  • Enhanced objectivity: Distance not only aids in identifying grammatical errors or typos, but it also allows you to assess the effectiveness of your argument or narrative more objectively. Does the essay really convey what you intended? Are there better examples or stronger pieces of evidence you could use?
  • Refine and polish: Use this opportunity to fine-tune your language, adjust the flow, and ensure that your essay truly reflects your voice and message.

Incorporating this tip into your writing process can significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of your college essay.

10. Choose an ideal writing environment.

By identifying and consistently utilizing an ideal writing environment, you can enhance both the enjoyment and effectiveness of your essay-writing process.

  • Discover your productive spaces: Different environments can dramatically affect your ability to think and write effectively. Some people find inspiration in the quiet of a library or their room, while others thrive in the lively atmosphere of a coffee shop or park.
  • Experiment with settings: If you’re unsure what works best for you, try writing in various places. Notice how each setting affects your concentration, creativity, and mood.
  • Consider comfort and distractions: Make sure your chosen spot is comfortable enough for long writing sessions, but also free from distracting elements that could hinder your focus.
  • Time of day matters: Pay attention to the time of day when you’re most productive. Some write best in the early morning’s tranquility, while others find their creative peak during nighttime hours.

11. Are all words spelled correctly?

While spell checkers are a helpful tool, they aren’t infallible. It’s crucial to read over your essay meticulously, possibly even aloud, to catch any spelling errors. Reading aloud can help you notice mistakes that your eyes might skip over when reading silently. Be particularly attentive to words that spellcheck might not catch, such as proper nouns, technical jargon, or homophones (e.g., “there” vs. “their”). Attention to detail in spelling reflects your care and precision, both of which are qualities that admissions committees value.

12. Do you use proper punctuation and capitalization?

Correct punctuation and capitalization are key to conveying your message clearly and professionally . A common mistake in writing is the misuse of commas, particularly in complex sentences.

Example of a misused comma:

Incorrect: “I had an epiphany, I was using commas incorrectly.”

In this example, the comma is used incorrectly to join two independent clauses. This is known as a comma splice. It creates a run-on sentence, which can confuse the reader and disrupt the flow of your writing.

Corrected versions:

Correct: “I had an epiphany: I was using commas incorrectly.”

Correct: “I had an epiphany; I was using commas incorrectly.”

Correct: “I had an epiphany—I was using commas incorrectly.”

Correct: “I had an epiphany. I was using commas incorrectly.”

The corrections separate the two clauses with more appropriate punctuation. Colons, semicolons, em dashes, and periods can all be used in this context, though periods may create awkwardly short sentences.

These punctuation choices are appropriate because the second clause explains or provides an example of the first, creating a clear and effective sentence structure. The correct use of punctuation helps maintain the clarity and coherence of your writing, ensuring that your ideas are communicated effectively.

13. Do you abide by the word count?

Staying within the word count is crucial in demonstrating your ability to communicate ideas concisely and effectively. Here are some strategies to help reduce your word count if you find yourself going over the prescribed limits:

  • Eliminate repetitive statements: Avoid saying the same thing in different ways. Focus on presenting each idea clearly and concisely.
  • Use adjectives judiciously: While descriptive words can add detail, using too many can make your writing feel cluttered and overwrought. Choose adjectives that add real value.
  • Remove unnecessary details: If a detail doesn’t support or enhance your main point, consider cutting it. Focus on what’s essential to your narrative or argument.
  • Shorten long sentences: Long, run-on sentences can be hard to follow and often contain unnecessary words. Reading your essay aloud can help you identify sentences that are too lengthy or cumbersome. If you’re out of breath before finishing a sentence, it’s likely too long.
  • Ensure each sentence adds something new: Every sentence should provide new information or insight. Avoid filler or redundant sentences that don’t contribute to your overall message.

14. Proofread meticulously.

Implementing a thorough and methodical proofreading process can significantly elevate the quality of your essay, ensuring that it’s free of errors and flows smoothly.

  • Detailed review: After addressing bigger structural and content issues, focus on proofreading for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. This step is crucial for polishing your essay and making sure it’s presented professionally.
  • Different techniques: Employ various techniques to catch mistakes. For example, read your essay backward, starting from the last sentence and working your way to the beginning. This method can help you focus on individual sentences and words, rather than getting caught up in the content.
  • Read aloud: As mentioned before, reading your essay aloud is another effective technique. Hearing the words can help identify awkward phrasing, run-on sentences, and other issues that might not be as obvious when reading silently.

15. Utilize external feedback.

While self-editing is crucial, external feedback can provide new perspectives and ideas that enhance your writing in unexpected ways. This collaborative process can help you keep your essay error-free and can also help make it resonate with a broader audience.

  • Fresh perspectives: Have a trusted teacher, mentor, peer, or family member review your drafts. Each person can offer unique insights and perspectives on your essay’s content, structure, and style.
  • Identify blind spots: We often become too close to our writing to see its flaws or areas that might be unclear to others. External reviewers can help identify these blind spots.
  • Constructive criticism: Encourage your reviewers to provide honest, constructive feedback. While it’s important to stay true to your voice and story, be open to suggestions that could strengthen your essay.
  • Diverse viewpoints: Different people will focus on different aspects of your writing. For example, a teacher might concentrate on your essay’s structure and academic tone, while a peer might provide insights into how engaging and relatable your narrative is.
  • Incorporate feedback judiciously: Use the feedback to refine your essay, but remember that the final decision on any changes rests with you. It’s your story and your voice that ultimately need to come through clearly.

When it comes to refining your college essays, getting external feedback is crucial. Our free Peer Essay Review tool allows you to receive constructive criticism from other students, providing fresh perspectives that can help you see your work in a new light. This peer review process is invaluable and can help you both identify areas for improvement and gain different viewpoints on your writing.

For more tailored expert advice, consider the guidance of a CollegeVine advisor . Our advisors, experienced in the college admissions process, offer specialized reviews to enhance your essays. Their insights into what top schools are looking for can elevate your narrative, ensuring that your application stands out. Whether it’s through fine-tuning your grammar or enriching your story’s appeal, our experts’ experience and expertise can significantly increase your likelihood of admission to your dream school!

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  • 13 Essential Editing Tips to Use in Your Essay Writing

editing made essay

The good student strives constantly to achieve a better essay each time they write one.

It can be a challenge to find ways to keep improving, but one way of making your essays instantly better is effective editing. Editing your essay before you submit it could mean the difference between a good grade and a brilliant one, so it’s worth taking fifteen minutes or so before you send it off just checking through it to make sure that the structure and wording is as good as it can be. In this article, we give you some tips to think about when you’re editing your own writing. Keep these tips alongside you to use as a checklist and you can’t go far wrong!

1. Start by getting the structure right

If you have time, try to leave a bit of time between finishing your essay and starting the editing process. This gives you time to approach it feeling reasonably fresh; if you edit immediately after spending a long time on something, you might find that you’re so close to it that you’re unable to spot errors. When you do sit down to look through it, start by looking at its structure. Think about the overarching shape of the argument you’re developing and check that the points you’ve made help build your essay towards a logical conclusion. You may have written an essay with the points in order of when they occurred to you, but is this really the most sensible order? Does one point follow logically on from the other? Would it make the essay more interesting to include a certain point near the beginning to tease the reader, or are you revealing too much in the opening, meaning it would be better to move some points nearer the end? These are just a few of the ways in which it might be possible to improve the structure, so it helps to keep in mind your overall argument and ensure your structure puts it across as effectively as possible. With word processors now the primary means of writing essays, it couldn’t be easier to rearrange paragraphs into a more logical structure by dragging and dropping or cutting and pasting paragraphs. If you do this, don’t forget to reread the essay to ensure that the wording works with this new order, otherwise you may end up with a sentence leading into the wrong paragraph.

2. Prune long sentences and paragraphs

Whether you’ve exceeded your word count or not, long sentences and paragraphs should be edited because they can be trickier to read, and risk being boring or hard to follow. Try, therefore, to keep sentences to a maximum of two or three clauses (or segments). Avoid long paragraphs by starting a new one if you find one getting longer than three or four sentences: a wall of text can be off-putting to the reader. Leave a space between paragraphs if you’re typing your essay, as we’re doing in this article. Another way of keeping sentences to a reasonable length is to go through what you’ve written and tighten up the wording. If you find yourself writing long sentences, try to look for ways in which you can reword them to express what you’re trying to say more concisely. You’ll probably find numerous instances of phrases that take many words to say what could be said in two or three.

3. Keep overly complicated language in check

It’s going to look obvious if you’ve had a thesaurus next to you while writing, just so that you can replace all the simple words with more complicated ones. The thing is, it doesn’t always make you look intelligent; you may, for instance, inadvertently choose the wrong synonym, not realising that even close synonyms can have subtly different meanings or connotations. Sometimes using big words where simple ones would suffice can seem contrived and pompous; aim for clear, concise language to avoid being verbose or pretentious. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use more complex words at all – just choose the situation carefully and don’t overdo it.

4. Watch for repetition of ideas and words

It’s easy to repeat yourself without realising it when you’re writing, but the editing process is there to enable you to spot this before your teacher or lecturer sees it. As you read through your essay, keep a look out for ideas you’ve repeated and delete whichever repetitions add nothing to your essay (don’t forget that the first instance of the idea may not be the most appropriate place for it, so consider which is the best moment to introduce it and delete the other mentions). On a related note, look out for instances in which you’ve laboured the point. Going on about a particular point for too long can actually undermine the strength of your argument, because it makes you look as though you’re desperately grappling to find supporting facts; sometimes a simple, clear statement with a brief piece of evidence to back it up is all that’s needed. You should be equally wary of repetition of words within the same sentence or paragraph. It’s fine to repeat common words such as “the”, obviously, but it’s best to avoid using the same connecting words, such as “also”, more than once in the same paragraph. Rephrase using alternative expressions, such as “what’s more”. More unusual words should be used just once per paragraph – words such as “unavoidable”, for example – unless it’s for emphasis.

5. Don’t rely on the spellcheck

It’s a tip we’ve told you before, but it’s worth repeating because it’s very important! The spellcheck will not pick up every single error in your essay. It may highlight some typos and misspellings, but it won’t tell you if you’ve inadvertently used the wrong word altogether. For example, you may have meant to write the word “from”, but accidentally mistyped it as “form” – which is still a word, so the spellchecker won’t register it. But it’s not the word you meant to write.

6. Spotting typos

It’s said that if you read through your work backwards, you’re more likely to spot typos. This is probably because it’s giving you a new perspective on what you’ve written, making it easier to spot glaring errors than if you read through it in the order in which you wrote it and in which you know what to expect. So, start with the last sentence and keep going in reverse order until you get to the beginning of your essay. Another tip is to print out your essay and take a red pen to it, circling or underlining all the errors and then correcting them on the computer later. It’s often easier to read a document from a printed version, and it also means that you can follow what you’re doing by touching each word with the end of your pencil to make sure you’re not skimming over any errors.

7. Omit unnecessary words and eradicate weasel words

Without even realising it, you’ve probably used plenty of unnecessary words in your writing – words that add to the word count without adding to the meaning – and you’ll find that your writing works just as well without them. An example is the word “very”, which almost always adds nothing to what you’re trying to say. As Mark Twain said, “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be”. Weasel words are worse, as they are used to hide weak or objectionable arguments. A study of Wikipedia found that these tend to fall into three different categories: numerical vagueness (such as “many people say” without specifying who these people are), the use of the passive voice to distance the writer from what they’re saying (“it is often said”, for example, without saying by whom it is often said), and the use of adverbs designed to soften a point (such as “probably”). Look out for these in your own writing and rephrase to remove them; they are disingenuous and your essay will be stronger without them.

8. Remove tautologies

A tautology is a stylistic error involving redundant words, in this case the use of two consecutive words that mean the same thing, such as “the big giant” (referring simply to a “giant” would have been sufficient to convey the meaning). Students often use them when they’re trying to make their writing wordier, not realising that they simply make their writing worse.

9. Watch the commas

People tend either to put too many commas into a sentence, or too few. Too many, and the sentence sounds broken and odd; too few, and the reader has to read the sentence several times to figure out what you’re trying to say, because it comes out in a long, jumbled mess. The secret is to put commas in where you would naturally pause when speaking aloud. If it helps, try reading your writing aloud to see if it flows. Where you would pause for slightly longer, a semi-colon might be more appropriate than a comma. Use a semi-colon to connect two independent clauses that would work as two separate sentences.

10. Consistent spelling

Some words have more than one correct spelling, and the important thing is to be consistent with which one you use. You could, if you wanted to make your life a little easier, delve into the settings on your word processor and manipulate the spellcheck so that it highlights the version you decided against – or even autocorrects to the right version. If you’re writing in the UK, ensure that your word processor’s default language is set to UK English so that you don’t end up inadvertently correcting English spellings to US ones (“colour” to “color”, for example).

11. Get rid of exclamation marks and ellipses

In virtually every case, you don’t need to use an exclamation mark, and – at least in academic writing – your use of one may result in your writing not being taken quite so seriously. Only use them in exceptional circumstances when you really want to convey a feeling of surprise or outrage. Ellipses (“…”) should also be avoided except when you’re indicating the truncation of a quote from another writer (that is, where you left a bit out).

12. Attribute quotations

Quotations from authors or academic writers should be attributed to them. As you read through your essay, keep a look out for any quotations you’ve mentioned and make sure that you say where they’re from. If you’re writing an essay for university, a footnote would be an appropriate way of citing another writer. If you are using footnotes, this gives an extra area on which to focus your editing skills; ensure that all footnotes are consistently formatted, and don’t forget to put a bibliography containing all the books you’ve used at the end.

13. Consistent formatting

The appearance of your essay matters, too – and the formatting should not be neglected when you’re in editing mode. This means being consistent with your use of fonts, using italics or underline for emphasis rather than using them interchangeably, ensuring that the spacing between lines is consistent throughout, and other such minor aesthetic points. This may not sound very important, but consistent formatting helps your essay look professional; if you’ve used different fonts or line spacing or anything like that, your essay will look a mess even if what you’ve said in it is good. You could make use of the pre-populated formatting options in your word processor to ensure consistency throughout, with header 1 for the title, header 2 for subheadings and ‘normal text’ for the body of the document. If you find that there are too many things on this list to think about in one go when you’re reading through your essay, you could read through it several times looking out for different things each time. All this may seem a lot to think about when you’ve already put in so much effort to write the essay in the first place, but trust us: it will pay off with a sleek and polished piece.

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No. Typely is completely free and we plan on keeping it that way. We are considering some advanced features however that might be available under a premium plan.

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editing made essay

How to Edit an Essay

editing made essay

How to Edit an Essay– An Overview ‍ ‍

When editing an essay, it's crucial to first ensure that the overall structure is coherent and logical. Begin by shortening lengthy sentences and paragraphs to improve readability. Avoid using overly complex language, which can obscure your message. Be vigilant for any repetitive ideas or words, as they can detract from the clarity of your argument. While spellcheck can be helpful, don't rely solely on it for accuracy. Actively search for and correct typos. Lastly, remove any superfluous words and be cautious of using vague or non-committal language that can weaken your statements.

Editing an essay effectively involves several key steps to enhance clarity, coherence, and overall impact. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Review the Structure : Ensure your essay has a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should present your thesis statement or main argument, the body should contain your supporting points, and the conclusion should summarize and restate your main points.
  • Check for Clarity and Coherence : Ensure each paragraph has a clear main idea and that ideas flow logically from one paragraph to the next. Use transitional phrases to help guide the reader.
  • Focus on Sentence Structure : Vary your sentence lengths and structures to maintain reader interest. Avoid overly long sentences, as they can be confusing.
  • Simplify Language : Remove jargon and unnecessarily complex vocabulary. The goal is to be clear and concise, making your essay accessible to a broader audience.
  • Eliminate Repetition : Check for repeated words, phrases, or ideas and eliminate them. Repetition can be redundant and detract from the effectiveness of your argument.
  • Correct Grammar and Spelling : While software can help, manually check for grammar and spelling errors to ensure accuracy.
  • Watch for Punctuation and Formatting : Proper punctuation and consistent formatting contribute to the professionalism of your essay.
  • Trim Unnecessary Words : Remove filler words and phrases that don't add value to your argument.
  • Fact-Check : Verify the accuracy of any data, quotes, or references you use.
  • Seek Feedback : If possible, have someone else read your essay. Fresh eyes can spot errors and inconsistencies you might have missed.
  • Read Aloud : Reading your essay aloud can help you catch awkward phrasing and errors that you might not see when reading silently.
  • Final Review : Go through your essay one last time to ensure all your edits have improved clarity, logic, and flow.

Remember, effective editing often requires multiple read-throughs and revisions. Take your time to refine your essay until it clearly and effectively communicates your ideas.

How to Edit a Essay By Following These Editing Principles?

When we are writing an essay– or any other writeup there is, we are often guided by different principles. These principles are like a clear pathway toward creating a compelling and well-thought-out work of art. They separate the best from the rest, aesthetic and unpleasing, masterpiece and trash.

The same goes for the process of editing. This process likewise follows some key principles that regulate editors on their work as revisioners. While they help editors foster a set of ethical standards for editing, they also ensure that the content of the writeup itself is beneficial: it can serve its purpose. The following are the principles of editing and the key questions that you might want to ask yourself in consideration:

From the word itself, the writeup must be clear. In what sense? In the skill of writing, clarity may be straightforward, but it takes a lot of work for us to make a writeup that is easy to understand.

We are confounded with various writing guidelines and things to integrate into our writing. This condition takes us away from the principle of clarity. ‍

The rule of thumb here, though, is this: clear your desk (translate: mind), set your mind on your ultimate writing goal (translate: main idea), and keep it as apparent as possible in your writing. In a broader explanation, you have to set aside other writing endeavors – choosing complex words, forming lots of paragraphs, introducing tropes and figurative language, and focusing on the important thing: constructing your thesis statement and using writing techniques that can make your idea more comprehensible.

2. Coherence

We have a lot to say, and the best thing to relay these ideas and thoughts is through writing.

When we have numerous things to rely upon, emotions may run high and take over our writing, causing us to make some “mess” and deviate from sharing our ideas neatly. Yes, you heard it right: writing does not just communicate our minds in whatever manner we want. This macro skill also demands us to write neatly – logically and lucidly. ‍

In doing so, we have to maintain a logical and consistent flow of thoughts. It is like being one with nature: although we cannot understand it in its simplest form, we feel like everything goes fine because of its order and flow.

Coherence, the principle that talks about flow, also means the ideas are connected logically, and transitions from one idea to another are built well. Coherence can go a long way in a writeup, as it guides your readers from the start to the end of your writing, all while making sure that they have grasped the important points of your writing. 

3. Grammar and Style

Grammar and style are probably the most sought-after principles, along with being the most tedious ones to handle in writing. These principles can be too technical and book-ish, and it takes years to be accurate grammatically and stylistically. You must learn various grammatical concepts and create your own writing style that follows certain conventions and tropes that you only apply to your writing endeavors. ‍

However, we do not follow these principles for nothing. Aside from effective communication and clarity of expression, which have their own principles by the way, grammar reflects the uprightness and credibility of a writer. Since a written piece upholds quality and refinement, we do not want to risk the possibility of committing mistakes that will leave a disappointing impression on our readers. ‍

In fact, it is generally believed that readers prefer written pieces that are well-written– those that are free from any grammatical lapses. Imagine if you committed those mistakes (especially if they are too common): you will definitely walk in shame and contact an essay editing service in no time!

How to Go Around Essay Editing In 3 Stages?

Just like writing, the process of editing is scientific and objective. Contrary to popular belief, essay editing starts with a specific process and ends similarly. One process must be done before the other. Missing one process does not satisfy the rigor of editing.

In the simplest sense, all the editing processes we will discuss in this section are important and should not be overlooked. There are three editing stages: content editing, copy editing, and proofreading. Each stage plays a crucial role in the whole process, refining the document, spotting crucial errors, and maximizing readability and comprehension.

1. Content Editing

Content editing, with its other name substantive editing , is the initial stage of the editing process. At this stage, the editor concentrates on the writeup’s substance, structure, and overall quality. As we all know, nothing beats the comprehensiveness of a writeup’s content, and it gets even more comprehensive in the process of editing! You can edit my essay and do this editing stage if you want to experience the rigor.

The main aims of content editing are to ensure that the content is clear, coherent, and effectively conveys the intended message to the target audience. In short, it edits the content to maximize its capability to relay its intended purpose.

Key Sub-processes of Content Editing:

* Assess Overall Structure and Organization. Logical sequence and coherence are put in check on this sub-process.

* Evaluate Content and Clarity . The editor assures that the message or argument is well-defined and substantiated with appropriate evidence.

* Enhance Transitions and Signposting . The editor looks for means to enhance transitions between paragraphs and sections, making the text smoother and more reader-friendly. Aside from transition devices used in the first parts of each of the paragraphs, one may use signposts like topic sentences and headings to steer the reader through the content.

* Revise and Rewrite on Critical Content Issues . When deemed necessary, the editor may recommend or make significant revisions or rewrites to strengthen the content, eliminate redundancy, and enhance clarity.

2. Copy editing

This is the stage where it gets a bit technical for editors. Copy editing is the second stage of the entire editing process and focuses on the technical elements of the text. It concerns checking for grammatical and punctuation errors and ensuring consistent language usage, style, and compliance with a specific style guide. Copy editing’s main goal is to enhance the readability and correctness of the text, as well as establish the text’s credibility and trustworthiness.

Key Sub-processes of Copy Editing:

* Grammar and Punctuation . The editor implements grammar checks for spelling errors or other grammatical errors, including but not limited to subject-verb agreement, verb tense, and sentence structure. The text’s mechanics, or checking punctuation marks, may also be a focus for editing.

* Spelling and Usage . Spelling mistakes and inconsistencies in word usage (per the type of English one is using) are identified and corrected. Editors catch errors with redundant words, word count, body paragraphs, and passive voice.

* Capitalization and Formatting . The editor verifies that capitalization, headings, and formatting are uniform and appropriate to the type of writing.

* Fact-Checking . This sub-section ensures the accuracy of data, facts, figures, and references. The editor cross-references information with trustworthy sources and flags any instances of plagiarism and incorrect referencing.

* Style and Clarity . Editors persevere to improve sentence structure, eliminate vagueness, and enhance text readability.

3. Proofreading

This is the final stage of the editing process and is focused on scanning the document for “crumbs” left during the previous two stages– minor errors and inconsistencies. It is the last opportunity for the editor to catch any remaining typos, formatting issues, or other small mistakes before the document is brought to finality.

Key Sub-processes of Proofreading:

*Final Grammar and Spelling Check . The editor conducts a final review to identify and correct any grammatical or spelling errors that may have been overlooked. The final draft has an immaculate paragraph structure that's free of unnecessary words, grammar mistakes, or sentence fragments.

*Formatting and Layout . This step guarantees that the document adheres to consistent formatting, including margins, fonts, and spacing.

*Page Numbers and Table of Contents. The editor confirms that page numbers, footnotes, and the table of contents are correct and properly formatted.

* Hyperlinks and References . For digital documents, the editor checks that hyperlinks are functional and correctly correspond to the anchor text. They also ensure that references and citations are correct.

*Overall Readability . Finally, the editor scans the entire document one last time to identify any minimal errors, inconsistencies, or issues that might have been missed in previous stages.

How to Edit Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you are familiar with the three main stages of editing essays– content editing, copy editing, and proofreading, we are confident that you may now have an understanding of how an entire editing process may come into play. The best thing is that you may take off your editing journey without being too pressured to follow a certain blueprint.

Yes, you read it correctly: you can craft your own editing process. Just ensure that you capture every essence of the three main stages. To provide you with a guide, the following is a 7-point checklist that you may use to edit your essay.

This table is a synthesis of everything we discussed in the three stages of editing.

Stages of Editing Tasks
Review Content Read through the document to understand its structure and content.
Organize and Clarify Improve clarity and logical flow of ideas.
Check for Consistency Ensure uniform language, formatting, and style.
Revise and Rewrite Conduct content changes for clarity and accuracy.
Correct Grammar and Punctuation Fix grammar and punctuation lapses.
Fact-Check Ascertain the veracity of facts and references.
Proofread Conduct a final review for minimal errors in grammar, spelling, and formatting.

Leverage the Studyfy Way

One may definitely follow a guideline like the one above, but an essay revision service can do so much more. At Studyfy, you can avail of its high-quality writing services, where a roster of competent writers and editors completely transform a writing prompt into a creative masterpiece– one that adheres to the perfect style, formatting, and instructions.

Enjoy Studyfy’s no-mark-up scheme and affordable price range without worrying about the finished product’s reliability and readability– quality is a top priority, indeed. How to edit an essay well: sorted!

How to Edit Your Essay in Various Forms?

Essays are pieces of writing that discuss various topics and hold different functions depending on the writing prompt, purpose, and audience, among others. Given its eclectic nature, essays can be tricky to edit. Some principles on how to edit an essay may not be as important in some types, and some steps are as important as others.

We know the difficulty that you might contend with in editing different forms of essays, so we are here to help you by providing a cheat sheet on the common essay types and some techniques on how to edit them.

How to Edit an Essay Using Various Editing Techniques

Reflective essay.

How to Write a Reflective Essay ? This essay involves self-introspection and analysis.Similar to a narrative essay, the goal of this essay type is to internalize and explore their thoughts and narrate a personal experience to readers who are likewise experiencing it.

Self-Reflection Enhancemen

  • Ensure that the essay effectively relays personal experiences, thoughts, and insights.
  • Evaluate the thesis statement in consideration of its essence and clarity.
  • Evaluate the depth of self-analysis and introspection.
  • Assess the essay’s emotional resonance and the perceived emotional impact on the reader.
  • Analyze the organization of content, ensuring a structured format and exploration of themes.

Argumentative Essay

  • This essay type presents a debatable proposition, a stand, and pieces of evidence that substantiate the writer’s stand.
  • It is used to persuade the reader to take a particular viewpoint.

Argument Strengthening

  • When editing an essay, ensure that the proposition is clear and debatable.
  • Check for the logical flow of arguments and counterarguments.
  • Evaluate the evidence and examples that support the claims.
  • Verify that the conclusion aligns with the main argument and discourses opposing views.

Expository Essay

  • It is embedded with facts, figures, findings, and other related factual information.
  • Its aim is to provide and explain concepts, ideas, theories, or topics.

Clarity and Information Flow Enhancement

  • Check if the essay has a clear and informative introduction.
  • Check for the organization of content to ensure a logical sequence of ideas.
  • When editing an essay, elucidate complex concepts with definitions and examples.
  • Cross-reference facts and figures for exactness.

Narrative Essay

  • A winning narrative piece is one that vividly tells a story– ensuring that the readers are inside the world that you want to immortalize.
  • It is supplied with descriptive words, figurative language, a clear plot structure, and a consistent point of view.

Storytelling Focusing while Editing Essays

  • Ensure the essay has a clear plot structure– beginning, middle, and end.
  • Check for reasonable character development.
  • Pay attention to imagery and descriptive language to enhance the reader's experience.
  • Check for the pacing of the narrative to maintain engagement.

Persuasive Essay

  • It uses persuasive diction and techniques, pieces of evidence, and logical reasoning to take persuasion to effect.
  • Its aim is to make the reader adopt a certain and fresh perspective and subsequently take a course of action.

Persuasion Intensification and How to Edit Essay

  • Evaluate the thesis statement in terms of influence and clarity.
  • Integrate persuasive techniques like ethos, pathos, and logos .
  • Assess the soundness and relevance of supporting evidence and examples.
  • Ensure that counterarguments are accepted and refuted effectively.
  • Ensure a conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can editing help me ace my writing assignments if it’s another burden to do.

Editing may be a tough act to do after writing, but it can be a walk in the park if you master the skill. Practice it continuously and be devoted (translate: consistent) to doing it until you no longer find it difficult and laborious.

How can editing an essay be simplified if I no longer have sufficient time to do it?

You can always simplify your editing routine when time is running out. Editing essays can be as simple as having three pointers: (a) Checking for major grammar lapses; (b) Evaluating content based on its clarity and coherence; and (c) Checking for formatting guidelines.

How to edit an essay well if the guidelines are only specific to one element of text?

In connection with the previous question, you may opt to use a personalized editing routine and that includes considering one element over the others. You may allot a big remainder of your time editing that element, but always ensure that you edit the important things on a text, no matter how focused you are on a particular element.

To edit an essay is really hard for me. Do I have the option to just skip it?

I probably can think of a scenario where you are asking a question like this: “Can somebody write my paper and edit it? This is way too much for me!” While writing and editing are intertwined, and we have no means of skipping them, writing and editing services like Studyfy can finish the work for you.

Created personally for you and your writing needs, these services are strong with competent and reliable writers who can go the extra mile in finishing your writeups while adhering to the intended style, format, and content.

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Examples: Edited Papers

Need editing and proofreading services, guide to essay editing: methods, tips, & examples.

  • Tags: Essay , Essay Editing

When it comes to essay writing, the process of editing is often glossed over and is reduced to last-minute connections. However, thorough essay editing helps you stand out from the crowd. A skillfully written essay not only involves impressive writing, but also meticulous editing.  

In this article, we will walk you through the process of essay editing and understand why it is important. Without any further ado, let’s get to it! 

What is essay editing?

Essay editing involves performing grammatical or structural checks in order to improve the readability and coherence of your essay. While most believe that editing an essay simply involves proofreading it, it is actually a much more extensive process. 

Essay editing involves multiple processes, such as restructuring sentences and paragraphs, correcting tone or cohesiveness, eliminating fluff content and redundancies, and finally, proofreading. 

Why is essay editing important?

Meticulous editing is crucial in improving the clarity and coherence of your ideas. It not only brings out the core message of your essay but also provides a proper structure to your essay.

Here are a few more reasons as to why essay editing is important: 

1. Helps correct structural inconsistencies.

Effective editing helps detect structural and tonal inconsistencies that don’t fit in with a particular paragraph or the essay as a whole. These inconsistencies can then be rephrased, restructured, or completely eliminated from your essay. 

2. Helps simplify your essay.

Complex words and run-on sentences make your essay verbose and obscure its core message. In order to establish a strong central idea, it is crucial to meticulously edit your essay. Through editing, you can not only refine and clarify the central message of your essay but also make it more readable.

3. Helps filter out unnecessary information.

Editing helps get rid of redundancies, filler, or fluff content which cleans up the sentences and paragraphs of your essay. Eliminating these redundancies makes your content more succinct, clear, and concise. 

4. Helps correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

The importance of spelling, grammar, and punctuation cannot be understated. A single misplaced comma can change the meaning of a sentence and create a poor impression on the reader. Proofreading ensures that such errors are not made. It involves correcting any major or minor spelling and grammar errors.

Now that we’ve understood the importance of essay editing, let’s take a look at the following example:

The mission of Voyager 1 was to go study the big gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn, and then continue its journey beyond the solar system. As it journeyed on , it sent back lots of pictures and data about the planets it passed. One of the cool things it discovered was the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, which is a storm that’s been going on for centuries. It’s amazing that Voyager 1 was able to capture all of this information and bring it back to us on Earth .

Voyager 1 was launched with the aim of studying gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn and venturing beyond the solar system. While on its journey across the solar system, it captured numerous images and gathered relevant data on multiple planets. One of its most fascinating discoveries was the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, an ongoing storm lasting for centuries. The ability to gather information about previously unexplored terrains is certainly a feat achieved by Voyager 1.

As you can see, there are plenty of grammatical and tonal inconsistencies in the first example. There is also use of informal language which is not consistent with this essay type. The second example shows what the grammatically correct, tonally consistent, edited version should look like.

What does an editor look for in your essay?

Professional essay editing services are trained to spot the most minute of structural and grammatical errors and are trained in college, as well as admission essay editing. They not only help point out surface-level errors in spelling and punctuation but conduct an in-depth analysis of your essay. 

Here’s what a professional editor looks for in your essay:

1. Errors in spelling and grammar:

This includes ensuring subject-verb agreement, conducting spellchecks on commonly misspelled words, or even maintaining consistency in the tense of your essay.

2. Errors in the use of technical terms: 

This includes ensuring the appropriate usage of signs, symbols, and units of measurement.

3. Inconsistencies in referencing styles: 

This task includes spotting errors and inconsistencies in major referencing style guides such as MLA, APA, and Chicago .

4. Issues in the layout: 

This includes maintaining consistency in essay formatting and ensuring proper use of graphs, tables, images, and figures.

5. Inconsistencies in tone: 

This involves simplifying run-on sentences, filtering out redundancies, and ensuring a consistent tone throughout the essay.

 6. Logical gaps in arguments: 

This includes detecting logical fallacies or gaps in arguments and making suggestions to correct these fallacies. 

7. Plagiarism : 

This involves thoroughly scanning the essay to ensure the originality of the content and detecting unintentional plagiarism. 

8. Conformity to referencing guidelines:  

This task includes cross-checking in-text citations and references and ensuring they conform to the prescribed guidelines.

9. Inconsistencies in formatting: 

This includes correcting inconsistencies in prescribed formatting guidelines.

Why should you hire a human editor? 

College essay editing requires significant expertise and attention to detail. Although essay writing tools such as Grammarly are useful in correcting surface-level errors, they are not complex enough to ensure 100% accuracy. They lack the human touch and are unable to detect various contextual and structural errors.

For instance, a proofreading tool will not detect any error in the following sentence, although it’s grammatically incorrect.

With who am I speaking?

It is clear that “I” is the subject in the sentence, hence the object should be “whom”. Such errors are ignored by online essay editing tools and require human intervention. 

The following table will give you a better understanding of the differences between human and machine editing: 

Steps to self-edit your essay 

Although consulting a human editor will make your job significantly easier, the college essay editing cost can sometimes be a burden. If you prefer self-editing your essay, you can use the following steps to help you ace your assignment.

1. Take a break

It is challenging to identify errors and inconsistencies in your essay immediately after writing it. Make sure to take a break and return to your work later with fresh eyes. This will help you view your essay from different perspectives and identify problem areas. You can also do this by asking friends or family members to review your work and provide necessary feedback. 

2. Start with major structural errors

Start off with a comprehensive overview. This includes creating a cohesive structure and ensuring the proper flow of arguments. Make sure that all your topics and concluding sentences highlight the importance of your thesis statement. You can also cut-and-paste parts of sentences or paragraphs to build momentum throughout your writing. 

3. Condense wordy sentences and paragraphs

After rearranging the major paragraphs to ensure a smooth-flowing structure, it’s time to cut the fluff. This may include repetitive information, filler content, as well as redundancies. Cutting out unnecessary information makes your essay concise and to the point, allowing your readers to focus on the key points of your argument.

4. Simplify jargon

It’s important to limit the use of jargon and ensure that your essay is accessible and easy to understand. While technical terms can be used in certain contexts, make sure to use them sparingly and accurately. It is important to strike a balance between technical and non-technical language. This will help you can write an essay that is both informative and engaging.

5. Ensure proper use of punctuation 

Avoid using lengthy run-on sentences that can be difficult to follow. Use clear, concise sentences that convey your ideas effectively. When it comes to academic writing, avoid using exclamation marks and em-dashes. They can be seen as highly informal and are usually used in stories or creative works. 

6. Maintain consistency in formatting throughout your essay

Make sure to stick to your university’s formatting and style guidelines when writing essays. This includes using headings and subheadings correctly, and ensuring that the font size and style are consistent throughout your essay. You can also make key points stand out by using bold or italicized text when necessary. 

The above pointers show how editing essays is tedious and can be time-consuming. As editing experts , we can make the editing process simpler for you. 

To reduce your challenges while writing essays, we have created extensive resources for you. You can bookmark the following resources and revisit them to clarify any doubts about essay writing! 

  • Guide to a Perfect Descriptive Essay [Examples & Outline Included]
  • How to Start an Essay: 4 Introduction Paragraph Examples
  • How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay (Examples Included!)
  • Compare and Contrast Essay | Quick Guide with Examples
  • How to Write an Argumentative Essay (Examples Included)

Frequently Asked Questions

How can i revise my essay, is it acceptable to take the help of third-party editors for my essay, how can i edit my essay for free.

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8.4 Revising and Editing

Learning objectives.

  • Identify major areas of concern in the draft essay during revising and editing.
  • Use peer reviews and editing checklists to assist revising and editing.
  • Revise and edit the first draft of your essay and produce a final draft.

Revising and editing are the two tasks you undertake to significantly improve your essay. Both are very important elements of the writing process. You may think that a completed first draft means little improvement is needed. However, even experienced writers need to improve their drafts and rely on peers during revising and editing. You may know that athletes miss catches, fumble balls, or overshoot goals. Dancers forget steps, turn too slowly, or miss beats. For both athletes and dancers, the more they practice, the stronger their performance will become. Web designers seek better images, a more clever design, or a more appealing background for their web pages. Writing has the same capacity to profit from improvement and revision.

Understanding the Purpose of Revising and Editing

Revising and editing allow you to examine two important aspects of your writing separately, so that you can give each task your undivided attention.

  • When you revise , you take a second look at your ideas. You might add, cut, move, or change information in order to make your ideas clearer, more accurate, more interesting, or more convincing.
  • When you edit , you take a second look at how you expressed your ideas. You add or change words. You fix any problems in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. You improve your writing style. You make your essay into a polished, mature piece of writing, the end product of your best efforts.

How do you get the best out of your revisions and editing? Here are some strategies that writers have developed to look at their first drafts from a fresh perspective. Try them over the course of this semester; then keep using the ones that bring results.

  • Take a break. You are proud of what you wrote, but you might be too close to it to make changes. Set aside your writing for a few hours or even a day until you can look at it objectively.
  • Ask someone you trust for feedback and constructive criticism.
  • Pretend you are one of your readers. Are you satisfied or dissatisfied? Why?
  • Use the resources that your college provides. Find out where your school’s writing lab is located and ask about the assistance they provide online and in person.

Many people hear the words critic , critical , and criticism and pick up only negative vibes that provoke feelings that make them blush, grumble, or shout. However, as a writer and a thinker, you need to learn to be critical of yourself in a positive way and have high expectations for your work. You also need to train your eye and trust your ability to fix what needs fixing. For this, you need to teach yourself where to look.

Creating Unity and Coherence

Following your outline closely offers you a reasonable guarantee that your writing will stay on purpose and not drift away from the controlling idea. However, when writers are rushed, are tired, or cannot find the right words, their writing may become less than they want it to be. Their writing may no longer be clear and concise, and they may be adding information that is not needed to develop the main idea.

When a piece of writing has unity , all the ideas in each paragraph and in the entire essay clearly belong and are arranged in an order that makes logical sense. When the writing has coherence , the ideas flow smoothly. The wording clearly indicates how one idea leads to another within a paragraph and from paragraph to paragraph.

Reading your writing aloud will often help you find problems with unity and coherence. Listen for the clarity and flow of your ideas. Identify places where you find yourself confused, and write a note to yourself about possible fixes.

Creating Unity

Sometimes writers get caught up in the moment and cannot resist a good digression. Even though you might enjoy such detours when you chat with friends, unplanned digressions usually harm a piece of writing.

Mariah stayed close to her outline when she drafted the three body paragraphs of her essay she tentatively titled “Digital Technology: The Newest and the Best at What Price?” But a recent shopping trip for an HDTV upset her enough that she digressed from the main topic of her third paragraph and included comments about the sales staff at the electronics store she visited. When she revised her essay, she deleted the off-topic sentences that affected the unity of the paragraph.

Read the following paragraph twice, the first time without Mariah’s changes, and the second time with them.

Nothing is more confusing to me than choosing among televisions. It confuses lots of people who want a new high-definition digital television (HDTV) with a large screen to watch sports and DVDs on. You could listen to the guys in the electronics store, but word has it they know little more than you do. They want to sell what they have in stock, not what best fits your needs. You face decisions you never had to make with the old, bulky picture-tube televisions. Screen resolution means the number of horizontal scan lines the screen can show. This resolution is often 1080p, or full HD, or 768p. The trouble is that if you have a smaller screen, 32 inches or 37 inches diagonal, you won’t be able to tell the difference with the naked eye. The 1080p televisions cost more, though, so those are what the salespeople want you to buy. They get bigger commissions. The other important decision you face as you walk around the sales floor is whether to get a plasma screen or an LCD screen. Now here the salespeople may finally give you decent info. Plasma flat-panel television screens can be much larger in diameter than their LCD rivals. Plasma screens show truer blacks and can be viewed at a wider angle than current LCD screens. But be careful and tell the salesperson you have budget constraints. Large flat-panel plasma screens are much more expensive than flat-screen LCD models. Don’t let someone make you by more television than you need!

Answer the following two questions about Mariah’s paragraph:


Please share with a classmate and compare your answers.

  • Now start to revise the first draft of the essay you wrote in Section 8 “Writing Your Own First Draft” . Reread it to find any statements that affect the unity of your writing. Decide how best to revise.

When you reread your writing to find revisions to make, look for each type of problem in a separate sweep. Read it straight through once to locate any problems with unity. Read it straight through a second time to find problems with coherence. You may follow this same practice during many stages of the writing process.

Writing at Work

Many companies hire copyeditors and proofreaders to help them produce the cleanest possible final drafts of large writing projects. Copyeditors are responsible for suggesting revisions and style changes; proofreaders check documents for any errors in capitalization, spelling, and punctuation that have crept in. Many times, these tasks are done on a freelance basis, with one freelancer working for a variety of clients.

Creating Coherence

Careful writers use transitions to clarify how the ideas in their sentences and paragraphs are related. These words and phrases help the writing flow smoothly. Adding transitions is not the only way to improve coherence, but they are often useful and give a mature feel to your essays. Table 8.3 “Common Transitional Words and Phrases” groups many common transitions according to their purpose.

Table 8.3 Common Transitional Words and Phrases

after before later
afterward before long meanwhile
as soon as finally next
at first first, second, third soon
at last in the first place then
above across at the bottom
at the top behind below
beside beyond inside
near next to opposite
to the left, to the right, to the side under where
indeed hence in conclusion
in the final analysis therefore thus
consequently furthermore additionally
because besides the fact following this idea further
in addition in the same way moreover
looking further considering…, it is clear that
but yet however
nevertheless on the contrary on the other hand
above all best especially
in fact more important most important
most worst
finally last in conclusion
most of all least of all last of all
admittedly at this point certainly
granted it is true generally speaking
in general in this situation no doubt
no one denies obviously of course
to be sure undoubtedly unquestionably
for instance for example
first, second, third generally, furthermore, finally in the first place, also, last
in the first place, furthermore, finally in the first place, likewise, lastly

After Maria revised for unity, she next examined her paragraph about televisions to check for coherence. She looked for places where she needed to add a transition or perhaps reword the text to make the flow of ideas clear. In the version that follows, she has already deleted the sentences that were off topic.

Many writers make their revisions on a printed copy and then transfer them to the version on-screen. They conventionally use a small arrow called a caret (^) to show where to insert an addition or correction.

A marked up essay

1. Answer the following questions about Mariah’s revised paragraph.

2. Now return to the first draft of the essay you wrote in Section 8 “Writing Your Own First Draft” and revise it for coherence. Add transition words and phrases where they are needed, and make any other changes that are needed to improve the flow and connection between ideas.

Being Clear and Concise

Some writers are very methodical and painstaking when they write a first draft. Other writers unleash a lot of words in order to get out all that they feel they need to say. Do either of these composing styles match your style? Or is your composing style somewhere in between? No matter which description best fits you, the first draft of almost every piece of writing, no matter its author, can be made clearer and more concise.

If you have a tendency to write too much, you will need to look for unnecessary words. If you have a tendency to be vague or imprecise in your wording, you will need to find specific words to replace any overly general language.

Identifying Wordiness

Sometimes writers use too many words when fewer words will appeal more to their audience and better fit their purpose. Here are some common examples of wordiness to look for in your draft. Eliminating wordiness helps all readers, because it makes your ideas clear, direct, and straightforward.

Sentences that begin with There is or There are .

Wordy: There are two major experiments that the Biology Department sponsors.

Revised: The Biology Department sponsors two major experiments.

Sentences with unnecessary modifiers.

Wordy: Two extremely famous and well-known consumer advocates spoke eloquently in favor of the proposed important legislation.

Revised: Two well-known consumer advocates spoke in favor of the proposed legislation.

Sentences with deadwood phrases that add little to the meaning. Be judicious when you use phrases such as in terms of , with a mind to , on the subject of , as to whether or not , more or less , as far as…is concerned , and similar expressions. You can usually find a more straightforward way to state your point.

Wordy: As a world leader in the field of green technology, the company plans to focus its efforts in the area of geothermal energy.

A report as to whether or not to use geysers as an energy source is in the process of preparation.

Revised: As a world leader in green technology, the company plans to focus on geothermal energy.

A report about using geysers as an energy source is in preparation.

Sentences in the passive voice or with forms of the verb to be . Sentences with passive-voice verbs often create confusion, because the subject of the sentence does not perform an action. Sentences are clearer when the subject of the sentence performs the action and is followed by a strong verb. Use strong active-voice verbs in place of forms of to be , which can lead to wordiness. Avoid passive voice when you can.

Wordy: It might perhaps be said that using a GPS device is something that is a benefit to drivers who have a poor sense of direction.

Revised: Using a GPS device benefits drivers who have a poor sense of direction.

Sentences with constructions that can be shortened.

Wordy: The e-book reader, which is a recent invention, may become as commonplace as the cell phone.

My over-sixty uncle bought an e-book reader, and his wife bought an e-book reader, too.

Revised: The e-book reader, a recent invention, may become as commonplace as the cell phone.

My over-sixty uncle and his wife both bought e-book readers.

Now return once more to the first draft of the essay you have been revising. Check it for unnecessary words. Try making your sentences as concise as they can be.

Choosing Specific, Appropriate Words

Most college essays should be written in formal English suitable for an academic situation. Follow these principles to be sure that your word choice is appropriate. For more information about word choice, see Chapter 4 “Working with Words: Which Word Is Right?” .

  • Avoid slang. Find alternatives to bummer , kewl , and rad .
  • Avoid language that is overly casual. Write about “men and women” rather than “girls and guys” unless you are trying to create a specific effect. A formal tone calls for formal language.
  • Avoid contractions. Use do not in place of don’t , I am in place of I’m , have not in place of haven’t , and so on. Contractions are considered casual speech.
  • Avoid clichés. Overused expressions such as green with envy , face the music , better late than never , and similar expressions are empty of meaning and may not appeal to your audience.
  • Be careful when you use words that sound alike but have different meanings. Some examples are allusion/illusion , complement/compliment , council/counsel , concurrent/consecutive , founder/flounder , and historic/historical . When in doubt, check a dictionary.
  • Choose words with the connotations you want. Choosing a word for its connotations is as important in formal essay writing as it is in all kinds of writing. Compare the positive connotations of the word proud and the negative connotations of arrogant and conceited .
  • Use specific words rather than overly general words. Find synonyms for thing , people , nice , good , bad , interesting , and other vague words. Or use specific details to make your exact meaning clear.

Now read the revisions Mariah made to make her third paragraph clearer and more concise. She has already incorporated the changes she made to improve unity and coherence.

A marked up essay with revisions

1. Answer the following questions about Mariah’s revised paragraph:

2. Now return once more to your essay in progress. Read carefully for problems with word choice. Be sure that your draft is written in formal language and that your word choice is specific and appropriate.

Completing a Peer Review

After working so closely with a piece of writing, writers often need to step back and ask for a more objective reader. What writers most need is feedback from readers who can respond only to the words on the page. When they are ready, writers show their drafts to someone they respect and who can give an honest response about its strengths and weaknesses.

You, too, can ask a peer to read your draft when it is ready. After evaluating the feedback and assessing what is most helpful, the reader’s feedback will help you when you revise your draft. This process is called peer review .

You can work with a partner in your class and identify specific ways to strengthen each other’s essays. Although you may be uncomfortable sharing your writing at first, remember that each writer is working toward the same goal: a final draft that fits the audience and the purpose. Maintaining a positive attitude when providing feedback will put you and your partner at ease. The box that follows provides a useful framework for the peer review session.

Questions for Peer Review

Title of essay: ____________________________________________

Date: ____________________________________________

Writer’s name: ____________________________________________

Peer reviewer’s name: _________________________________________

  • This essay is about____________________________________________.
  • Your main points in this essay are____________________________________________.
  • What I most liked about this essay is____________________________________________.

These three points struck me as your strongest:

These places in your essay are not clear to me:

a. Where: ____________________________________________

Needs improvement because__________________________________________

b. Where: ____________________________________________

Needs improvement because ____________________________________________

c. Where: ____________________________________________

The one additional change you could make that would improve this essay significantly is ____________________________________________.

One of the reasons why word-processing programs build in a reviewing feature is that workgroups have become a common feature in many businesses. Writing is often collaborative, and the members of a workgroup and their supervisors often critique group members’ work and offer feedback that will lead to a better final product.

Exchange essays with a classmate and complete a peer review of each other’s draft in progress. Remember to give positive feedback and to be courteous and polite in your responses. Focus on providing one positive comment and one question for more information to the author.

Using Feedback Objectively

The purpose of peer feedback is to receive constructive criticism of your essay. Your peer reviewer is your first real audience, and you have the opportunity to learn what confuses and delights a reader so that you can improve your work before sharing the final draft with a wider audience (or your intended audience).

It may not be necessary to incorporate every recommendation your peer reviewer makes. However, if you start to observe a pattern in the responses you receive from peer reviewers, you might want to take that feedback into consideration in future assignments. For example, if you read consistent comments about a need for more research, then you may want to consider including more research in future assignments.

Using Feedback from Multiple Sources

You might get feedback from more than one reader as you share different stages of your revised draft. In this situation, you may receive feedback from readers who do not understand the assignment or who lack your involvement with and enthusiasm for it.

You need to evaluate the responses you receive according to two important criteria:

  • Determine if the feedback supports the purpose of the assignment.
  • Determine if the suggested revisions are appropriate to the audience.

Then, using these standards, accept or reject revision feedback.

Work with two partners. Go back to Note 8.81 “Exercise 4” in this lesson and compare your responses to Activity A, about Mariah’s paragraph, with your partners’. Recall Mariah’s purpose for writing and her audience. Then, working individually, list where you agree and where you disagree about revision needs.

Editing Your Draft

If you have been incorporating each set of revisions as Mariah has, you have produced multiple drafts of your writing. So far, all your changes have been content changes. Perhaps with the help of peer feedback, you have made sure that you sufficiently supported your ideas. You have checked for problems with unity and coherence. You have examined your essay for word choice, revising to cut unnecessary words and to replace weak wording with specific and appropriate wording.

The next step after revising the content is editing. When you edit, you examine the surface features of your text. You examine your spelling, grammar, usage, and punctuation. You also make sure you use the proper format when creating your finished assignment.

Editing often takes time. Budgeting time into the writing process allows you to complete additional edits after revising. Editing and proofreading your writing helps you create a finished work that represents your best efforts. Here are a few more tips to remember about your readers:

  • Readers do not notice correct spelling, but they do notice misspellings.
  • Readers look past your sentences to get to your ideas—unless the sentences are awkward, poorly constructed, and frustrating to read.
  • Readers notice when every sentence has the same rhythm as every other sentence, with no variety.
  • Readers do not cheer when you use there , their , and they’re correctly, but they notice when you do not.
  • Readers will notice the care with which you handled your assignment and your attention to detail in the delivery of an error-free document..

The first section of this book offers a useful review of grammar, mechanics, and usage. Use it to help you eliminate major errors in your writing and refine your understanding of the conventions of language. Do not hesitate to ask for help, too, from peer tutors in your academic department or in the college’s writing lab. In the meantime, use the checklist to help you edit your writing.

Editing Your Writing

  • Are some sentences actually sentence fragments?
  • Are some sentences run-on sentences? How can I correct them?
  • Do some sentences need conjunctions between independent clauses?
  • Does every verb agree with its subject?
  • Is every verb in the correct tense?
  • Are tense forms, especially for irregular verbs, written correctly?
  • Have I used subject, object, and possessive personal pronouns correctly?
  • Have I used who and whom correctly?
  • Is the antecedent of every pronoun clear?
  • Do all personal pronouns agree with their antecedents?
  • Have I used the correct comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs?
  • Is it clear which word a participial phrase modifies, or is it a dangling modifier?

Sentence Structure

  • Are all my sentences simple sentences, or do I vary my sentence structure?
  • Have I chosen the best coordinating or subordinating conjunctions to join clauses?
  • Have I created long, overpacked sentences that should be shortened for clarity?
  • Do I see any mistakes in parallel structure?


  • Does every sentence end with the correct end punctuation?
  • Can I justify the use of every exclamation point?
  • Have I used apostrophes correctly to write all singular and plural possessive forms?
  • Have I used quotation marks correctly?

Mechanics and Usage

  • Can I find any spelling errors? How can I correct them?
  • Have I used capital letters where they are needed?
  • Have I written abbreviations, where allowed, correctly?
  • Can I find any errors in the use of commonly confused words, such as to / too / two ?

Be careful about relying too much on spelling checkers and grammar checkers. A spelling checker cannot recognize that you meant to write principle but wrote principal instead. A grammar checker often queries constructions that are perfectly correct. The program does not understand your meaning; it makes its check against a general set of formulas that might not apply in each instance. If you use a grammar checker, accept the suggestions that make sense, but consider why the suggestions came up.

Proofreading requires patience; it is very easy to read past a mistake. Set your paper aside for at least a few hours, if not a day or more, so your mind will rest. Some professional proofreaders read a text backward so they can concentrate on spelling and punctuation. Another helpful technique is to slowly read a paper aloud, paying attention to every word, letter, and punctuation mark.

If you need additional proofreading help, ask a reliable friend, a classmate, or a peer tutor to make a final pass on your paper to look for anything you missed.

Remember to use proper format when creating your finished assignment. Sometimes an instructor, a department, or a college will require students to follow specific instructions on titles, margins, page numbers, or the location of the writer’s name. These requirements may be more detailed and rigid for research projects and term papers, which often observe the American Psychological Association (APA) or Modern Language Association (MLA) style guides, especially when citations of sources are included.

To ensure the format is correct and follows any specific instructions, make a final check before you submit an assignment.

With the help of the checklist, edit and proofread your essay.

Key Takeaways

  • Revising and editing are the stages of the writing process in which you improve your work before producing a final draft.
  • During revising, you add, cut, move, or change information in order to improve content.
  • During editing, you take a second look at the words and sentences you used to express your ideas and fix any problems in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.
  • Unity in writing means that all the ideas in each paragraph and in the entire essay clearly belong together and are arranged in an order that makes logical sense.
  • Coherence in writing means that the writer’s wording clearly indicates how one idea leads to another within a paragraph and between paragraphs.
  • Transitional words and phrases effectively make writing more coherent.
  • Writing should be clear and concise, with no unnecessary words.
  • Effective formal writing uses specific, appropriate words and avoids slang, contractions, clichés, and overly general words.
  • Peer reviews, done properly, can give writers objective feedback about their writing. It is the writer’s responsibility to evaluate the results of peer reviews and incorporate only useful feedback.
  • Remember to budget time for careful editing and proofreading. Use all available resources, including editing checklists, peer editing, and your institution’s writing lab, to improve your editing skills.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Revising and editing ensure a paper communicates its message effectively. This process involves examining the content, structure, and mechanics of writing. Revising focuses on coherence, logical flow, and organization. Editing refines language use, such as word choice, sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation. Considering these aspects, revising and editing enhance the paper's quality, making it more compelling and readable.

This detailed tutorial emphasizes the importance of revising and editing, highlighting how they significantly improve a paper's coherence, organization, and language use, thus making it more compelling and readable.

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When you revise or edit a paper, focus on the  ideas, organization, grammar , spelling,  and   punctuation .

Check ideas and organization

  • Is my thesis statement concise and clear?
  • Did I follow my outline?
  • Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence?
  • Are all of the items in my reference page cited in my text?
  • Are all of the items cited in my text in my reference page?
  • Did I use the proper APA style?
  • Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments?
  • Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Are my arguments well-supported and well-reasoned? Did I have another reader review my paper?

Check grammar, spelling, and punctuation

  • Are there ideas I could express more concisely and in fewer words?
  • Do subjects and verbs agree?
  • Do pronouns and their antecedents agree in number and gender?
  • Words such as  there, they're,  and   their  are commonly misused. Did I use the correct forms?
  • Did I avoid writing with  I  and  you  for an academic paper?
  • To avoid repetition, I should vary the beginnings of my sentences. Did I avoid starting two sentences with the same word in the paragraph?
  • Did I use transition words when moving from one concept to the next? These are words like:  first, second, then, however, therefore, in addition...
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How to Structure an Essay | Tips & Templates

Published on September 18, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction , a body , and a conclusion . But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body.

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Table of contents

The basics of essay structure, chronological structure, compare-and-contrast structure, problems-methods-solutions structure, signposting to clarify your structure, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay structure.

There are two main things to keep in mind when working on your essay structure: making sure to include the right information in each part, and deciding how you’ll organize the information within the body.

Parts of an essay

The three parts that make up all essays are described in the table below.

Part Content

Order of information

You’ll also have to consider how to present information within the body. There are a few general principles that can guide you here.

The first is that your argument should move from the simplest claim to the most complex . The body of a good argumentative essay often begins with simple and widely accepted claims, and then moves towards more complex and contentious ones.

For example, you might begin by describing a generally accepted philosophical concept, and then apply it to a new topic. The grounding in the general concept will allow the reader to understand your unique application of it.

The second principle is that background information should appear towards the beginning of your essay . General background is presented in the introduction. If you have additional background to present, this information will usually come at the start of the body.

The third principle is that everything in your essay should be relevant to the thesis . Ask yourself whether each piece of information advances your argument or provides necessary background. And make sure that the text clearly expresses each piece of information’s relevance.

The sections below present several organizational templates for essays: the chronological approach, the compare-and-contrast approach, and the problems-methods-solutions approach.

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The chronological approach (sometimes called the cause-and-effect approach) is probably the simplest way to structure an essay. It just means discussing events in the order in which they occurred, discussing how they are related (i.e. the cause and effect involved) as you go.

A chronological approach can be useful when your essay is about a series of events. Don’t rule out other approaches, though—even when the chronological approach is the obvious one, you might be able to bring out more with a different structure.

Explore the tabs below to see a general template and a specific example outline from an essay on the invention of the printing press.

  • Thesis statement
  • Discussion of event/period
  • Consequences
  • Importance of topic
  • Strong closing statement
  • Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages
  • Background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press
  • Thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation
  • High levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe
  • Literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites
  • Consequence: this discouraged political and religious change
  • Invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg
  • Implications of the new technology for book production
  • Consequence: Rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible
  • Trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention
  • Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation
  • Consequence: The large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics
  • Summarize the history described
  • Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period

Essays with two or more main subjects are often structured around comparing and contrasting . For example, a literary analysis essay might compare two different texts, and an argumentative essay might compare the strengths of different arguments.

There are two main ways of structuring a compare-and-contrast essay: the alternating method, and the block method.


In the alternating method, each paragraph compares your subjects in terms of a specific point of comparison. These points of comparison are therefore what defines each paragraph.

The tabs below show a general template for this structure, and a specific example for an essay comparing and contrasting distance learning with traditional classroom learning.

  • Synthesis of arguments
  • Topical relevance of distance learning in lockdown
  • Increasing prevalence of distance learning over the last decade
  • Thesis statement: While distance learning has certain advantages, it introduces multiple new accessibility issues that must be addressed for it to be as effective as classroom learning
  • Classroom learning: Ease of identifying difficulties and privately discussing them
  • Distance learning: Difficulty of noticing and unobtrusively helping
  • Classroom learning: Difficulties accessing the classroom (disability, distance travelled from home)
  • Distance learning: Difficulties with online work (lack of tech literacy, unreliable connection, distractions)
  • Classroom learning: Tends to encourage personal engagement among students and with teacher, more relaxed social environment
  • Distance learning: Greater ability to reach out to teacher privately
  • Sum up, emphasize that distance learning introduces more difficulties than it solves
  • Stress the importance of addressing issues with distance learning as it becomes increasingly common
  • Distance learning may prove to be the future, but it still has a long way to go

In the block method, each subject is covered all in one go, potentially across multiple paragraphs. For example, you might write two paragraphs about your first subject and then two about your second subject, making comparisons back to the first.

The tabs again show a general template, followed by another essay on distance learning, this time with the body structured in blocks.

  • Point 1 (compare)
  • Point 2 (compare)
  • Point 3 (compare)
  • Point 4 (compare)
  • Advantages: Flexibility, accessibility
  • Disadvantages: Discomfort, challenges for those with poor internet or tech literacy
  • Advantages: Potential for teacher to discuss issues with a student in a separate private call
  • Disadvantages: Difficulty of identifying struggling students and aiding them unobtrusively, lack of personal interaction among students
  • Advantages: More accessible to those with low tech literacy, equality of all sharing one learning environment
  • Disadvantages: Students must live close enough to attend, commutes may vary, classrooms not always accessible for disabled students
  • Advantages: Ease of picking up on signs a student is struggling, more personal interaction among students
  • Disadvantages: May be harder for students to approach teacher privately in person to raise issues

An essay that concerns a specific problem (practical or theoretical) may be structured according to the problems-methods-solutions approach.

This is just what it sounds like: You define the problem, characterize a method or theory that may solve it, and finally analyze the problem, using this method or theory to arrive at a solution. If the problem is theoretical, the solution might be the analysis you present in the essay itself; otherwise, you might just present a proposed solution.

The tabs below show a template for this structure and an example outline for an essay about the problem of fake news.

  • Introduce the problem
  • Provide background
  • Describe your approach to solving it
  • Define the problem precisely
  • Describe why it’s important
  • Indicate previous approaches to the problem
  • Present your new approach, and why it’s better
  • Apply the new method or theory to the problem
  • Indicate the solution you arrive at by doing so
  • Assess (potential or actual) effectiveness of solution
  • Describe the implications
  • Problem: The growth of “fake news” online
  • Prevalence of polarized/conspiracy-focused news sources online
  • Thesis statement: Rather than attempting to stamp out online fake news through social media moderation, an effective approach to combating it must work with educational institutions to improve media literacy
  • Definition: Deliberate disinformation designed to spread virally online
  • Popularization of the term, growth of the phenomenon
  • Previous approaches: Labeling and moderation on social media platforms
  • Critique: This approach feeds conspiracies; the real solution is to improve media literacy so users can better identify fake news
  • Greater emphasis should be placed on media literacy education in schools
  • This allows people to assess news sources independently, rather than just being told which ones to trust
  • This is a long-term solution but could be highly effective
  • It would require significant organization and investment, but would equip people to judge news sources more effectively
  • Rather than trying to contain the spread of fake news, we must teach the next generation not to fall for it

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Signposting means guiding the reader through your essay with language that describes or hints at the structure of what follows.  It can help you clarify your structure for yourself as well as helping your reader follow your ideas.

The essay overview

In longer essays whose body is split into multiple named sections, the introduction often ends with an overview of the rest of the essay. This gives a brief description of the main idea or argument of each section.

The overview allows the reader to immediately understand what will be covered in the essay and in what order. Though it describes what  comes later in the text, it is generally written in the present tense . The following example is from a literary analysis essay on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .


Transition words and phrases are used throughout all good essays to link together different ideas. They help guide the reader through your text, and an essay that uses them effectively will be much easier to follow.

Various different relationships can be expressed by transition words, as shown in this example.

Because Hitler failed to respond to the British ultimatum, France and the UK declared war on Germany. Although it was an outcome the Allies had hoped to avoid, they were prepared to back up their ultimatum in order to combat the existential threat posed by the Third Reich.

Transition sentences may be included to transition between different paragraphs or sections of an essay. A good transition sentence moves the reader on to the next topic while indicating how it relates to the previous one.

… Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.

However , considering the issue of personal interaction among students presents a different picture.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

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The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

An essay isn’t just a loose collection of facts and ideas. Instead, it should be centered on an overarching argument (summarized in your thesis statement ) that every part of the essay relates to.

The way you structure your essay is crucial to presenting your argument coherently. A well-structured essay helps your reader follow the logic of your ideas and understand your overall point.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:

  • The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
  • The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.

It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

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