How to Edit and Proofread Your College Essay

How to Edit and Proofread Your College Essay

You have your essay completed (no matter by you or not), bet you now know that stuff from A to Z. But what if each time teacher finds more and more mistakes in your works? ‘What’s wrong with me’, you ask ‘is this my bad luck or lack of talent?’ Don’t you think that it can happen simply due to weak proofreading and editing? Nobody wants to do it, but proper essay will bring proper result. Anyway, here we come to give you some editing tips. Whether you like them or not, you can choose quick or advanced way to proofread it to make sure it can be fun.

Get prepared morally, in any case, you’ll have to reread the essay again at least once. Be brave, take a red pen if it is written and imagine yourself as a strict teacher checking somebody’s homework thoroughly. Or be ready to improve your typing by all electronic means. The only thing is, to edit any essay you should have some time, so don’t procrastinate with the composing itself.


Quick essay editinglesser-known-editing-and-proofreading-marks

  • Check your grammar. And don’t even dream to escape it. For this, not only revise tenses, but make sure each sentence has subject and the verbs agree with it. If too lazy, use the free grammar check programs offered by MS Word and/or Google Docs, but remember, robots make mistakes as well. It is also useful to have a look at common grammar mistakes and compare them to yours.
  • Check if sentences make sense and if paragraphs have logical structure. Don’t forget about introduction-body-conclusion scheme which we’ve mentioned previously. Check that you have your thesis sentence and eschew waffling.
  • Check your spelling. It can be time-consuming, so note where you should be attentive the most: forming plurals (including exceptions like woman – women, and borrowings like criterion – criteria), adding prefixes and suffixes, ‘ie’ and ‘ei’ words (believe, grief but foreign, weird, etc.).

Proofreading for geeks

To make your writing drop dead gorgeous you have to combine all the aforementioned with the mentioned below. Probably, you haven’t heard yet, but editors can have their own Bible – something like The Elements of Style by William Strunk. Look it through to become aware of quality proofreading foundations: from punctuation to principles of composition. Now you know sacred truth, let’s go further.

Look at your essay or research paper, or whatever, does it look nice? By this we mean, is the style appropriate? Haven’t you forgot to add title page and bibliography? If worried about it, visit The Purdue Online Writing Lab here to improve each paragraph.

For those who’re really keen on perfection, we offer a list of words not to use in your own writing. You haven’t misheard, no matter how plain or sophisticated used vocabulary is, there’s still a number of items to throw out. Words like good, bad, big, small, all and never, feel, seem, almost, and just – are worth changing. They either afford something very general or not clear.

Besides, if you’ve already read you paper several times, you could notice that some sentences are short or incomplete. Here comes ‘Show, don’t tell’ principle. Turn on all your imagination skills and describe, not assert.


And remember, don’t examine your essay immediately after writing, take a pause to have a fresh look later. Good luck and don’t be afraid to address us for help with your essay in case you can’t cope on your own, just click here to submit.

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