How to Become A Better Editor — Tips For Essay Writers

by | Jan 29, 2019 | Education Feature

Editing is a necessary prerequisite for producing a good piece of text. Even the creations of great authors need thorough revising. Both writing and editing aren’t something static and as such can be improved with time. Skipping the editing part may result in bad grades, which is why it should never be neglected. Use our tips to develop your editing skills and become a real writing pro!

According to Emma Hill, “The first draft is black and white. Editing gives the story color.” Therefore, never submit your initial draft; most essays can be improved dramatically by composing a few drafts and doing scrupulous editing. Apart from grammar and spelling mistakes, you have to fix consistency flaws, get rid of redundancy, choose better wording and make your essay flow smoothly.

If you’re searching for something more than mere proofreading, our online essay editing service can provide you with a “second set of eyes” in your editing process. Our skillful editors will quickly and professionally edit your essay. Their comments will help you improve your paper and enhance your overall writing skills!

Get feedback

Show your essay to a reliable and trustworthy person and have them check it for mistakes you might have overlooked.

Put it aside

Time is the best healer. Take a break after completing your paper and do something that isn’t related to writing. It’s a big temptation to finish everything in one sitting, but it’s better to re-read the text with a clear head. By completing an essay a day before the deadline, you lose the opportunity of using this technique. Remember — the more time you have after finishing writing, the more fruitful your proofreading will be.

Easy things come first

Check your essay for compliance with your instructor’s guidelines and requirements. Use text editing tools for fixing common errors and typos. Phoning it in will definitely get your score reduced.

Make things clear

An essay that deserves an A+ should be well-structured, logically organized, and ensure a smooth transition between the paragraphs (“On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction” by William Zinsser). For instance, the standard essay structure may look something like this:

  • An attention-grabbing introduction paragraph containing the most interesting details and leading to the author’s point. To grab your reader’s interest, you can use these tried and tested ways: a witty joke, a famous quote, or a statistic. Your choice depends on the type your essay and its topic.
  • A thesis statement revealing the goal of the paper. Keep it clear and concise for the best outcome.
  • A well-structured body section and logically interconnected paragraphs related to the main argument and covering all your discussion points.
  • A convincing conclusion reiterating the main point and pointing out perspectives for further research.

Tell what you really mean

Be sure to use precise and clear wording. Your goal should be to convey the message rather than confuse the reader. Shorter sentences can be combined with longer ones to create an easy-to-follow narrative rhythm. Loosely formulated fragments should be replaced with meaningful phrases. Colloquial expressions and slang words are unacceptable in academic writing. Also, avoid using fancy words to make your essay more “scientific-sounding.” Double-check the meaning of the words if you’re not sure how to use them. Don’t make your writing shallow and difficult to read.

Keep it short

Another mistake essay writers often make is that they use words and phrases for “decorative purposes.” The structure of the whole sentences or even paragraphs is vastly changed to make them “compatible” with those expressions. Don’t depend on your words so much and eliminate everything that hurts readability. “The half is greater than the whole” is the name of the game here.

Stephen King, a renown American writer, once wrote, “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” (“On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft”)

Mind the quotation rules

Check twice all the names, facts, numbers, and figures used in your essay. Rigorous observance of the citation rules will stand you in good stead when you start dealing with more serious academic papers. A proper quotation is a form of etiquette in any research field, mind you.

Avoid duplicity

Essay format presupposes that you should say things once. No matter how exciting and original the idea is, it’s not necessary to repeat it again and again. Repetition is only justified if it’s part of your writing style.

Keep it simple

Change passive voice into active whenever possible. Avoid the excessive use of the verb “to be” in its different forms and variations. Try finding other ways of constructing your sentences. The same applies to grammar and punctuation — don’t reinvent the wheel. Think of standardization in terms of shape and content rather than appeal.

There’s no such thing as too much editing

“Edit your manuscript until your fingers bleed and you have memorized every last word. Then, when you are certain you are on the verge of insanity… edit one more time!” C.K. Webb once said. When the “inside” of the essay satisfies you, do proofreading 2-3 times to detect all remaining minor errors. You may even try reading the paper aloud or backward for a change.

Check out our tips each time you finish writing your essay, and you’re guaranteed to get an excellent paper!!

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