How to Edit an Essay or Research Paper

You spend a lot of time writing – and by a lot, we mean a lot. More than half of the assignments you’ll do in secondary and higher education will involve essay composition or research paper writing, so you’ll have to get nice and comfortable with the idea of writing, reviewing and editing. If this branch of skills isn’t exactly your forte, you may run in to problems over and over again – issues with developing ideas, getting them down on paper and attempting to fine-tune them. You’ve probably figured out a way to successfully produce a research paper or essay by now (you’ve had more than enough practice!) but that’s not the end of the road. Freelance writers of consider editing to be a key step to the writing process and papers can be doomed without it! Yet, there were no classes or instruction on editing; so how can you know how to properly edit a paper?

There are a few simple steps to editing a paper that any student, regardless of academic level, can follow to craft a more organized written piece. These essential steps include the following:

  • Make sure related information and ideas are together. You don’t want your paper bouncing around everywhere like a coffee-filled rabbit. When you edit, make sure the content in one paragraph, or one group of paragraphs, is relating to the same general concept, idea or argument. Don’t go back and forth from different thoughts; stick to one thought, and then naturally move to another singular thought.
  • Re-read and make it clearer. While we’re writing, we often compose sentences that may not be entirely efficient. This includes run-on sentences and sentences that, honestly, just have too many words in them. Your aim is to make your meaning clear and easy to understand, and clutter and confusion in your wording can make that impossible. When you edit, re-read it out loud and decide what sentences or words should be revised to make meaning clearer. Also revise the structure, if needed; paragraphs that are too long or too short should be rearranged to make the paper flow better.
  • Proofread. This should be the final step of your editing process, though you can continually proofread throughout editing. Once you’ve made your paper clear, crisp and composed, you need to check for all those miniscule mistakes that you may have missed earlier on. This includes grammatical subtleties, spelling details, subject-verb agreements and much more. Always proofread at the end – you’ll avoid embarrassing mistakes, like switching up ‘your’ for ‘you’re.’

Posted by November 21st, 2018