QUICK TIPS FOR ESSAY AND PAPER EDITING
If you are looking for some quick tips for essay and paper editing, you’ve come to the right place. When you are editing an essay, you want to look at structure first. Do you have a thesis? Do your body paragraphs support your thesis? Does each body paragraph or section of your research paper support a different argument? Does your conclusion not include new information but provides reflections on what you have already done? If you can answer yes to all of these questions, you are ready to move to our second tip.
The second tip for editing a research paper is to engage in a disciplined proofreading of the paper. Unless you’re writing your paper at the last minute, you should wait a few hours or even a day between finishing your paper and proofreading it. The reason for that is that errors that you might have made while writing your essay may have become normalized in your brain during the writing process. If you wait a few hours, you are more likely to notice the mistakes that you have made as the essay will not be as fresh in your mind.
A third tip is to have someone else proofread the essay for you. Your brain is hard wired to not notice the mistakes that you have made. That is something that is called confirmation bias. Allowing someone else to edit your paper not only allows you to benefit from their good ideas but also allows for mistakes you have not noticed to become more obvious. You are far more likely to get a good grade is you ask a friend or hire an unemployed professor to proofread your essay or edit your research paper.
Finally, you should consult the style guide that you are using when editing a paper. Whether you are using MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard or another citation style, your professor will be happy to take points away for minor mistakes in formatting and referencing. Use online style guides, like the free ones offered by Purdue University, to ensure that all of your citations are correct and consistent. If you do not know how to use the citation style you have been asked, you can consult your school’s writing center or hire an unemployed professor to look over your referencing and edit your essay.