Free Tips Online: How to Edit Your Essay Efficiently
You have worked hard and finally finished writing your essay. It seems to be perfect because you managed to develop all the ideas you had in mind. However, don’t be hasty to congratulate yourself; believe it or not, but you can make your paper even better if you spare some time to edit. The following tips will prompt you on how to effectively edit your essay:
- Look at your essay with fresh eyes.
- Check the structure.
- Cut down long sentences.
- Avoid complicated wordiness.
- Check for repetitions.
- Use a spellchecker.
- Read your essay backwards.
- Take care of punctuation.
- Be consistent with formatting.
If you have enough time, put your paper aside for at least several hours and give it a rest. You are more likely to notice inconsistencies and mistakes if you edit it with fresh eyes.
Pay attention to the points you made to develop your argument. Are they logically derived? Would it be better to change the order of your ideas?
Long sentences are difficult to follow and they are more likely to contain mistakes. It is essential that your sentences consist of up to two or three clauses (or segments). If they are longer, try to make two sentences out of one. Or, you can reword long sentences and express the same idea more concisely.
It is very tempting to use a clever complicated phrase instead of several simple words to reveal your ideas. Do not overplay and feel the slightest differences in meanings. Sometimes, clear and concise words are more appropriate to exactly express your thoughts.
As a rule, we have favorite linking words and may use them too often. Read your essay carefully and change the repeated words with their synonyms.
The spellchecker is good for finding some misspelled words and typos, but it isn’t a panacea. It won’t tell you if it is the right word for a particular situation.
Read your paper starting with the last word of your text. This is a good way to spot typos because you pay attention to single words, not the sentences.
To check if commas were put properly, read your text aloud. The places where you naturally stop need commas. Use semicolons to divide your sentence into two independent segments.
Make sure that the proper fonts and spacing are used. Your paper should look professional, which is why you need to be consistent while formatting the title, headings, subheadings, and essay body.