Essay editing is the process of rectifying mistakes in an essay. Before the essay is submitted, it should be revised thoroughly to check for any grammatical errors or vague phrases.
Vague phrases are sentences that cannot be understood easily and require a lot scrutinizing before the meaning can be established.
After writing an essay, the headache is trying to conclude it, arriving at an arguable thesis or organizing the ideas. Students find this process challenging and confusing and end up making petty mistakes that cost them a lot of marks. Here are a few guidelines that may help in the essay editing process;
1. Read out your essay
Trying to sieve out your mistakes by reading your essay might not be such an effective method to use. It is quite possible that your eye will skip out on common mistakes that will ruin your essay. The best way to go about this is by reading your essay out loud. Where your eyes have failed, your ears will succeed. Reading out loud will help you hear the mistakes made.
2. Counter check if all your words help in bringing out the meaning
Make sure that your choice of words adds meaning to your essay. Every word should be adding meaning to your essay in the sense that your essay is straight and to the point. Keep checking for phrases like ‘My own personal opinion’. This phrase is an example of phrases that should be avoided at all costs. Ask yourself what the word ‘personal’ means then check the phrase and you will see its redundancy. Using ‘Own personal’ with ‘my’ only ruins your essay. Opt for using ‘My opinion’ instead. Also, check if you have used excessive use of words to explain something that might be explained with just a few. Avoid using excessive words just to meet the word count limit.
3. Keep your language simple and direct
Using complex words will only end up confusing your readers even more. Be specific and explain every point with clarity. A sentence like ‘The evils of the society will affect our resources negatively’ will end up ruining your essay. Your readers will want to know what evils? What resources? Which societies? Remember your readers want to know exactly what it is you are trying to put across. All your points should be clear.
4. Avoid using complex words
Most students end up using complex words with the aim of trying to sound smart. Inappropriately elevated language can end up in nouns getting used as verbs. Instead of sounding smart, you end making a fool out of yourself. If you find yourself adding words just to sound smart, consider revising your essay.
5. Make sure your essay sentences are appropriately placed
It is quite normal to feel bad while cutting out sentences that you are most fond of in your essay. If you happen to see yourself in such a situation, remind yourself that a meaningful and relevant essay is better than having one with sentences that make no sense. Great writers will not be afraid to get rid of those kinds of sentences.
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Essay editing requires a lot of scrutiny and revision. It is not as complex as it sounds; all students need to keep in mind is how to deliver an essay with few irregularities.
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