How To Edit Your Academic Writings
Editing academic papers is an easy process when you know what to look for. The process focuses on making corrections to writing errors and mistakes such as grammar, punctuation, and word usage. Compared to proofreading this is more technical since you are paying closer attention to details that make up your sentences and paragraphs. Editing makes a big difference to the overall presentation of the written content. The following points can help you learn the basics for how to edit academic papers.
- Review editing elements to look out for before you start the process. This may include creating a list of things you want to be sure you check over. Examples may include overall review of content, formatting, enough supporting details to support the main idea and clarity of thesis statement.
- Does each part of your paper serve the intended purpose? For instance, does your conclusion summarize your paper efficiently to where it brings the topic to a close, and did you paraphrase sources versus presented content word for word? Does the introduction introduce the topic in an engaging manner?
- Break up sentences that may seem longer than necessary. You may consider omitting additional words to help simplify and shorten your message.
- Consider verbs used; strong verbs encourage readers to keep reading. Adjectives and adverbs that appear redundant should be omitted.
- The voice of your content should be active instead of passive. Your sentences should provide enough details for readers to understand who, what, when and why.
- Check for common spelling mistakes and word usage. There are words that sound the same but spelled differently. Make sure the right word is used based on its meaning. Use a dictionary to review a word meaning you are unsure of.
- Use your computer to help you spot grammar and spelling errors. Some may prefer to print out their paper and mark or highlight areas that need editing. You can note any potential errors your word processing program finds and write down any changes you need to make in the text. Be sure not to rely on this function entirely since some errors may not be detected.
- Once you have looked over your work and made changes, have someone else read over your content for feedback. Another option includes peer editing in which you trade papers with another colleague and edit each other's work.