Blog Editing and Proofreading Tips

Guide on How to Edit an Essay – 13 Useful Steps for Essay Editing

Knowing how to edit an essay is essential if you’re a student in university and want your papers to sound incredible. But despite being necessary, a lot of students may be unaware of how to do it properly. Editing is not easy if you don’t know what should be edited, particularly if you’ve never written a lot of essays before. Still, it’s necessary to learn how to edit essays, because it’ll help you reach a perfect form for your essay and thus avoid grammar mistakes or sentences that don’t make sense. We’ve prepared some steps for essays editing that can help you a lot in the future. 

13 Helpful Steps to Edit Your Essay Like a Pro

Here are handy tips from our editors that were collected to help you with editing. Look through them and try implementing them in your academic routine. But in case you lack time, hire professional editors online. Check best college paper editing services reviews and choose the most suitable and reliable company.

  1. Get the Structure Right

An essential key to creating a good essay is following the right structure. Each essay will have a structure that flows naturally and logically, and one that’ll take you through the essay introduction, body, and conclusion smoothly without causing confusion. Before you start editing, though, you should leave some time between finishing the essay and then editing essay mistakes. When you just finish writing an essay, you’re probably tired and your mind is full of various things, so taking some time off to relax will allow you to get back to your paper with a fresh mind. 

Once you go back to your essay, it’ll be easier to see the errors you’ve made. This allows you to see if you’ve used wrong structure or just wrote different ideas chaotically. Perhaps you didn’t write them in the right order and now the paper sounds confusing, or you revealed way too much in your introduction and reading the body felt like a chore. Therefore, you should know how to edit essay in this scenario. There are word processors that help write essays, and you can now also move different paragraphs in order to rearrange the essay and make it sound better. All you have to do is drag and drop or cut and paste the paragraphs. Of course, you may add or remove some new words or phrases so the whole structure makes sense after moving paragraphs. 

  1. Prune Any Long Sentences and Paragraphs

How to edit your essay so that it has a balanced structure? If your paragraphs or sentences are too long, you should prune them. When they are longer than necessary, it can get very confusing to read them. Not to mention, the paper will be very boring, and reading it’ll be very difficult. While you may want to meet the word count, it’s better to include only what’s necessary instead of throwing unnecessary words around for it. 

As for paragraphs, ensure to keep some space between them, so the paper is easier to follow. Don’t just throw a block of text there and call it a day. 

  1. Learn How to Edit Essays by Keeping Overly Complicated Language in Check

You may think you look way smarter if you insert complicated language in your essay, and that’s a great way to impress your teacher. Sure, it is easy to look up some synonyms for certain words and make the text sound different, but it isn’t always the best idea. Sometimes, even if you pick a synonym for a word you’re using, it may mean something different in that context, especially considering some words come with different meanings or connotations. You don’t want to sound too pompous. Just use some clear and concise language to get your points across. 

  1. Watch for Repetition of Ideas and Words

Sometimes, you may end up repeating yourself without realizing it. This is especially possible if you spent several days on an essay, and you just didn’t remember everything you’ve written the previous day and didn’t bother to revise either. However, it is always best to spot these mistakes while editing an essay and fix them before you submit the paper. Repetitions don’t add any value to your essay. Instead, they look really bad, and they seem nothing but a bad attempt at meeting the word count. Even if you’ve written the same idea but worded it differently, you should remove the repetition. 

Word repetitions in the same paragraph or sentence should be avoided. For instance, words as “also” or “too” should not be utilized in excess. If you must use them, make sure to replace them with alternatives, such as “what’s more” and “as well” for example. 

  1. Don’t Rely on Online Spellcheckers

Spellchecks can be very useful, as they help detect mistakes and practice editing essays. But utilizing only them is not the best idea, because it may not be able to find every misspelling or typo in your essay. On top of that, it cannot tell you that you have used the wrong word either. It’s better to proofread your essay and look for any spelling mistakes. 

  1. Spot Typos

Spotting typos help you get rid of errors and your essay sounds better overall. For this reason, it’s ideal to learn how to spot typos yourself. Some people say that reading an essay backward makes it easier to find these typos. Maybe it gives you a new perspective on the things you’ve already written. Start reading from the last sentence, and then keep going up until you reach the start of your paper. This will show you the typos at some point. 

  1. Learn How to Edit Your Paper by Omitting Unnecessary Words and Eradicating Weasel Words

It’s possible to include some unnecessary words sometimes, either without being aware of it or in order to stick to word count more easily. Unfortunately, these words add nothing to the meaning or the value of the paper, but rather harm it. Weasel words are also an issue. They are often used to hide very weak arguments. One example is the expression “it is often said”, as it doesn’t say who is saying that thing. When reading your essay, look for unnecessary words and weasel words and avoid them. Editing college essay this way ensures your paper starts sounding better. 

Read also: Reviews of the best free grammar checker tools.

  1. Remove Tautologies

Tautologies are stylistic mistakes that involve using two consecutive words that have the same meaning. For instance, “adequate enough”. You may be doing this when trying to fit into the word count, but they harm your essay.

  1. Watch the Commas

While some people add too many commas, others add way too few. So, the sentences will end up sounding bad, and the reader will find the text very confusing for this reason. You should thus learn how to edit your paper so you can add commas in the right place. Put the commas in places where you would naturally make pauses when speaking. 

  1. Consistent Spelling

Your essay may require a certain spelling type, so it’s essential to stay consistent with it throughout the entire essay. If you are sticking to UK English spelling, for example, you should not use U.S. English spelling later. 

  1. Get Rid of Exclamation Marks and Ellipses

Exclamation marks are not necessary for essays, and if you decide to add them, your paper may not be taken seriously. They should only be used in special situations when you want to show outrage or surprise. Ellipses should also not be overused unless you’re showing a quote truncation. 

  1. Attribute Quotation

When editing college essays, you should always add quotations as well if you’re taking someone else’s idea. The quotations show the source of the idea or information. Using footnotes is a good way to cite quotations. You should format them accordingly, though. 

  1. Consistent Formatting

Your formatting should be consistent at all times because it allows the essay to look professional. Ideally, your essay should use the same font everywhere, and the same line spacing. These are only a few examples. The essay should look aesthetically pleasing and not like a mess. 

  1. Know Difference Between Editing, Revising, and Proofreading

What is the difference between revising and editing? Revisions take place after teacher or professor checks student’s essay and marks all mistakes or issues they find. Now the student has to fix all the issues. In other words, to revise the paper following teacher’s comments.

The difference between editing and proofreading is that proofreading means looking for inconsistencies, incorrect punctuation, and misspelling while editing means fixing issues like language clarity and sentence construction. On top of proofreading, you must know how to edit.

Get Professional Editing Help Online

Learning how to correct an essay is necessary if you are in college and you were assigned to write a paper. But if you can’t write your essay and personal statement and then edit them, you can look for a personal statement editing services review.  Do you want your essays to sound professional? Follow these steps! They’ll help you throughout your college years and become an editor for essays.

Posted by Chris M., September 28, 2020

Grammar Editing Services for Essays

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