As a college student, you should be good at essay writing. Check our top ten tips on how to edit your work to make it shine!
Top 10 Essay Editing Recommendations for College Students
For many college undergrads who struggle with every other essay and research paper, the difficulties do not stop when the writing stage is over. When it comes to editing, you have to be double attentive since it is the last step to take before the submission. Learning to become an editor yourself can be tough even for skilled and talented writers. And if you’re just a first-year college student at the beginning of your writing and editing journey, every other writing task turns into an obstacle.
Taking into account that writing is something that you will use throughout your entire life, it is important to learn how to edit your texts effectively now when you’re in college.
To detect grammar and spelling mistakes, you can use some online app and a research paper editor free of charge. However, it is important to learn to edit your piece yourself.
Here are our top best editing tips and tricks that every student has to master:
- Let your readers hear your voice and unique personality
As you read your paper, ask yourself, “Does my personality come through? Does it sound like me?” Since most academic papers are a reflection of the author, i.e. you, it is important to make sure that your work shows who you are.
For instance, if you use vocabulary that isn’t typical for your oral or written communication (such as using “disingenuous” instead of “dishonest”), you’re going to appear phony.
- Distance from your work for a while
When you spend a lot of time working on your essay or movie review, some distance is required to edit it properly. Students tend to skip a lot of mistakes because they are so familiar with the text and overlooking some small typos and wrong commas is easier than ever. If possible, get distant for a while. Have some rest, watch TV, hang out with friends, or do some workouts. Whatever it is that you choose to do, ensure to have at least several hours or even a day between the writing session and the editing part. This simple technique will help you take a look at your writing with a fresh set of eyes and do proper editing.
- Read professor’s requirements
One of the most common mistakes that students usually make is failing to follow the directions given in college. Before you hand in your essay, make sure to get back and check the prompt once again. You need to ensure that you use appropriate style, correct citations, and the topic that you researched is exactly the one that your professor assigned. Give your project a final read-through to be sure it complies with academic instructions.
- Read paper backward
To ensure your work is free from any sort of typos and errors, try reading it from the bottom up. Start with the last sentence in the concluding paragraph, go to the lower part of the body section, the middle part of it, the starting point of the body, the introductory paragraph, the thesis statement, and the first sentence of the project.
When you read your work backward, you don’t follow the logical flow of the ideas included in it. As a result, you can focus on each sentence and pay attention to the mistakes you didn’t notice at first.
- Benefit from editing services
There are loads of free and paid options available on the internet. Take advantage of working with a professional editor to see how experts review and fix academic papers. If you’re an on-campus student, it is also recommended to schedule an appointment with an English tutor. A skilled person will check your paper and discuss all the corrections that should be done.
- Read aloud
Although it may sound quite simple, this technique is actually one of the best things you can do to learn to self-edit effectively. When you verbalize your written text, you have more chances to come across some misspelling or typo. For many students, reading their words aloud sounds silly. Try reading your paper to some audience that is unfamiliar with your work. Or, as an alternative, record your reading to listen to it as if you’re a stranger. Either way, you will notice all the awkward or wordy sentences, issues with commas, terms, and so on.
- Get a grammar textbook
If your texts tend to lack consistency in grammar, consider enhancing your editing skills by working on them. Get a grammar textbook (tutor’s manual would be the best!) to learn to improve your grammar. At the same time, you’re free to take a writing class either online or in person. If you’re a student in some community college, you have a chance to accomplish this with some little expense.
Keep in mind that many students have the so-called “feel” for grammar when they edit their works just because they are readers. When you read books or academic works written by others (especially the ones created in the same style that you have to emulate), you have a chance to cultivate this feel. Even though editing skills may seem tough to master, remember that the impossible is nothing. It just may require some time and work to hone your editing skills.
Time is something that most college undergrads never have enough of. It can be quite difficult to hold off your desire to hand in your essay the very moment you put the last dot, especially when you have other tasks on the list. Come to grips with the fact that proper editing is about being attentive and taking some time out of your day. If you make sure to spend enough time to correct your work, you will get to enjoy some of the nicest benefits:
- You will improve your writing skills
- Your target readers will appreciate a clearer message
- Your tutor won’t lower your grade because of some silly mistake
- Your project will be more convincing and credible
Writing essays on a regular basis is a great way to learn how to think, how to do research, how to work with the collected information, how to distinguish the most accurate information, how to write clearly, and how to argue. For this, it is important to master the logic, the language, as well as the editing process. Learning to self-edit is the key to enjoying better marks, as a result.