What does it mean to polish your essay?
Probably, you have heard about the importance of editing, proofreading, or revision. It can take your writing to the next level and help you avoid mistakes in the future. All of these are slightly different concepts but have the same goal.
Our experts synonymize all these terms in this article instead of focusing on their differences. Here, you will find information about essay revision, life hacks, and a perfect essay editing example.
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Golden rule: take it slow when you start reviewing your work.
Trying to grasp all the flaws at once is not the best idea for your essay. That is why we have prepared a revision plan for you. Below, we will explain how to revise an essay in five steps.
Step 1 – Go Through the Structure
We recommend starting with the structure. Go from more significant aspects like text composition to smaller ones like vocabulary. Here’s what to check in your structure:
- Make sure the parts of your paper are in the correct order. You should have a clear introduction with a thesis statement at the end, a body, and a concluding paragraph.
- Check if the paragraphs are in a logical sequence. They need to represent the argument in the same order as your thesis.
- Go through body paragraphs. Each one needs only one idea as a primary focus. It should consist of a point, evidence, explanation, and a transition to the next section.
- Define if your conclusion is logical. It should not add any new information. Instead, summarize the main arguments and synthesize the information you have provided.
Step 2 – Check the Grammar
You can revise the grammar yourself or use some online services. However, revision tools sometimes miss some errors due to their automatized systems. So be careful and recheck the text several times.
Here are the mistakes you need to look for:
- Sentence fragments.
- Faulty parallelism.
- Misplaced and dangling modifiers.
- Incorrectly used pronouns.
- Vague pronoun references.
Here is a selection of online editors you can use to simplify your work:
Step 3 – Check the Punctuation
The easiest way to check punctuation quickly is using automatic software tools. After that, you can check the paper yourself to ensure everything is fine.
For example, there is a built-in checker in Microsoft Word and Google Docs. You just have to find red and green underlines in your document and right-click to see suggestions. You can also adjust your grammar settings in the “Proofing” Word option.
We have also prepared some free punctuation checkers:
Step 4 – Review the Vocabulary
It is not easy to find the perfect editing service to review the vocabulary. Most likely, you will have to do it manually.
Use these questions when you proofread your paper:
- Is your narrative pessimistic or optimistic?
- Do you want to sound informal or professional?
- Do you tell the story in the first person?
- Do you need to make your sentences longer or shorter?
- Is the terminology you use appropriate to your writing style?
- Do some words seem too simple or too complicated?
Read our recent article about the most common errors in essays and how to avoid them:
Step 5 – Check the Formatting
First of all, make sure your text has the correct type of formatting. Check your instructor’s requirements on this matter. If you already cited your sources with a particular style, ensure you followed all the rules. The common ones are MLA, APA, and Chicago.
If you have submitted any works with the same citation style, just compare the two works. You can also ask some of your college’s students to provide you with a reference.
📝 Essay Life Hacks for Professional Editing
Below are things you need to know regardless you check the text yourself or let the robot do it for you. We will show you how to revise and edit an essay. Below, you will find some study tips and editing techniques to make you more productive.
Common Essay Editing Life Hacks
|Find a calm place.||There should be no distractions so you will concentrate easily.|
|Focus on writing prompts.||If your essay doesn’t answer the stated questions clearly, consider rewriting it.|
|Take short breaks.||It will save you from overlooking some mistakes and starting over.|
|Focus on one error type at once.||It will help you to find certain mistakes faster.|
|Change the look of your text.||You can adjust the font size or the color to make it look different.|
|Prioritize your tasks.||Decide what is the most important to you if you run out of time.|
|Look for additional resources.||Look for a writing center or a peer-editing program in your college.|
|Don’t entirely rely on automatic checking services.||Always check the remarks made by the software.|
PRO Essay Editing Life Hacks
|Make sure there’s no plagiarism.||Even unintentional plagiarism can ruin your work.|
|Think of your first essay as a draft.||Try writing a bit more than needed to shorten your paper while editing.|
|Read the text aloud.||It will help you perceive the text differently and possibly notice more mistakes.|
|Pay attention to the writing tone.||Also, check the use of pronouns and the length of your sentences.|
|Print your essay.||Having a hard copy will make it easier to notice and mark your mistakes.|
|Read the text in reverse.||It can help you see the writing with fresh eyes.|
|Change the font to a less readable one.||This technique will force you to focus better.|
|Don’t mess with the word count.||Fooling your professors with bigger spaces or other tricks – is a bad idea. Better add some information to your essay.|
|Take a closer look at the citations.||Check if all of the sources are in your reference list.|
|Ask for a second opinion.||Self-editing is a complex challenge – some help is always helpful.|
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Below, we provide an edited version of the text. Pay attention to how we've corrected errors: grammar, punctuation, and stylistic flaws. Some of the most significant ones are marked. Read both texts attentively to see the overall difference.
It is crucial to know the basic concepts of writing practices, understand and have explicit knowledge of how they are used. A student should collaborate with writing specialists and discuss appropriate steps to improve their academic writing ability to succeed in writing. Tacit knowledge is a beneficial concept for students to know. It is not sufficient to teach this concept in theory. One should practice it in actions. Sharing tacit knowledge through words is commonly associated with overt tacit knowledge. We might know more than we can express. Thus, knowledge is either totally impersonal or expressible in terms.
When writing, it is also essential to know the value of the information transmission. There can be differences in the meanings of identical concepts. The writing process involves referring to and translating articles written in foreign languages. Terms in one language may not have the same meaning in other languages. It is therefore vital to learn the complexity of writing and its purposes. Writing skills is a beneficial strength a person can acquire in life.