Like any other form of written output, essay writing must end with editing. There must always be a careful examination of the essay in order to find flaws in structure and errors in grammar and other technical aspects of writing. This is to ensure that the final piece is at its best form and that it succeeds with its objectives. However, the process of editing can be foreign to many writers, especially to those who do not perform it regularly. If you are one of those who are yet to understand how editing works, here is a comprehensive step by step guide on how to effectively edit your essay.
Step One: Evaluate Overall Quality
Right after you finish writing your essay, you need to read the raw draft. In this initial reading, you must carefully study the overall quality of the essay. This means that you will determine whether or not the essay delivers to the goal that you have set. If you intend the essay to be persuasive, for instance, you should determine if the essay left enough points that will move the readers and if these points were expressed in a convincing fashion. In addition, you should also evaluate the general quality of your writing. Is your essay stiff, bland, or enjoyable to read? Typically, a convenient reading indicates that your writing is satisfactory. However, there are more factors to consider in the following steps.
Step Two: Analyze the Structure
While evaluating the overall impact of your essay, you should also analyze its structure. Pay attention to the fluidity of the writing or the lack thereof. Likewise, analyze whether the paragraphs come together seamlessly or if they are rather disconnected. One way to identify whether ideas in the essay are flowing smoothly is to locate transitional cues that connect every point and argument. Apart from this, you must also check if your essay has the appropriate introduction, conclusion, and other essential components, such as the thesis statement.
Step Three: Note the Mistakes
After reading and evaluating your essay draft, you must list down all the mistakes and shortcomings that you have detected. You can prepare a different document for these notes or simply incorporate them on the draft itself. For this, you can use the tracking feature of the software you are using or print out the essay and write the notes alongside the problematic parts. You can then use these editing notes for the next step.
Step Four: Apply Corrections
Using your notes as basis, you must now decide the necessary editing strategy for your essay. If your notes suggest that your essay suffers from multiple major problems, then you may want to consider rewriting it completely. On the other hand, if there are only minimal errors, then you can proceed to respectively correcting each one. Problems with transition, for example, can be easily solved by adding a transitional statement to the paragraph. Issues with tone and style can meanwhile be fixed through simple revisions in word use and sentence structure.