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Essay editing checklist

editing checklist

While writing you essay, you need to ensure that it is of the utmost quality and meets the recommended standards. Students often tend to make mistakes that are hard to see while writing but later come to realize this when it is too late. There are however steps you can take to make sure the final piece is flawless and exceeds expectations.

Here is an essay editing checklist to keep in mind:

Coming up with an editing checklist will guide you on what key areas you should keep an eye on. Some of the key areas to look out for are;


A well-punctuated essay not only looks good but it also makes your points easy to understand. Make sure to use commas where they are supposed to. Punctuation marks like colons and semi-colons should be used carefully as any slight mistake will result in your essay looking unprofessional.

Spelling and grammatical errors

It is crucial to always check your spelling before submitting your article. Spelling mistakes can deduct you a lot of marks if left uncorrected. An essay with spelling mistakes gives the impression that the writer was not cautious and did not care to double-check their work. Also, be sure to check for any grammatical errors you may have made. Nouns and verbs should be used the correct way. While at it, pay special consideration to tenses.

Capital letters

Make sure every sentence starts with a capital letter. All proper nouns should start with a capital letter.

Apostrophe errors

 Apostrophes should always be included. Make sure to use them when it comes to indicating the possession of nouns as failure to do this will result in grammatical anomalies.

Sentence fragments

Sentence fragments can easily cause your essay article lose its meaning. Make sure every word group you have punctuated as a sentence has a thought that is grammatically complete and independent.

Check for incorrect pronounce case

While using pronouns, it is important to determine whether the pronoun at hand is used as a subject, object or as a possessive in the sentence and then select the appropriate pronoun form to match.

Unclear pronoun reference

Check for unclear pronoun references. All pronouns must clearly refer to definite referents. For example, use it’, this’, that’, 'they’, 'those’ or 'which’ carefully to prevent confusion.

Omission of commas

Commas are very important. Any slight misuse of commas can result in sentences that are illegible and confusing to the reader. Using few commas will make your sentences appear too long. On the other hand, excessive use of commas makes your sentences appear broken and odd.

A checklist will enable you to isolate the common areas to tackle. You can edit the essay yourself or assign someone else to do it for you. Whatever you do, make sure to include the relevant key areas you would like to be of interest to the editor. Clearly indicate them so that there is no ambiguity at the end. If you decide to edit it yourself, a checklist is still recommendable. You can use the same checklist for all your assignments.

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