The Basic Rules Of Essay Editing
You have completed the research, done the writing, and your essay is finished! Or is it? Editing and proofreading are two of the last tasks that you will perform before you hand in your paper for grading. They are also two of the most important, if you want to make sure you get a grade that reflects all the effort that went into your essay.
We have found that there are three keys that could help get your paper from awful to A+ in record time. Weed out these common mistakes, and properly edit your essay before due date comes up.
- Spelling. Grammar, And Punctuation
- Correct English And Proper Word Choice
- Consistency, And Good Flow
It's easy enough to make use of the spell/grammar check software that is on your computer to check for errors. But things do sometimes get missed. "It's" versus "its", for example. Two or too, or to? Some students find it helps to use a ruler or blank piece of paper to go down through their paper line by line. Blocking out the other text can make it easier to focus on one chunk at a time.
Frequently made spelling errors include the names of people and places, and any foreign loan words. Double check that you get these right. It would be terribly embarrassing to hand in a political science term paper dealing with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, only to realize later that throughout your essay she had been referred to as PM Thacher!
After you have finished your essay, take a rest and then come back to it with fresh eyes, following a good night's sleep. You will probably find that there are some places that you can improve the wording to provide a more concise explanation, or a more precisely made point.
Have someone read your essay back to you aloud. It can be far easier to hear awkward phrases, then it is to pick them off a printed page. There may be nothing technically wrong with the wording, but you may find a more creative, or engaging way to get your point across.
Performing a thorough edit of you essay will help you ensure that you have maintained a good, easy to follow, logical flow throughout the paper. You should be looking for an even, consistent writing flow, but also checking to make sure that your argument is put forward in a rational order. It should be easy for your reader to follow along. Be on the lookout for sentence fragments, and run on sentences, as these can be especially distracting when reading an essay.