Categories: College Life

7 Tips To Better Edit Your College Papers

Editing is always difficult two hours before it’s due. Every college student says they won’t wait until the last second to write an essay, but we all do it anyway. I could have used some tips to edit my essays, not that they would have helped much. Try to get your professors to share some tips to edit with the class so you won’t have this problem anymore.

Writing essays is difficult, and editing those essays is even harder. Follow these tips to edit your college essays. Or, you might have other tips to edit your essay that you follow, which you should share if you know any. Any tips to edit for other college students would be useful.

1. Keep A Thesaurus

This is the easiest tip to edit to follow. We use the same words repeatedly, usually because other words don’t sound right in the sentence. When you need to use a word more than once in a paragraph, look the word up in a thesaurus. This tip to edit will give you new synonyms that work just as well.

Once you find a list of words to choose from, read each word in the sentence to figure out which one fits the best. Just because the word is a synonym does not mean the word works in every sentence. Keep this in mind as you use this tip to edit and a thesaurus to help you add unique words to your essay. 

2. Take Breaks

This is an important tip to edit your essay. Waiting until the night before your essay is due to write is natural, but don’t forget you need to edit it, as well. It is a bad idea to edit your essay the same day you write it. A lot of times, we tend to read what we want, not noticing that there’s a mistake. This tip to edit will help you stop that habit.

For this tip to edit to catch the most mistakes, it is best to wait three or four hours from when you finish writing to when you edit. Going for a walk or exercising is a great way to get your mind off of the essay. Basically, you want to forget about the essay altogether and read it as though you hadn’t written it. You will be able to get the most out of this tip to edit it that way.

3. Be Concise

This tip to edit is a little more difficult to follow. The best way to fix this is to read a couple of sentences at a time and cut out a few unnecessary words. It may take some time, and it might make getting to a specific word count difficult, but your professors will thank you. This tip to edit will have professors reading your essay to the class.

Also, another way you can follow this tip to edit is to read one sentence at a time. In each sentence, if there are phrases that can be shortened, do it. This tip to edit will cut down on meaningless words that make your essay sound simple and boring.

4. Cite Everything

This is probably the most important tip to edit your essay that you will read in this article. You need to know what formatting your professor wants you to use, and then cite according to that. This is easily overlooked, but you need to make sure it gets done. This tip to edit will make you hate formatting, but it’s important.

Even if you’re paraphrasing, you still need to cite it correctly. Read through your essay after you edit it to make sure everything is cited properly. That is the least confusing way to go about it and make this a great tip to edit.

5. Read Out Loud

This is definitely the most annoying tip to edit your essay, but it is one of the most helpful. When you read out loud and you come to a mistake, you subconsciously pause. This is the best tip to edit to fix awkward wording.

Reading out loud can also help out with the rhythm of the essay. I know it’s not a poem, but essays have a certain rhythm to follow as well. Please follow this tip to edit.

See Also

6. Ask Someone

This will be a difficult tip to edit to do because there might not be anyone you can ask to read through it. I would suggest your roommate because that would be the easiest to get. Or if you have a friend in this class, ask them to help with this tip to edit.

If your professor mentions in class that they would be willing to read through your essay before it’s due, then you can email it to them. If they haven’t mentioned it, you could ask them in class or email them later to ask if they could look at it. Usually, this is a good tip to edit.

7. Read It Through

This is a tip to edit your essay that you probably won’t want to follow. Print out your essay and have three or four different colored highlighters next to you. Each highlighter means something different. This is a colorful tip to edit that will help with grammar problems.

Use one color the first time you read. Walk away for a few minutes before you come back. Then read through it again with a different highlighter in your hand. Read through it each time with a different highlighter until you’ve edited the essay to the best possible version. This tip to edit could also be done on your computer if you don’t want to waste the paper.

Choose any one of these tips to edit, or use all of them. Comment with which ones work best for you, or if you use different methods.

Featured Image Source:
Megan Abruzzese

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