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12 Tips and Tricks to Edit Your College Essay Like a Pro 27 November, 2021   

For many undergrads who struggle with every other essay or term paper, the difficulty has more to do with the process of editing. Learning to edit your paper on your own can be tough for even the most talented writers – and for college students, it may present a huge stone of stumbling. Taking into account the fact that writing is an essential part of both your academic routine and professional life after graduation, it is important to learn to edit those pieces effectively…today.

Although you can approach online companies with your “Please, do my essay cheap for me up to my requirements” request or use some free or cheap app to fix grammar and spelling issues, learning to edit your writing on your own is a must.

Here are our best tips and tricks to help you master editing skills as soon as possible.

Ensure You Know the Difference between Proofreading & Editing

Both proofreading and editing are fundamental steps in the process of writing. However, they aren’t the same. While you do proofreading to check the punctuation, spelling, and grammar errors, editing focuses on things like messaging, the flow of ideas, the content, and the structure of paragraphs. To submit the finest quality essay, make sure to cultivate a habit to both edit and proofread your piece before you submit it.

Be Careful When Using Ellipses and Exclamation Marks

In nearly every case, there is no need to use exclamation marks. And the reality is that if you submit a college essay that includes these marks, chances are your piece won’t be taken seriously. Remember that you can use them only in exceptional cases when there’s a feeling of outrage or surprise that you have to convey to your target readers. When it comes to ellipses, you have to also keep away from them except when you need to include a quote that belongs to some other author.

Read Backwards

No matter how weird it sounds, it is important to get to the end of your essay and read it backward. You just have to read sentence after sentence starting with the last one from the concluding section. As a result, you will look at your words and word combinations at the sentence level, catching the simplest errors that you have already overlooked.  

Read Essay for Every Type of Mistakes

 Undoubtedly, it can be tough to see different types of mistakes at once when you read your work. That is why it is important to read your academic assignment and edit it a couple of times. Each time you read it, ensure to look for a different type of mistake. For instance, you will read it for the first time to catch punctuation errors, the second time to look for typos, while the third reading session will focus on the style issues.

Read Excellent Quality Prose

Just as reading superior works of talented writers helps you boost your own prose, it will also teach you to edit by building strong sentences, choosing words and word combinations effectively, as well as constructing logical paragraphs. Make sure to keep yourself on a diet of top-notch writing for a while to become a better editor.

Don’t Get Obsessed Over the Small Details

Many undergrads tend to spend hours agonizing over every other sentence, word combination, and word at the beginning of their academic writing journey. Undoubtedly, being careful with your prose is a must. However, don’t forget that you are not a professional writer, and making mistakes in your case is part of the process. The point is that the more time you spend trying to make a document perfect, the less you will learn. Just make sure to edit considerably and consistently to boost the quality of your essays and ensure you won’t repeat the same mistakes in your future academic projects.

Check If Your Essay Has Your Voice

As you read your work sentence after sentence, find out if your personality comes through in each. Does your essay show your unique personality and author’s voice? Does the text sound like you? Taking into account that your piece is a reflection of you, you need to make sure it shows who you really are. For instance, if you include the terms and words that you never use, you’re going to appear phony, and your tutor won’t be impressed by your work.

Distance Yourself

When you spend hours or even days writing an essay, you know every other sentence by heart. And when we’re so familiar with the text, we tend to skim and overlook a lot of mistakes. If it is possible, do your best to give yourself some time to distance yourself from the written word. Take a walk, watch some new TV shows, hang out with your best friend, or work out in a gym. As a result, you will have the time and space needed to switch your attention from your text to something else and take a fresh look at your piece when you get back to it.

Check the Word Count

Some tips and tricks to help you abide by the word count in a college essay:

  • Show, do not tell.

  • Ensure you don’t restate the same things in different ways.

  • Eliminate unnecessary details.

  • Sparingly use extraneous adjectives.

  • Ensure every essay included can contribute something to the project.

  • Make run-on sentences shorter (feel free to do that when having the aloud reading session mentioned below).


Read Aloud

Although it sounds like a fun thing to do, reading an accomplished essay aloud is one of the best techniques to edit your text. No matter how silly it can be at first, the results will impress you! You can choose to read it to a group of your friends or be your only listener in a quiet room. As a result, you will notice awkward and wordy sentences, typos, and mistakes that should be fixed straight away.

Get Rid of Clichés

You can’t even imagine how many college tutors tend to cringe every time they read the words like “plethora” in the sentences like “a college is a place where they offer to learn a plethora of disciplines.” Just think about it this way – there are no students using this kind of word in real-life conversations! Some other common phrases or words to stay away from in your essays include “expand one’s horizon,” “at the end of the day,” and so on.

Always Check the Style Guides

Regardless of the type of academic work that you edit, make sure to keep an authoritative style guide at hand. Whether you deal with the AMA, Chicago, Turabian, or any other style, you have to know the rules. If you don’t or if you have doubts, the style guide will be quite useful and save your grades.

Have an Editing Checklist at Hand

In your college routine, you’re going to deal with loads of essays, book reviews, research papers, and other types of academic writing. It is recommended to be able to track all the issues that you will look out for in every other case. While some of them are obvious, and you never forget to check them, others are less common, such as the uniqueness of your voice and the consistency of the character in a story.

It’s OK to Make Mistakes

Writing is a process that takes the whole life to learn. That is why if you struggle with proofreading and editing at the moment, give yourself some room for errors. Use our recommendations and online resources that help you become an editor yourself. Make sure to spend some time boosting your language by writing trial papers, reading a lot, and having peer editing sessions. By taking these simple steps consistently, you will soon be on your way to getting better in writing and editing.

 


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