College requires you to write a lot of essays. That’s just the way it is. It’s unfortunately tedious, since not only is writing an essay difficult, but you often have to edit them as well, especially if you want to get a good grade. Now, you could buy college essays from experts at a professional paper writing service. But that’s not always feasible: sometimes you have no choice but to do it yourself. When that’s the only card you have to play, here are the things you should keep in mind when editing your own college essays.
Have a Checklist for All the Requirements
How can you edit your essay if you don’t know what you are editing it for? Most professors provide their students with a rubric that denotes how their papers will be graded. Obviously, you want to follow that rubric. You need to make sure you follow the suggested framework, include the thesis statement where it belongs, and use proper grammar, among other things. One way or another, you can’t edit your essay without knowing what you need to edit it for, so lock that down first.
Take a Break Between Finishing Your Paper and Actually Editing It
When you reread your paper right after you finish writing it, you are very likely to overlook the mistakes you made while writing it. That’s why you’d be better off not trying to edit your paper right away. Instead, you’d be better off taking a significant break: several hours, or maybe even a whole day. Taking your mind off of everything you just wrote is important because it prevents you from assuming what is written.
If you are convinced that you already know what is written (you just wrote it, after all) you are more likely to skim your essay, and more likely to miss small things like grammatical issues and spelling errors. That’s why you shouldn’t try to reread and edit your essay as soon as you finish it. Of course, this also means you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to write your essay, otherwise, you won’t be able to take a break before editing it!
Keep Your Thesis in Mind the Whole Time
In college, your paper is all about your thesis, and nothing else. Everything you write needs to tie into your thesis. To that end, it’s pretty helpful to have your thesis on hand and in mind as you are editing your paper, so you can ensure that you are sticking to what matters with every argument you make. It also makes it easier to catch unnecessary additions, redundant points, and lots of other little things like that.
Make Corrections in a Manner Fitting for You
Some writers may find it easier to correct problems as they find them. Other writers may be more inclined to write down errors when they notice them, and only make changes to the whole paper after the fact. There really isn’t a better option, if you are picking between the two. The “better” option is to just pick whichever method is best for you.
Of course, if you are going to correct your entire paper at the same time, you’ll have to take notes along the way, so you don’t forget the errors you noticed while rereading your paper. On the other hand, if you fix things as you go, you could accidentally create an inconsistency with something later on that you don’t notice, thus creating an error or just giving you more work to do. So all of that said, there are strengths and weaknesses to both methods, and it mostly comes down to which one you think works the best.
Get Feedback From Other Sources
One of the main things about editing is that it is a lot harder to edit your own work compared to work from someone else. As mentioned previously, when you already kind of know what is written on paper, you tend to miss things you believed weren’t there to begin with. That’s why it helps to get a fresh pair of eyes to look at your essay. With them being completely new to the paper, they are more likely to catch things you didn’t notice.
Of course, if you have friends or classmates willing to do this, that’s great. If you don’t, services that offer essay writing help don’t only write essays from scratch: they can often be used to get editing help for your papers as well. So if you need to, you can turn to them for feedback on your paper as well.
Consider Reading the Paper Backwards
No, not literally backward. But read the paragraphs from the conclusion to the intro instead of from the intro to the conclusion. Since the whole point of college essays is to have a thesis and a conclusion go hand in hand, the paper should read relatively well and make sense both ways (especially since the conclusion is supposed to support the thesis and all of your arguments).
This isn’t something you have to do from a technical point of view, since this won’t help much with small errors like grammar or spelling. However, it is a great way to ensure that your paper holds up conceptually, which is just as important.
When it comes to editing or revising your paper, there are many things to keep in mind. Take a break between finishing the paper and rereading it for an edit. Having a fresh pair of eyes gives you feedback on your paper, whether that comes from a friend or get professional essay writing help from a company. Consider reading your paper backward, and choose the right method of making corrections: either make corrections as you spot errors, or make notes of all errors, and make corrections all at once at the end.
Keep these tips in mind, and it will be much easier for you to make the edits you need to any paper or essay that you have available in college.